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How microlearning boosts financial services frontline performance

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Leanne: 

Let’s just take a minute to set up the research study. Our hypothesis is based on third-party research that I’m sure many of you have heard before. The employee or the advisor experience, ultimately, impacts the customer experience. We wanted to dig a little bit further into that, so we surveyed 416 advisors and bank employees. They were all what we call frontline, or put another way, they were all customer or client facing.

To validate some of that online research, we also pulled over 1000 consumers, and we talked about their experience working with financial services professionals, so we’ll just give a quick view into that data. As you can see, we did survey both, Canadians and Americans, and they were of all different ages with different levels of investible assets. We were looking to understand their interaction with financial professionals. It was pretty much what we had expected to see. So, in our study, 8 in 10 reported interacting with a bank teller over the past year. About 3 in 10 had interacted with an advisor. We graphed both, the Canadian and the American results, and we didn’t see too many notable differences, other than there were slightly fewer interactions with advisors amongst our U.S. sample [inaudible 00:01:20].

When we were looking at the consumers who’ve worked with bank tellers, we found that they were going into the physical brick and mortar branch about 12 times in the past year to talk about their finances. The majority of the transactions that they were having were pretty straightforward, but we did ask about gaps that they found. The main gaps reported related to product knowledge, process knowledge, and also, financial planning knowledge. So, those are the areas that we asked Rob to dig into deeper with the frontline study.

Now, we did separate out the results we saw from advisors, and they’re here on this slide. So, as you can see here, consumers who had perceived a knowledge gap with the advisors in Canada were primarily perceiving a gap as it related to product knowledge, and then in the U.S., it was weighted a big more toward process knowledge. What’s interesting is that there are fewer gaps reported that are related to financial planing knowledge. It begs the question of what clients are expecting from their advisors. One thing that we know is if an advisor falls down on product or on process, it stands to reason that it would be really challenging for a client to follow their advice on broader financial matters.

And just one last slide to set up the consumer perspective. We wanted to validate other reports and statistics that we’d read about how customer experience was the driving factor that caused people to switch their primary financial institution, so that’s the primary place that they use for savings and investments. We thought it was interesting to revisit this research now, given the increased regulatory and disclosure that’s happening across the industry. What we found really corroborated much of what we found in the third-party research, so 2 in 5 of the consumers that we were talking to in our study, has switched the primary company that they’re using for savings and investments. The leading cause there, 51% was due to a customer service issue or not being treated as a valued customer.

So, this slide really proves what I think everyone on this call knows, that the frontline financial service employee or advisor, has a huge impact on the firm that they represent. So, I’m gonna turn it over to Rob, and he’s gonna take us through the research that he did on that frontline employee perspective.

 

Rob:     

Thanks, Leanne. Thanks everyone for having me participate today. In particular, this was a really exciting piece of research for us. Over the past 25 years, financial services has been, essentially, my meeting portfolio. In that time, we’ve tackled many different initiatives from both an attitudinal and behavioral perspective with advisors, and with investors or consumers, as well. What we’ve learned at a very high level is the fundamental impact that training and education plays in the advisors business. The one thing that we observed very quickly in the mid-90s is that advisors, regardless of whether they’re frontline professionals, or they work within the insurance channel or the investment channel or brokerage business, that many of them, essentially, live the life of entrepreneur. So, they work in the business, they work on the business, and one of the gaps that we identified very quickly to that point is the impact of training and sustainability of an advisor based on the level of training that he or she receives.

As Leanne mentioned, we looked at the financial services frontline rather broadly in this study and developed a sample of bank employees and advisors working for insurance companies, investment companies, and bank loan brokerages. As you can see, on the bottom half of this particular slide, that we have a really nice blend of both Canadian and U.S. representatives. You’ll see we also have … We’re really pleased with the output from a tenure perspective with the average research participant being in the business for over 14 years.

Since this was a broad based study looking at four different aspects of the financial services frontline, we’ve gone ahead and color coded the data, so that you can pinpoint the aspects that are most interesting to you. For example, if you’re a frontline leader of insurance advisors, you want to focus on the purple. As we go, I’ll pinpoint any areas where we saw really different feedback from one or more of these segments.

Axonify shared with me that they did a study on the state of workplace training where they found that 30% of employees across industries received no training at all. You can imagine, in financial service, upfront training is a requirement and not providing it would be a risk, so the vast majority of employees and advisors we surveyed said they are receiving initial training. The one comment that I will also add to that particular data point is that the consistency in how training is delivered cross-industry varies greatly. So, you can have one particular financial institution or FI, whose training model is very different than the next. That inconsistency has formed somewhat of a challenge in the industry in terms of establishing a foundational, if I can say, level [inaudible 00:07:00], where there is a comfortable level of acumen developed that stem from that initial training process.

Whenever we examine the attitudes and/or behaviors of people, regardless of whether it’s people in a B to B or B to C capacity, and I’m sure in your travels, you’ve participated in customer satisfaction or customer experience based research. The one thing that we noticed in our endeavors is that a respondent, in this case, a consumer and/or an advisor, will exhibit or state a certain level of satisfaction or effectiveness with a particular variable. The risk in evaluating the data in a linear manner is that someone can state what we believe to be a reasonably high level of effectiveness or satisfaction, but the variable that’s missing, or the cross-reference that’s missing is are we meeting expectations? So, with this particular study, we performed a correlation analysis. Essentially what it is, and what you see in front of you, is it compares, or cross-references, the level of importance that a variable has on an outcome to how effectively it’s being delivered. More simply stated, if something is scored as being very effective and is also viewed as being very important or high importance, then it’s gonna fall within that critical success quadrant.

That critical success quadrant, essentially, means that we’re achieving higher or above average in effectiveness compared to the level of importance that it plays. So, that critical success quadrant, again, is really that place where we are exceeding expectations. Conversely, the critical challenge quadrant is, of course, of interest to us from a data analysis perspective, because it’s an area where variable is considered to be high in importance, but it’s being graded low in effectiveness. So, more specifically, the data points in front of you are presenting the upfront training feedback. What we see from an overall perspective, so when we compare or combine all channels together, that we do observe some level of satisfaction. Now, when we overlay that with a specific segment, in this case it’s going to be bank advisors, what you will see is the emergence of four critical challenges. Importantly, this deck today from an advisor research perspective, literally, could’ve been 100 slides, so we wanted to pull out some of the main themes that we felt emerged within the research process. Importantly, additional data that may be of interest to you depending on your area of focus or your specialization, can be provided after the presentation is completed.

One of the important aspects of any research process is to really help understand the quantitative insights by overlaying qualitative feedback. Importantly with that, we saw very quickly an emerging theme. One of the verbatim comments really helped illustrate how many of the research participants felt about the initial training process. There was no followup after the training, and that’s really when the [inaudible 00:10:52] then emerged within the research exercise.

I’m just gonna share with you a few other comments from the different channels, or segments, that participated in the study. Again, you’ll see a high level of consistency, or theme, that emerge in terms of how the industry evaluated the initial training process.

Now, one comment that I will make here is while I’ve had the privilege of moderating hundreds of focus groups in financial services with frontline staff, with varying levels of advisor based segments, and as well as investors, and a big part of the challenge, I know when I sit down with advisors from across the country, if I ask the question, “What keeps you up at night,” or, “What was the biggest challenge that you faced today in your business,” and more importantly, “What was one of the biggest challenges you had in entering the business?” Clearly, from a qualitative perspective, training was stated and cited as being a key deficiency. With that I will re-illustrate that point of consistency. The experiences vary broadly. They vary greatly across each segment. They can vary greatly by region, but fundamentally, in our travels, training essentially has been one of the key indicators, or key connection points, to advisor attrition. Some organizations today, we’re seeing attrition rates as high as 20% annually. One of the challenges from that perspective is training.

1 in 3 only receive some ongoing training or none at all. So, what really we’re presenting here is insight that, essentially, paints a picture of the industry. So, after the onboarding process is complete, and after the whirlwind of information is shared from compliance to education, it might be product-centric, could be technology specific, once that entire onboarding process is complete, this is where we start to see a fall off. A fall off in the routinization of training, and the routinization of driving growth in knowledge. Whether that knowledge is product focused, whether it’s service related, whether it is ensuring a current understanding of sales concepts, this, essentially, is where we start to see a change in behavior.

Again, speaking specifically to ongoing training, training is perceived to be more important than upfront training, but it’s currently not effective. Again, this is where we start to see that immediate separation in attitudes and behaviors when we compare the initial training exercise and onboarding process with what happens after. When we go back to the heat map, we’ll identify that we do see critical challenges. Again, when we overlay that with bank brokerage or bank based advisors, again, we see a reinforcement of that challenge across each of the four measured attributes.

Again, we’re going to incorporate some qualitative feedback as it relates to ongoing training. Again, we see consistency. We don’t always see this in qualitative research, so when we administer a survey, whether it’s the financial services industry, or other, typically, what you will see is you’ll see more individualistic response patterns. People have very different experiences, and often, their experiences don’t necessarily align. We didn’t see that in this study. What we saw in this study was a great level of consistency, or high level of consistency, rather, in how they feel about this particular aspect of their job, from a training point of view.

Again, just supporting that comment. “More followup after training to ensure understanding.” One thing in our training based research that we’ve had the opportunity to execute over the past more than 20 years now, is learning styles. One of the fundamental challenges that we’ve observed in financial services is finding a solution or methodology that adapts varied learning styles. Again, that plays a role to varying degrees in an important of business, the cost of doing business. Again, I refer back to that attrition statistic.

Impact of training shortcomings. Over half of respondents say they don’t have the knowledge to answer 1 in 4 questions from clients when they were asked. That’s really informative and indicative of some of the challenges that we see after the initial onboarding process. Essentially, this is the cause.

Again, further examination into the impact of training shortcoming, bank employees and advisors turn to each other first when they don’t have the knowledge they need. What we look for when we interpret quantitative research, and especially from a financial services perspective, is we first want to understand, well, how much variance do we see by response category? How much variance do we see by channel? And we do see variance. With that, the impacted collaboration with co-workers and colleagues is fairly profound, and that most certainly came out as one of the key learnings for us, from our perspective with this particular study.

When we evaluate the impact of research data, what does it mean, and putting it through an appropriate lens and putting it into an appropriate context. We use patterns. One of the rules that we adhere to is called the 50% rule, so when a data point crosses the 50th percentile, that’s employed in critical math, that’s a positive outcome. In Likert scales, like you see in front of you, completely satisfied, somewhat satisfied, not satisfied. Very similar to the excellent, good, fair, poor. What you wanna see, what you expect to see in an area where we have full embrace, or strong conviction, is a step down outcome. So basically, the most responses and the strongest pull, and then we travel down to the weakest pull. In this case, what we see in three channels is we’re actually stepping up. So, we don’t have that strong conviction. We have 31% of bank brokerage respondents that indicate they’re completely satisfied, and that steps all the way up to 47%, and then [inaudible 00:19:05] back down. From our perspective that is very indicative of a lack of conviction.

We also found this to be incredibly telling as well, so supporting our hypotheses that we established in the initiation of this particular project was to really understand the impact of creating, over an extended period of time, over their tenure. What we see here is a fairly significant decrease in top two box scoring of satisfaction over time. Again, it reinforces that financial services in the industry, that throws a lot of information into the onboarding process to establish the level of acumen that’s needed to be able to enter the business. Then, we see a fairly dramatic decline in, if I could refer to it as continuing education, or continued support, or continued training.

Lastly, before I turn it back over to Leanna, advisors and employees comment that not being able to fit the training they need into their workday is the greatest challenge they face. So, as an example from an investment advisor perspective, 49% indicate they have no time to complete or need to do after hours. Again, we’re almost at that 50% percentile, that’s very, very informing. 3 in 5 are not completely satisfied with the training they receive. Again, that really supports the overall theme from a quantitative perspective that this research taught us through this experience. Leanna, I’ll turn it back over to you.

 

Leanne:         

Thanks, Rob, for going through that. We did have a few questions come in about the data while Rob was presenting, so I just want to encourage you to continue to send us your questions, and we will answer that at the end. I wanted to turn this over the Carol to comment, because with doing this study, many of the trends that we saw with financial services employees and advisors, are actually consistent with what we see with frontline employees across the board. So, we’ve asked Carol to kind of just give her two cents on what she took from the research, given her perspective.

 

Carol:       

Thanks very much, Leanne, and thanks for all of that, Rob. Really insightful research. As Leanne just mentioned, my own takeaways from the research are the following, and I think they’re hitting the mark, but certainly tell em if they’re not.

First, frontline employees really can make or break the customer experience. Those people that are touching your customers directly day in and day out have such a huge impact on your business. So, it’s important that they know what they’re doing. That said, the upfront focus training isn’t effective, because, unfortunately, people just simply forget. Our human brains are not designed to remember long-term, so a lot of training goes away, unfortunately. Employees aren’t satisfied with the training they receive, because they see it as either ineffective or just a real chore to do. When asked about customer satisfaction training that they received, frontline employees see it as ineffective. In our experience, just generally across all of our clients, that’s often because training isn’t initially created with the end result in mind and the behaviors, the right things that you need people to know and do, training isn’t designed with those things at the outset. It’s just all the thought goes into content, content, content, and there’s a bit of a disconnect there. Lastly, people wanna see training that fits into their workflow or their workday. Those were some of the takeaways that I had.

Moving into the next section, what we wanted to do is introduce micro-learning, and really, all of the challenges that we’ve been speaking about with training are why many business leaders are looking to a completely new approach to equipping the frontline. It’s called micro-learning, in terms of the way that they’re thinking about doing it. But don’t let the word “learning” confuse you. It is actually a business strategy, and one that we’re helping business leaders understand much better.

I’m gonna start with a definition of micro-learning, because this term has really just become very prevalent in about the last 12 months. You might have heard the term bite-sized learning previously, but micro-learning is really an approach to training that delivers content in very short, focused, small bites. That’s really all it is. Because of the nature of it being short and focused and small bites, it can be woven into the workday and mapped how the brain really does work best to learn and then retain that knowledge long-term.

So, before we go any further, though, let’s just take a quick step back and ask ourselves the question, why has micro-learning become to hot so quickly in the last year to two years. There are some reasons, and really they can be summarized in this 3-point collision of reality. Over the last decade, but really between 5 and 10 years, and they are a collision of characteristics of the modern advisor or workforce. The increasing knowledge demands on employees that exist today, and then advancements. Some pretty significant advancements that have come from both science and technology in our increasingly connected world. Those three things together, in combination, have been really significant, so I’m just gonna delve quickly into a little bit more detail.

First of all, in terms of the characteristics of the modern advisor, this is a summary of a report that was done by a leading learning consulting firm a couple of years ago, and they surveyed thousands of employees on how they’re feeling in the workplace today. I think everybody would agree that the modern advisor, or employee, is, and in fact all of us, incredibly impatient because of the nature of our work and what comes at us day in and day out. We’re untethered, we can move around, we have information coming at us from multiple devices. We’re distracted by many things during the day, often overwhelmed with our deliverables and the volume that we have to do on a daily basis. What’s more, and what we corroborated in the study that Rob just covered, is that the modern employee, or advisor, has really only just a small percentage of their day, Bersin, that learning consulting firm, says it’s only 1% of the day spent on training and development. That 1%, in fact, equates to about 45 minutes a day.

The other key thing I mentioned a moment ago is that there have been some really significant advances in science and technology. It isn’t just people who are modernizing, but when we look at science, in particular, we know more now about the human brain and how it works to retain information than ever before. Advisors have to retain an incredible array of complex information to be top performers in their workplace. In the past 10 years, or in the past 5 years, as I mentioned, in the financial services industry we’ve seen dramatic advances in the use of cloud technology, the impact of social networks, and the ability for organizations to not only collect, but also use big data to inform their strategy.

This collection, this 3-point collision of things, has really led to the rise of micro-learning as a new approach to frontline training. What we witness is this perfect storm. With the definition of what it is and why it is popular now behind us, and hopefully everybody understand all of what I just said, then let’s look at how you can put the approach into practice.

First, it’s true that micro-learning does what the qualitative responses in the study were asking for. It does away with making learning a one-time dump, or what we often call fire hose of information, when someone is new to a role, which is often referred to as that fire hose. Instead, it drives retention by serving up information in a way that aligns with how our brains actually work to retain information, that brain science, as I mentioned a moment ago.

Though I really like this slide, because it summarizes what we know about the brain science and ways that we can apply in the business to get real results. I’m gonna highlight the first concept that we’ll cover, and it’s called space repetition, what you see over on the left. Some of you may have heard about this, and it’s often referred to as interval reinforcement, also. It’s the practice of repeating information over time to create long-term memory. It really is something that was discovered about 100 years ago. There was a term, it’s called the forgetting curve, that was coined by a researcher about 100 years ago. It, essentially, says that if we don’t reinforce knowledge after a training event, and we’re talking about repeatedly, the average human being is going to lose up to 90% of what they learned in that one-time even within 30 days of the learning event. But by doing that repetitive exposure to learning content, even as little as three times in 30 days, you can actually increase retention of complex information by 90% or better in some case, long-term, without continuously needing to reinforce it.

With retention, micro-learning also build confidence. I’m sure many of you on the phone have encountered the reluctance of frontline bank employees and some advisors to give advice in the first place, versus just sticking to the status quo and what they remember. We see this across lots of sales representatives and other people who have to convey complex, frequently changing, risky kinds of information. In banks, what this can mean is that tellers aren’t recommending that customers open new accounts or take advantage of new services. In the advisory world, it can mean that not speaking to an investment client is the way that they go, instead of dealing with it and talking to them about their insurance needs.

Back to that same slide on brain science, now we’re gonna focus on the second key element, and that is a concept called retrieval practice. In fact, the third one, also, confidence-based assessment. These two cognitive concepts work very well together and with that spaced repetition to drive retention and confidence in the advisor or employee. When we, as human beings, are asked to recall an answer to a question, our brain has to work harder to find the information. What that does is it triggers something called deep encoding of information, that continuous retrieval, so trying to pull the information out of the recesses of our brain and pull it forward, really hones the neural pathways in the brain and makes subsequent attempts at recall faster and better.

At the beginning, it can be very challenging for people to answer questions, because they may not be sure of the answer. When you do that, and you also combine that with asking them about their level of confidence in their answer, both of those things combined, with appropriate spacing, really increase retention pretty dramatically. It’s easiest to show you how this works with an example, so we’re gonna go through one of those.

Here we have an example of a question with the confidence-based assessment I just mentioned. You can see that low, medium, and high at the bottom of the screen, that the advisor, or employee, would select once they’ve selected the answer to the question. This advisor’s being asked to match a sample portfolio with the appropriate description. Even if they haven’t been trained on the information before right now, they can go ahead and read the question, and use their logic and judgment to try to determine the right answer. Asking them to participate in the question, it just puts them on the spot as if they would be in front of client. So, they go ahead and answer, they rank their confidence in that answer. Each time they do that, they will become more emotionally connected to the answer, and it will do that repetition, which increases the chance of long-term retention of the correct knowledge.

In this case, the advisor went ahead and answered the question and got it wrong, but will in fact learn from the experience of answering the question, seeing the right answer immediately. So, when they see the question again in the future, their chances of getting it right the next time and being more confident in their answer or response increases, and we see this over and over and over again.

So, what we’re looking for in financial services professionals is confidence in knowing what they know, which is required for anyone in an advice-giving role. So, let me explain this model. It’s knowledge and confidence that enables smart actions, which is giving the right advice at the right time to the right client. That’s the objective, so how do you get there? Well, as employees are answering questions, the advisors are answering those questions, and selecting their level of confidence, they get bucketed into the four buckets that you saw on the previous slide in color, on the subsequent slide it’s grayed out with the mastery showing. What this allows you to do is measure each individual advisor’s actual knowledge state tied to confidence. In fact, when you expose this to the advisors, or employees, themselves, their confidence grows, their actual knowledge grows, and where you need them to end up is high confidence, high knowledge, which is that mastery box. We see this working in practice over time, as the advisor answers more questions.

So far, we’ve talked about how micro-learning involves spaced repetition, a key concept until each individual is confident in their knowledge, and since advisors and employees come into their roles with all different levels of past experience and basic knowledge, it’s essential for micro-learning, to adapt to each individual, that one-size-fits-all content one time, just does not work in today’s modern environment. Otherwise, career changers who join a new firm become completely bored because of that one time, and the fact that they may know something that they have to go through learning again. So, you have a situation where knowledgeable people coming into the workforce become very disillusioned quickly, while the newcomers who don’t know it can struggle to keep up.

Here’s an image to help you think about personalize adaptive learning. In our example here, we have Peter, who’s moving from the customer service team in your firm to an advisor role. He’s got no previous sales experience, so he’s a newbie. We can compare that to Alice, who’s new to the company, but is an experienced advisor. She’s coming from somewhere else. It stands to reason that Alice will need more repetition of brand concept, and Peter will need more reinforcement of key sales information. Often, that’s where smart technology fits in to adapt the information that each of them need to receive to close whatever gaps each of them have, so that they can achieve sustained knowledge as they do their jobs day in and day out. This is what you really need across your entire frontline, is for all of those disparate levels of knowledge and experience to very quickly grow and become consistent across your workforce.

While I mentioned that adapting to each individual will scale well with right-fit technology, it’s also very critical to involve managers. Frontline managers can do so much to retain talent and not just recruit them, but managers need to know how to focus. Good micro-learning strategies will involve managers and help them focus their time coaching where it’s needed most. It’ll show them reports of which individuals on their team need coaching in particular topic and subject areas. So, playing off the example we just looked at, if Peter wasn’t showing confidence in his sales knowledge, for example, his manager would want to reinforce that specifically to him, and micro-learning allows you to get hat granular.

Last, but certainly not least, micro-learning is 100% focused on driving business impact. It’s not just tick-the-box compliance that somebody got something completed. It’s not just training for training’s sake. It’s real learning that is going to drive behavior change through knowledge to get those critically important business outcomes.

Today we saved time to share one example with you of micro-learning in action that is driving real business impact. John Hancock is one of our clients who needed to increase product knowledge and ensure that their professional sales teams were up to speed with changing policies and regulations. Their sales team was increasingly made up of millennials, and they were looking to modernize their approach. Using Axonify, they had 89% voluntary participation across their teams, so not just the millennials, those new hires. But they saw an average knowledge lift of 14% across the board, with knowledge on some key compliance topics, increasing by as much as 34%. So, you can imagine the decrease in risk that resolves from such a substantial increase in knowledge. But what was most important was that they used their data to prove a direct correlation. The higher their participation in micro-learning, the fewer errors their sales team experienced. In a world where compliance errors can lead to lost sales, lost customers, and other sorts of risks, reducing their error rate was paramount to improving their customer experience.

So, we covered a lot about the problems with a traditional approach to advisor/employee training, and how micro-learning can bridge the gap. Each of you on today’s webinar will be at different stages of how you can start to put these principles into practice, so here’s some practical next steps. First of all, we suggest that you explore how upfront training connects to ongoing learning in your firm. If there’s one takeaway from the study that Rob went through, it’s the importance of doing this. Second, do away with the whole financial service fire hose. There’s just too much information. Determine what people need to know really, and think about what they need to know how to find, so having stuff in their heads or easily at their fingertips. Less is more, and when we can reinforce key concepts just in time, we can create a really engaged frontline workforce who are ready to give the right advice to the right customers at the right time. Third, think about how you can fit small learning opportunities into each day. Many of our clients no longer need to have as many branch meetings or off-site training days when they realize that everyone can make 5 to 10 minutes per day to reinforce learning, which, again, maps to have a brain best remembers. But this really is a big change in how you think about learning, so it does take a mind shift.

Fourth thing, find ways to gauge the confidence of your employees or advisors. Create an environment for them to answer questions incorrectly and learn from that process. Last, prioritize any efforts, or technology, that are gonna engage in frontline or branch managers. You really need to make it appealing and engaging.

 

Leanne:             

All right, thank you, Carol. We threw a lot of ideas out there, and we covered a lot of data. As they were doing that, we had a few questions come through, and we’re happy to take a few more. The first question that we had come through when Rob just started talking was about the profile of advisors that were included in the study. So, Rob, I actually have some of our extra profile slides here. I’m just gonna navigate to that, and I will let you talk a little bit about the advisor profile for this study.

 

Rob:     

Thank you, Leanna. So, when we establish a sampling framework, obviously, what important from a design perspective is to establish a profile based that represents the market. In front of you, you essentially see a profile of those that actually participated in the study. Wherever there is a variance, we’ll use data weighting to ensure that the results represent and reflect the profile of the industry as a whole.

 

Leanne: 

Thanks. The second question that we have is actually, I think, a two-parter. I’ll ask the first question to Rob, and then I’ll turn it over to Carol. When we were going through the data that talked about satisfaction, someone asked what are some other ways to measure training. Rob, I wanted you to comment on that, because I believe in this study we didn’t just measure satisfaction with training. We measured job satisfaction overall, so can you speak to that?

 

Rob:           

Yeah, I’d be happy to. I just wanna say that it’s a wonderful question. So, when we started down our path, our journey, in trying to understand what drives successful outcomes across different segments within Canada and U.S. based distribution channels, the methodology that we used was when it goes beyond simply evaluating satisfaction. Satisfaction is an important outcome, but it’s one outcome. So, we think about it, and alternatively, specific to the question is we would incorporate more longitudinal and/or behavioral measurement. How that type of research is implemented may have varying touch points, so when I say behavioral and/org longitudinal measurements, basically, what I’m saying is, as opposed to asking someone how they feel, their attitude toward an outcome, what we do is we track, for example, their performance across different behavioral variables. We may almost make, or establish, a methodology that’s more longitudinal. So, as opposed to taking a new sample every time of a sales force, for example, we would track and monitor the change of one person over a period of time. That’s another alternative that’s available, but essentially, it’s finding the right marriage between attitudinal research, how they feel about something, and behavioral research, how are they performing across key metrics.

Then, my last comment is, in our analysis, what we’ve done is we’ve … which we’ve done and we’re in the middle of doing with other studies is really validating the impact of various aspects of the advisor journey. One of those importantly being training and continuing education. From that perspective, what we observed very quickly is training in continuing education is foundational to a successful outcome within the distribution space.

 

Leanne:   

Thanks, Rob. I’m gonna give Carol just one minute to answer a question that she can talk about all day, and from her perspective, what are some of the other ways to measure training besides just satisfaction?

 

Carol:   

There are lots of ways now, and really, it’s the advent of technology being such a ubiquitous part of our daily existence that has allowed it. So, where you employ micro-learning, as an example, every single interaction that an advisor has with a question can be captured in a multitude of ways and archived, and then correlated with lots of other data. So, you can measure exactly what it an individual knows or does not know in a topic area, subject area, category, and how long it took them to become confident. How many times did they end that repetition. How long did it take them to answer questions? Were there different levels of difficulty that present problems? There are so many ways now that you can capture that micro-data to expose and analyze, and then optimize, the learning experience, so that your individual employees retain the right knowledge, and then perform at their best to get you the business outcome. Really, it’s technology that’s giving us the ability to do that.

 

Leanne:   

Great. Thank you. We had one other question come in, and someone was asking if they will receive a copy of the deck. So, the answer is, yes. We’re happy to send that, but we think we can do one better. Because we covered such a wide array of frontline responses, we actually have a report that gives all the detail, so depending on what firm you’re working with, you might wanna pull different data out. So, we’ll have that ready in a couple of weeks. We will also send out the recording and PDFs of the [inaudible 00:49:06] if anybody wants them.

With that, we are going to say thank you for joining us today. We’re gonna give you 10 minutes back in your day, which is actually more than enough time to engage in some daily learning. Thanks so much for joining.

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