Having considered the role of digital technology in promoting more agile ways of working in my last post, I will now explore how the approach to training and development is evolving in financial services. As with most elements of the employee experiences, employees’ expectations of learning and development are changing as a result of their experiences with digital apps and technology outside the workplace.

This is not simply about using mobile devices to access training materials, nor is it only about delivering training using digital platforms – it is about delivering a more relevant, personalized and collaborative learning experience to each employee. What’s more, learning is becoming more closely knitted with the everyday work experience than it was before, allowing employer and employee to dynamically respond to learning needs and skills gaps.

Most financial services firms understand that the sort of employee they need today must be willing to embrace change and learn quickly. To support the needs of today’s curious and ambitious talent, they are rolling out solutions such as massive online open courses (MOOCs) for scalable training and tools such as Slack that foster collaboration.

Rather than wait for the talent they need to emerge from the market, forward-thinking enterprises are taking an active approach by making continual training a core competency and a key part of their employer value proposition.

At the same time, the learning curriculum is becoming more adaptive to the employee’s needs, giving him more say on how the company addresses his specific development needs. There’s more focus than ever on ensuring that learning is relevant to the job and to the employee’s future aspirations.

The infusion of social and collaborative platforms is also changing how people learn – especially with employees who have grown up with videogames and social media forming a growing part of the workforce.  Just think about young employees who grew up with World of Warcraft or Minecraft – sophisticated games that involve problem-solving, innovation, and collaboration with people around the world.

Likewise, social media and gamification are changing the ways people want to learn at work. Already, employees can learn together through corporate versions of Facebook or YouTube in addition to the centrally mandated training curriculum. Cloud-based workflows empower ‘anytime, anywhere’ working and help put people in touch with mentors and experts throughout organization.

There’s a growing focus on informal and social learning through on-the-job learning, learning boards and bite-sized learning actions. At the same time, organizations are leveraging HR analytics tools to better understand how their investments in training and development are paying off for them.

My next blog post will focus on the role of compensation and rewards in the financial services employer value proposition.

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