Evolving Best Practices in Introducing Online Learning in Small Banks

TrainingCentral’s e-learning platform and ready e-learning courses were launched in a bank with network of less than 100 branches a few months back (pl. refer our mailer on 29-May, 2014).

The acceptance of technology-based learning in an organization, where internet and e-mail are not open to all and was rapidly expanding, threw up challenges typical to the bank profile. The approach adopted in resolving these strategic issues are innovative and can potentially be replicated in similar financial institutions.

TrainingCentral has hosted Learning Portals for a wide range of financial institutions and each implementation adds to our learning on implementation methodologies in various types of organisation . Some of the Key Success Factors (KSF) which impact the roll-out and the success of the initiative are as below.

  1. Training Strategy and Vision of Learning Leadership
  2. Organizational Structure and Work-force Composition
  3. Current Level of Technology Use in the Organisation

Challenges faced during implementation, however, doesn’t necessarily fall within these KSFs. Often, small technology tweak, work-arounds or enhancements iron out important process flows and provide comfort to the end-user. TrainingCentral’s ready products too contribute in decreasing implementation timelines and providing a strong support to the organisation’s training strategy.

  1. Acceptance

Heartbeatcompliance Challenge – This is primary KRA for the Learning Leadership and approaches can differ for each organization. The following factors will be typical to banks and financial institutions–

  • More than 80% of the staff is in the branch
  • Only 1-2 computers in each branch are internet-enabled
  • Same Course Completion deadlines across staff can impact branch operations
  • Follow-up for laggards and technical issues pan-organisation would not be effective

Approach to Resolution

  • Implement Batch processing, such that 1-2 users in each branch are identified for Course and Test deadlines.
  • Focus on Mandatory training elements e.g. Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) for initial roll-outs. All staff recognises these are important to their daily work and are simple topics to understand.
  • Allows the L&D Team to evangalise the platform with manageable numbers. Follow-up with those not meeting deadlines or having technical issues was also possible.


  1. Increasing Involvement

whats_the_good_word Challenge – Beyond e-learning courses and tests, it is important that the employees have a high involvement with the Learning Portal. In metrics, the participant of the users would need to be above a threshold percentage required by the learning leadership.Approach to Resolution – There are various learning tools which are available to the organisation; TrainingCentral’s deep understanding of the learning application means that these tools can be deployed to increase interest, and involvement of the employees in the learning process.

  • Use innovative mechanisms e.g. organisation-wide quiz to organise competitions and initiatives which use both online and offline mode. The organisation is desiging multi-round quizzes on Banking Practices and Product Knowledge, where the initial rounds will be conducted through the Learning Portal and the final and penultimate rounds will be conducted in Mumbai
  • Use the portal for tracking classroom training programs, with nominations and confirmations being issued by the portal
  • Use Subjective tests for assessments in Credit Notes, Mortgage case evaluations, etc.
  1. Content is King

 contents Challenge – Whereas most training teams have a good amount of content which can be used, these are mostly geared for the classroom training.Approach to Resolution

  • Use TC ready content catalogue liberally for course delivery and assesment. Tests and assignments can be created using a judicious mix of TC’s ready content and vast question banks and question banks created for Bank-specific products and services
  • Based on the segment undergoing the online tests, the percentage mix of questions from TC (concept-level) and from the Bank (product and process-specific) are designed
    • higher internal questions for the front-desk and sales personnel
    • Higher concept-level, industry-knowledge and competition-related questions for the branch leadership and above.
  • Bank-specific content can be converted into online format using TC’s content conversion services
  1. Visibility of Initiative

 Close the Loop Challenge – The value of the Learning Portal should be visible across all levels within the organization. It is important to ensure that the Branch Management and function heads also see the impact of the system for their business.Approach to Resolution

  • Keep seniors informed with relevant metrics to provide progress of reportees (and peers) individually and collectively. This gives them an insight on the performance of their staff.
  • Follow-up with defaulting participant for completion of activities to convey the seriousness of the initiatives and programs being launched through the Portal.
  1. Ensuring Access to Technology Support

 support Challenge – More than 70% of the employee strength is the clerical cadre. Per the Bank’s policies, only employees above the clerical cadre can have e-mail ids to interface with the outside world. This meant that in branches across the country, if a clerical staff had a technical support requirement, he/she had to either use the Branch Manager’s e-mail id for interacting with TC or would need to put in an STD call for reaching out to TC’s Mumbai-based call centre.Approach to Resolution – TC expanded the Support to include two new modes

  • in-application mail
  • chat service for support

This means that the users can convey support requests through the learning portal itself and get quick resolution for their issue. This also results in cost-saving for the Bank

This is the first of our documentation on best-practices in technology-based learning and success factors. Search for articles marked with the tag ‘best practices’ for similar notings.

We welcome your comment and feedback to the article.

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