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How AI Is Accelerating Skill Building in Financial Services

How AI Is Accelerating Skill Building in Financial Services

Do your retail banking employees have the skills needed to power through disruption and into a new era in global banking? Executives are quickly recognizing gaps in their companies’ ability to adapt to change. Only 17% believe their people are ready to reskill and assume new roles according to Deloitte’s 2021 Human Capital Trends Report.

At the same time, 46% of employees say employers have reduced access to upskilling and reskilling opportunities. Thanks to staffing shortages caused by The Great Resignation, people don’t have time to step away from their work to sit on Zoom training sessions or complete online courses. Plus, the will they/won’t they of remote work is making it difficult for organizations to build development programs that can effectively reach every employee, including those in retail banking centers.

Business Transformation Begins With Employee Development and Skill Building

Fintech, blockchain, cryptocurrencies and inflation are shaking the foundations of global finance. For example, 41% of retail banking customers adopted digital tools as their primary method of banking during the pandemic. If your people can’t keep up with shifting customer needs and interests, people will look elsewhere. If your people can’t keep up with changing regulations, their poor decisions may put your business at risk. If your people can’t keep up with your evolving business strategy, even the best plans will fail due to poor execution.

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Financial institutions must rethink their talent strategies and adopt new methods for ensuring people have the knowledge and skill needed to seize this opportunity and compete in a crowded marketplace. Thankfully, the same technology that’s changing the way you interact with your customers can also be applied to prepare your employees for the future.

Artificial Intelligence Enters the Talent Conversation

AI helps banks deliver personalized experiences to customers every day. Now, it’s also enabling banks to provide employees with personalized learning opportunities. AI-enabled learning technology collects data about an employee’s interests, knowledge, job behaviors and business results. This data is married with business priorities, including compliance requirements, quarterly objectives and product/service updates, to determine where an employee should focus the limited time they have available for training.

Today, an employee may spend five minutes completing a practice activity to reinforce their sales skills. Tomorrow, the AI may suggest a compliance topic due to an upcoming regulation change. Even two employees who started at the company on the same day in the same role receive different learning experiences due to variations in their existing knowledge, development progress and professional goals. 

AI is also helping talent development teams accelerate their administrative processes. Machine learning connects learning programs to business results to determine their return on investment and identify opportunities for improvement. AI-powered authoring tools assist content developers by automating early stages of the process, building draft-quality materials in minutes instead of the hours required by a human instructional designer. These tools increase business agility by making sure development programs are available in the moment of need and focused on the skills that matter most.

AI + Microlearning for Skill Building= Capable Workforce

Even the best AI-powered learning application is only as good as the content within it. Adaptive algorithms can serve up training on critical topics, but employees, who already have too much work to do, won’t engage with content that’s long, boring and complicated. This is especially true in retail banking and banking contact centers, where frontline workers have very little extra time and limited autonomy to manage their workflows. 

Microlearning solves this problem by breaking down long, complicated training content into short, focused, digestible bites. Here’s why microlearning is more effective than traditional courses.

It’s memorable.

People cannot remember all of the information consumed during a two-hour Zoom session or 45-minute online course. Microlearning spaces learning out so it aligns with the way people actually learn. Rather than complete a 45-minute online course in one sitting, an employee may watch a 5-minute video once per day, building their knowledge over time to ensure maximum comprehension and retention.

It fits within the workflow.

Everyone has five free minutes. AI-powered microlearning takes advantage of these moments by recommending just the right content at the right time for every employee. Plus, short-form content can be accessed on any device, including desktops in the office and mobile devices on the go. This can be helpful for banking contact center agents who’s time is managed to the minute.

It’s engaging.

It’s near-to-impossible to keep people’s attention for two hours on a Microsoft Teams call with 200 other people. It’s much easier to keep people focused on a five-minute practice activity that’s hyper-relevant to their current professional interests. Gamification further helps people track their progress, collect achievements and earn rewards by building a habit of everyday learning. 

It’s flexible.

Onboarding new employees quickly and effectively is a top priority for most businesses right now. Who knows what the top priority will be in 12 months? Microlearning makes learning part of everyone’s job. Ongoing development opportunity is a critical part of the employee value proposition. Plus, reskilling and cross-training are 20% more cost-effective than hiring and firing.

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The biggest reason why financial services institutions must adopt AI-powered microlearning: it works. RBC saw retention rates jump from 60% to 90% in a matter of weeks after introducing microlearning. Alan Richardson, VP of Learning and Performance, credited the fact that employees were empowered with the knowledge and skills they needed. Boosting employee readiness and confidence is essential for any company that hopes to overcome industry disruption and deliver exceptional customer experiences. 

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