Seven training and development secrets for new staff in the financial sector

    Training and development isn’t just important in the workplace - it’s vital; as much for the CEO as for an employee.

    In fact, an organisation's capacity to grow and thrive is defined by how it approaches training and development. The benefits of equipping your employees with the skills and knowledge they need to do their job to the best of their ability are monumental - and this is especially true in the financial sector, where new regulations are constantly introduced and compliance is changing by the day. However, in the current climate, many organisations find financial crime training programmes too much hassle. They’re expensive to run, tricky to organise, and your staff have to take time out of their busy work schedules to take part. But the ROI of ongoing training and development is a no brainer. Not convinced? These training and development secrets might just make you change your mind…

    Let’s look at the statistics
    According to LinkedIn, 94% of employees would stay in a company longer if it invested in their career. However, as it stands, one in three people leave an organisation in the first year - so it’s absolutely essential to get your training and development, as well as your onboarding process, just right. PwC estimates that the cost of losing an employee in the first year can be up to three times the person's salary - a staggering loss of £42bn annually - so it’s worth investing in your employees.

    The benefits of training and development
    There are a number of benefits to running employee training and development programmes. Firstly, there’s improved employee performance due to an increased understanding of their role and responsibilities, especially in the ever-changing financial sector. Your employees will also be more confident and have improved job satisfaction, which will, in turn, lead to increased productivity. Regular training and development also ensures your employees feel valued. This not only means that they will work harder for you, but it also helps boost your brand image whilst helping with employee retention. Human resources are hands-down the most expensive asset a firm has - so it’s absolutely essential that your investment generates a positive return. Read on for the top secrets for successful financial crime crime training.

    Financial crime training

    1. Make sure you identify the needs
    High-impact training and development programmes don’t just happen. Instead, they’re the result of a careful planning process that translates business objectives into a tailored training plan. It's all very well understanding the importance of training and development, but actually identifying your employees' needs is the crucial bit. Get it wrong and you could be wasting valuable time and money on training that may not actually be necessary. Most of the training programmes delivered to employees within the financial sector revolve around topics like sales training, anti-money laundering, budget management and cash flow management. However, you should also make sure you don’t forget managerial training skills such as supervisory skills, communication skills and conflict resolution.

    As well as delivering training around financial regulations such as IBOR (Interbank Offered Rate), SFTR (Securities Financing Transaction Regulation), SM&CR (Senior Managers & Certification Regime) and MIiFID2 (The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive) there are other types of training that all employees need to know about, especially HR issues such as preventing discrimination or rules and regulations around GDPR and the handling of data. It’s about identifying your employees’ specific needs and individual skills gaps to make sure the training you offer is right for them. By identifying your company’s goals, rating the importance of each necessary skill and measuring your employees’ existing skills, you can start to pinpoint any gaps that might be holding them back.

    2. Be sure to set clear expectations
    In order to identify your training and development needs, you need to set clear expectations for each role within the business. If you're going to monitor performance effectively, you need to have a baseline from which to measure things against. Review new job descriptions and update existing ones in line with any changes to make sure you’re up to date with roles and responsibilities. By looking at where your employees are now, you can also identify where you want them to be in the future. How will their performance improve after the training? How will it prepare your staff to fulfil their roles and do their jobs effectively? By asking these questions at the beginning, you can define your objectives and set clear expectations about what you are hoping to achieve – which makes it easier to review your training further down the line.

    3. Ask your employees
    It might sound obvious, but if you want to deliver effective training and arm your employees with the knowledge they need to do their job better, you just need to ask them what they need! Use regular and focused employee evaluations to encourage honest and open feedback. This will create a helpful dialogue about career development and enable you to identify any specific training requirements for your employees. Regular one-to-ones or performance reviews are a great way to encourage open and honest communication. You could ask your employees to rate their job satisfaction and their personal performance as well as what could make it better. Also, ask managers for feedback on employees and compare these answers with employee self-evaluation to identify differences.

    4. Keep up with regulations
    It’s not just the competition that’s getting tougher in the financial industry, but also the regulatory requirements. Compliance training is one of the most important measures a financial services company can take to prevent compliance problems, so it’s essential to regularly review your training and development programme and make sure it is in line with current regulations and that your training material keeps up to date with the latest changes. Your training must reflect those latest expectations for performance and best practices.

    5. Be open to different approaches
    The effectiveness of your training and development programmes ultimately depends on how engaged and motivated your employees are. When planning your financial crime training programme, remember everyone is different and people will respond to different types of learning better. Some prefer face-to-face learning in a classroom, others prefer to learn online, some react well to group learning, whereas others prefer a one-to-one approach. If your employees can’t feel a connection with what they’re learning, it’s less likely that they’ll absorb and be able to recall the information later on. Some people learn better through hands-on methods, while others learn better independently. That’s why it’s important to provide a variety of ways for employees to learn and practice their skills, so you can find an engaging method that works for them.

    Financial crime training

    Elearning is popular in the financial sector due to the lower cost involved in online delivery as opposed to travelling required for off-site, in-person training. The ability to reach a large learning audience at one time is appealing too. It includes virtual classrooms, video conferencing and learning management systems (LMS), which are web-based software systems capable of creating and dispensing learning content. The LMS is particularly popular in the financial sector because it automates the tracking of compliance training.

    6. Ask for feedback
    The best way to show your employees that you value their opinions and that you are invested in their training and development programme is simply by asking them for feedback. What resonated? Were there any holes in the material? Asking for feedback ensures that your employees receive effective training that actually fosters their professional growth as well as your firm’s growth overall. Your training and development should be an ongoing process so make sure you take on board the feedback and compare it to your initial objectives and make the necessary tweaks. You can also monitor and track the feedback over time to identify trends in the overall effectiveness of your training, too.

    7. Remember - successful training takes time
    The most effective training programmes use layered, sustainable learning activities to create performance improvement over time. A layered approach makes sure your programme targets the essential employee and business needs, while training the right people at the right time in the right way. Training and development doesn’t happen overnight - it’s about identifying weaknesses, building skills and constantly reviewing the process to make sure you and your employees are getting the most out of your programme experiences and training methods that maximize the benefits of your time. Hiring top talent takes time and money - and developing that talent takes time too!

    From increased profits to improved employee retention and increased motivation and engagement to productivity, the benefits of a dynamic training programme for both employees and employers are undeniable. Implementing a well-founded training strategy with an extensive compliance programme and financial, technological, sales and soft skills training courses will help your financial services organisation achieve better performance, gain clients and avoid regulatory issues. Looking for the right people for your business or want to find out more about financial crime training in the UK? Contact Twenty84 today!

     Financial crime training