Burnet Tucker, chief learning officer for Bank of America answers four questions of burning interest to Elearning! magazine readers:
1) What is your learning philosophy?
We have the responsibility to enable our nearly 300,000 teammates around the globe to do their best work. We must ensure that employees are proficient in the skills that are core to their specific jobs in order to deliver for our customers and clients every day. This is true whether we are talking about a teller in a banking center, an investment banker, an analyst working on our technology platforms, or one of the other hundreds of roles essential to the bank’s success.
2) What is your shared services model?
In order to serve all of our businesses in the most efficient and effective manner, we have created a center of excellence for learning analysis, design, development, measurement, portfolio and project management and support of our learning platform. Our portfolio of projects and courses is centrally managed. We have found this model enables us to create better learning solutions by providing disciplined, focused thinking in each practice area that creates the capacity to be more innovative. The centralized model also allows us to leverage best practices across all of our work and drives efficiency.
3) How do you leverage technology in your learning programs?
We think about technology in three ways: improving the learner experience, creating new solutions and managing our programs and portfolio.
We are constantly improving our learning platform to make it more accessible and more relevant to employees. We have more self-service learning options and, given how mobile our workforce is today, have created applications for Blackberry that allow employees to complete their training when they are away from their desk. We also can target employees based on their specific job, so we deliver the learning programs that are most relevant to the specific skills they need for their role.
We are exploring how the evolution of technology can help us in creating new learning solutions. We have already started using more social simulation in our courses, moving away from text-based courses. We are also exploring new technologies. As an example, we are looking at how we could use 3-D virtual world technology in our new-hire orientation programs.
4) What kind of learning challenges are faced with at Bank of America?
The rapid speed of change in the financial services industry necessitates that our learning programs keep pace. We must constantly evaluate if we have the right training programs and quickly develop new programs to address the changes in our businesses. The diversity of our teammates also requires that we think differently about how we customize programs. We must take into account the cultural differences in our workforce around the globe, as well as the different learning styles present across our four generations of employees.
Keeping up with the diversity of our business can also prove challenging. The breadth of learning programs we must develop and maintain in order to serve the learning needs across the company requires extreme focus and flexibility.