How to use elearning to support culture change.
Just when you thought the banking sector was on the verge of regaining public trust another scandal has taken the industry back to square one. Six banks in the UK and US have been fined £2.6bn after traders colluded to fix foreign exchange markets known as forex.
The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, says the need for lasting culture change is vital. "The succession of scandals means it is simply untenable now to argue that the problem is one of a few bad apples. The issue is with the barrels in which they are stored," he warned.
Pressure is clearly growing on banks to make changes which result in lasting culture change but this is easier said than done.
There has already been substantial investment in online compliance training within the sector and we can assume there will be more in the wake of the latest forex scandal.
But the banking industry will need to refocus its approach to elearning if it is serious about achieving permanent culture change.
It is no good spending vast sums on a tick box exercise if it does not contribute to the wider transformation of attitudes and behaviours.
Elearning is a useful tool for large banks with employees across many locations or countries where it is important to maintain a consistent message. It can fit within an organisation’s Learning Management System (LMS) so workplace learning can be monitored and recorded. It can be a cost effective training solution for big institutions.
But, as with other sectors where there is a lot of compliance training, it is an uphill battle to engage staff and make them think of the elearning as anything other than a chore. Adding another module on Forex regulations may satisfy compliance requirements but it is unlikely to contribute to a wider transformation in the industry.
What’s needed is a rethink:
The norm is for an elearning module to be offered as a one-off training event but some organisations are now taking a campaign approach to delivering their compliance training. The elearning course remains a central element but pre and post communications help to create ongoing awareness and engagement. At Sponge, we have pioneered the use of PiPs (Putting into Practice) quizzes and questions which can be sent to learners by email to refresh and test their knowledge. It all combines to build momentum and drive change.
Elearning which allows learners to get actively involved is much more likely to contribute to cultural transformation and the banking sector may need to try new ideas which can aid this. One example is the use of games. By tapping into the learner’s sense of fun and competitiveness, games can help boost engagement but also deepen understanding. Interactive video is another innovative technique which could help. It can be both compelling and instructional, putting learners in control so they can be curious and explore the subject matter.
Spelling out the consequences of breaching certain regulations or not meeting required standards can help motivate learners but the consequences need to be as realistic as possible, ideally featuring real life examples. It is also important to make clear the consequences for individuals as well as organisations so each learner knows what is at stake for them personally. Focusing on the impact on personal health, job or wealth (depending on the subject matter) is a good way to get the learner’s attention.
Above all, the banking sector must be prepared to innovate in its compliance training. Now is not the time to rely on traditional practices which tick a box but little more. By trying new things and focusing on what matters most, organisations are far more likely to kick-start permanent culture change.
To find out more about custom-made elearning for the banking and financial services industry, give us a call on +44 (0)207 492 1977 or fill in the form.