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Creating an Internal Training Team

Overview: 

A drop in Net Promoter Score, an increase in Staff Turnover and recognition that the business needed to sustain a well-trained workforce demanded attention.

There was negative ‘noise’ coming from customers and employees, and signs of non-compliance issues within a heavily regulated financial services centre.

The challenge was to prove the business case for investing and implementing an Internal Training Team, thus disregarding the long standing “can’t we just fix it locally” culture. This was not only a project, but also a cultural change toward a long-term commitment to people development.

Context

Increased headcount to meet attrition and workload demands meant recruiting customer advisors with limited industry experience, without a structured onboarding/training programme.

This meant the business experienced new employees failing 6-month reviews, or those that passed leaving within 12 months.

Additionally, regular audit results indicated inconsistency in processes and procedures, and therefore risk to the business and its clients.

This project proved compliance, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, financial benefits including customer retention, people costs and operational efficiency all saw a marked uplift and gained commitment from the senior team to deliver the same as a permanent solution.

Key Issues

  • Net Promoter Score – Inconsistent learning meant inconsistency in customer service.  Inexperienced and under trained staff led to a lack of confidence in products and services, sales, and advice. 
  • Recruitment costs – being eager to grow quickly to meet customer demand, low levels of experience were supported to get people into roles quickly. Leadership teams spending a lot of time replacing employees.
  • People Development – no structured process in place to support people moving to Green from a Red/Amber Audit result.  No progression or career development/succession planning resulting in people moving on.

Process & Insight

A detailed review of captured customer and employee insight, compliance quality audit results, call recordings and recruitment costs provided clarity of the challenges and defined the goals.

Cross functional workshops defined and scoped out the agreed KPI’s and measurable metrics for the project scope. A Training Team Manager was appointed internally, and a budget agreed to implement the trial with Senior stakeholders. Resources like training area and equipment was agreed and designated, demonstrating support from the top of the organisation which created trust in the change from the start. 

Functional stakeholders were agreed and regular communication between the newly formed training team and the internal stakeholders was included from the start as these were seen as critical to identifying training needs, reviewing results, following up and identifying successes.

The training team were not only tasked with delivering a structured and consistent onboarding and skills training programme for the workforce, but also upskilled the functional managers to continue coaching on the job and enhance leadership capabilities generally.

Solution

A 6-week induction programme including all technical, product related, regulatory and data protection standards was created and delivered with key measurement milestones throughout. This enabled new employees to transition from training to a live service front line fully equipped with operational controls, support, and feedback cycle quickly.

Change management support was delivered for the leadership team to manage the impact of the change on existing people, fostering a cohesive and supportive approach.

When the Stage One solution focused on new employees was in place it was evident that existing team members would also benefit from learning. Poor Performers were supported in the first instance based on audit results, customer feedback and those undergoing PIP reviews.

The induction/training program was therefore adjusted to accommodate existing employees, providing them with relevant training to bridge any competency gap and retain existing talent.

Results

A planned and well communicated onboarding schedule allowed tranches of new employees to join each month.

Fast track solutions were implemented for people with strong technical skills.

The immediate business benefit was the speed of customer response improved as the training team used live work to train, (under supervision) therefore completing enquiries more quickly.

Additionally, audit results improved as consistency in regulated compliance and customer service was proven.

Managers were able to focus on workload allocation and customer experience spending minimal time shadowing, delivering PIPs or recruiting for leavers.

Morale improved as new employees felt engaged and supported in their early weeks, and confidence improved as they transitioned into live teams.

RED audit results reduced and if competence or knowledge gaps were identified, individuals moved back into the training environment to close the gap.

The project trial was approved, the Training Manager was permanently appointed, employee turnover improved, recruitment costs reduced, NPS results increased.

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All the best

Lindsey & Charlotte

[email protected]

01604 212734

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