How Capital City Bank transformed its training department into a cost-effecive, development powerhouse.
Much of Tallahassee, Florida-based Capital City Bank’s success is directly tied to the emphasis the company puts on corporate training: a core value that manifests itself first in on-the-job training for employees, especially new hires, and in practice at all locations. The organization has an extensive employee training program, and the level of training each employee is expected to undertake has an impact on both customer satisfaction and employee job satisfaction.
Historically, the bank has outsourced much of its course development to third-party vendors and organizations. All electronic training collateral was chosen, blueprinted, planned, developed and purchased outside of the organization.
The reality was that many of the off-the-shelf courses were not only expensive, some were outdated. In principal, many of those courses would cover some of the educational information the team considered important to their training program, but the reality was that they weren’t really bank-specific and couldn’t be customized.
Building courses from scratch was not only resource-intensive — requiring many hours of review, issue management and QA — but even more expensive. Managing vendor relationships with internal staff proved to be a challenge as well. At times, reviews were done on site at the vendor’s location— and because each project typically involved five or more team members — Capital City’s training department often had resource-management issues.
In addition, updates and changes to existing custom courses also proved to be an expensive endeavor.
Though outsourcing was a viable concept, CCB management found that it took more time and money on many occasions to deliver practical courses. So they were ready to take a hard look at changing their approach to e-learning and the possibilities of bringing course development in-house.
A major, compelling event was also driving the decision. The team needed a reliable way to quickly train associates who had never used their client relationship management (CRM) tool on inputting critical data. Because of limited staff resources to help in training and the overall administration of the CRM, something needed to be done as soon as possible.
The company had never considered developing its electronic training material and elearning course material in- house, because management didn’t believe they had the expertise to do so.
They began their research by getting presentations from several vendors of authoring tools.
The solution they would eventually choose had to be cost effective and require very little assistance from the internal IT staff. But even more important and specific, it had to be easy to use for trainers and instructional designers with little or no experience developing or programming online, e-learning courses.
After a thorough comparative review of various leading, respected solutions, the bank chose Atlantic Link.
“Atlantic Link’s set of tools were not only comprehensive, but they were easy to use and allowed my team to get up and running after just a minimal amount of training,” says Denise Wilson, vice president of Corporate Development.
However, the tool’s collaborative functionality was its most important feature. Because the Atlantic Link rapid e-learning and authoring solution (Content Point) is server-based, it allowed for ongoing collaborative development in real-time from any location.
In addition, Content Point contains built-in issue-management and QA functionality that allows each team member to log his or her notes, comments, concerns and tasks directly into the presentation for ease of retrieval and review.
“We created a real-world course from scratch,” says Wilson. After a two-day training session, six team members were confident that the tools could accomplish certain e-learning objectives like adding video, adding audio, importing PowerPoint documents, recording software simulations and adding courses.
Even after Capital City’s trainers began using the tool regularly, the Atlantic Link team continued to be responsive to their needs and questions.
BENEFITS AND IMPACT
The CCB team found that the solution they chose:
>> allowed the team to create professional e-learning courses without any prior programming or development experience;
>> enabled a speedy development and deployment of courses;
>> enhanced the time-to-competency for learners;
>> resulted in a dramatic reduction in overall training and course development costs; and
>> allowed courses to be customized and updated, easily and as-needed.
“The decision to move our e-learning inside became a reality when the need surfaced to quickly train our associates on our CRM tool,” Wilson observes. “They needed someone or some way to help them learn how to use the tool efficiently and enter their community involvement notes directly into the CRM for our reporting needs.”
The team had only one associate administering and supporting the CRM. It was not staffed to handle the anticipated volume of phone calls and e-mails from the field. It needed a simulation course developed that would handle most of the training-related questions and kept their staff engaged in how to use their CRM system.
Capital City developed the course first using Capture Point, which basically recorded a user’s experience as he or she walked through the CRM and entered data.
Then the simulation was imported into Content Point, where the team continued developing the course. Once the development was completed, the course was published and the link was made available throughout the corporate intranet.
Since its implementation, Content Point has proven to be one of the most cost-effective solutions that the training team at Capital City Bank has employed to date. Because of how quickly they were able to begin, create, review, publish and deploy their courses, they’ve realized a tremendous boost to their bottom line. With Atlantic Link’s rapid e-learning solutions, the team has been able to utilize a process of outlining a course up-front and having each member provide quick feedback before they begin development, transforming how they approach their course development.
Using a standard authoring tool (in lieu of using multiple tools to accomplish different tasks) allows everyone tied to the development process to be able to maintain the courses and application. And when people leave the organization, the “knowledge of tool use” doesn’t leave with them.