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The Case for Modern Workplace Learning in Financial Services

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Financial services is undergoing a whirlwind of change. Modern learning can help firms weather the storm.

The financial services industry is in a frenzied state of flux. Today’s traditional firms are facing numerous challenges inside and out while still struggling to rebuild their reputation with customers and prospective young hires.

From the rise of mobile banking to blockchain tech to new disruptive fintech business models, rapidly advancing technology is driving significant disruption in financial services (FS). Digital transformation is seeing new demands and unprecedented expectations from a younger, increasingly tech-savvy clientele who are skeptical of traditional organizations and keen to change the way they interact with them. These consumers prefer an online, on-demand, self-service experience to the more traditional, hands-on, white-glove approach of the past.

According to the 2014 Millennial Disruption Index, a three-year study looking at millennial industry disruption in the US, 73% would prefer to address their FS needs through Google, Amazon, Apple, PayPal or Square. These new customer preferences, coupled with an increasing number of upstart fintech businesses popping up to service them (it’s risen more than 50% since 2011), have created a pressing need for traditional FS organizations to invest more in developing technical and specialized hybrid skill sets. According to a 2017 PwC report, 72% of FS CEOs see the limited availability of skills as a threat to growth, on par with concerns over the speed of technological change (73%).

The obstacles facing FS organizations aren’t just external. New employee mindsets and growing knowledge and leadership gaps resulting from retiring baby boomers have made attracting, training, and retaining the right talent another significant challenge. Younger workers, while boasting high aptitudes for tech, are notoriously fickle when it comes to employment. According to 2017 LinkedIn data based on US job switching activity in 2016, millennials are 50% more likely to relocate and 16% more likely to switch industries for a new job than non-millennials.

Plus, while they’re eager to learn (87% say development is important in a job) the flexible workplace learning culture millennials desire—which includes informal learning opportunities with video, social learning, mentoring and coaching, microlearning, and personalized learning—runs counter to the FS business model, which doesn’t lend itself well to the open, flexible, collaborative work environment they’re seeking out.

The waters that today’s traditional FS organizations need to navigate are indeed choppy. But, by embracing a new and more modern learning and development paradigm, they can attract, train, and retain the right talent, help employees quickly develop the skills they need to adapt, and stay in line with compliance and security regulations, all while remaining competitive in an industry experiencing unprecedented upheaval.

Learn more about the case for modern learning in financial services

Key elements of modern workplace learning in financial services

For financial services organizations, modern workplace learning isn’t just about making training available on a smartphone. It’s about using next-generation learning experience platforms to deliver more highly relevant personalized learning for employees, allowing the organization to respond dynamically to new learning demands and changing market conditions.

FS organizations must make continuous learning a core competency in order to thrive in today’s competitive environment and attract and retain talent. This means leveraging key modern workplace learning strategies like:

Personalized learning

In addressing the growing knowledge and leadership gaps, FS organizations need to recognize that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to learning and development and leadership training. Through a learning experience platform, L&D leaders can establish personalized learning paths focused on key competencies essential for an individual’s role. Employees can also custom curate content to further individualize their own learning path.


Video-based learning provides a highly visual and engaging medium for learning that’s very familiar to today’s employees, who are accustomed to turning to Google and YouTube to learn and develop skills. On top of being used to serve up engaging learning content, video can also be used to promote social learning in the workplace. Here’s how you can do it:

Bite-sized learning

Smart young professionals on the career track appreciate “just in time” learning content that is doled out in bite-sized chunks, easily consumed, and available on demand at the point of need.

Anywhere, anytime access

Flexibility when it comes to work environments is highly prized by today’s employees. The ability to access learning in the cloud and on personal devices means learning and training can happen at any time of the day and in any location.

Find out how D2L can help your FS firm enable a modern learning experience

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