Podcast | L&D Lessons From The Banking World

June 15, 2023
June 26, 2023

Banking’s a fast-changing industry, full of large organisations where lots of people need support to learn, grow and build relevant skills.

​So, how do L&D teams spin all those plates, manage many stakeholders, support individuals and build a sense of purpose?

​NatWest Group’s Roganna Ranjan (Learning Strategy Manager) and Sean McGovern (Head of Customer & Community Learning) join us live to explain how L&D works in banking and share lessons you can apply – regardless of which space you’re in.

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Running order

0:00 Who are Roganna and Sean?
4:37 Managing various stakeholders at NatWest
13:26 Dealing with growing digitisation
22:58 The role of volunteering and community initiatives
28:59 A more holistic view of L&D
32:17 Connecting people to purpose
40:08 Supporting short and long-term goals

Four L&D Lessons On Building Skills, Community And Purpose

1. Customer discovery is everything (even if it means flipping your L&D approach)

Great learning experiences aren’t built on assumptions! And Sean pointed out that the traditional approach is broken: we don’t decide what the customer problem or goal is and then build content. If we do that, we’re basically hoping that they find and engage with content.

“Actually, it’s starting at the very root of what customer discovery’s all about, and it’s building the product around your customer’s behaviour. So we very much take that customer-centric design approach when trying to develop new content.

“And also, what is the market telling you? What is the customer and the individual who’s actually experiencing and using the learning telling you? What is their behavior telling you?”Sean McGovern, Head of Customer & Community Learning at NatWest Group.

2. Understand roles at risk of automation and help people build future skills to remain relevant

Banking has been increasingly more digitised over the last decade, with more than 5,000 UK branches closing since 2015. And with more people needing to transfer to different roles to remain relevant and in a secure role, we have to be both compassionate and proactive.

Roganna explained how NatWest have worked with the Financial Services Skills Commission and conducted internal research to identify their 10 future skills. And they’re giving people two days each year to understand what these are and pursue the ones that interest them.

“They’ve got two days that they can book out in the year, regardless of what role they do, to decide, okay, this particular skill aligns to some of my broader interests.

“This is what I want to focus on and this is how I’m gonna map that journey. So going back to personalisation, they can choose the content as part of that skill that they want to build.” – Roganna Ranjan, Learning Strategy Manager at NatWest Group.

This works alongside reskilling programs, where they’re proactive about what roles are at risk and offer people the chance to develop in-demand skills like data engineering, human-centered design and data analytics.

“For us it’s, it’s kind of moving past just the buzz around [automation] and working really closely with our business areas and identifying: what do we think the outcome of this is? Where do we see those skills actually being applied in a future role that’s a benefit to the business? And that’s a big focus in how we’re really future proofing the organisation.”  – Roganna Ranjan, Learning Strategy Manager at NatWest Group.

3. Volunteering and community initiatives help people apply skills they wouldn’t at work

In Sean’s role as Head of Customer & Community Learning, he provides NatWest’s people with the chance to work in impactful initiatives that help them apply their skills. And these opportunities offer another interesting skill-based benefit.

“It gives you a chance to probably show skills that you might not necessarily be able to demonstrate in your day-to-day role.

“So this is a brilliant way of going full circle. If there’s something that you’re working on externally and you’re working on a particular skill, it’s a great way of linking that back into opportunities where you can demonstrate that through doing social good…” – Sean McGovern, Head of Customer & Community Learning at NatWest Group.

4. Give people a platform to share their wins and learnings from development opportunities

It’s easy for L&D teams to wax lyrical about the benefits of learning, but when our colleagues are telling us how it improved their skills, life and performance, there’s a compelling narrative for us to follow.

And this is something Roganna is seeing from those people using their Learning For The Future Days, they’re inspiring people to tell their story:

“They’re usually the first to share posts about how they’ve done their day looking at data security and various other things… and it’s generating that buzz and excitement. But it’s really nice to get that feedback from these individuals to see how they’ve benefited from it already.”

“One person spoke about how just doing a module on cybersecurity actually prevented them from falling for a potential fraud trap in their personal life. So it’s really good to see people taking these learning opportunities and sharing how it applies to their day-to-day lives as well.” – Roganna Ranjan, Learning Strategy Manager at NatWest Group.