In the retail lending arena, if we are anything we are professionals, and like professionals in any field, we need to keep up to date with changes that affect us and the financial institutions we help manage. We need to keep abreast of regulatory issues, economic changes that could impact us, changes in the tools that we use to help make decisions, and improvements in strategic approaches. How will you continue to develop and hone the skills necessary to perform your job? Here are ways you can keep up with on-going education.
Periodicals and Publications
Like doctors and lawyers with their medical journals and law reviews, financial industry professionals can turn to periodicals and publications to keep up with what’s happening in the financial services world and increase their financial literacy.
Many financial institutions offer their employees free subscriptions to one or more of these publications. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn at your own pace and on your schedule. Even if you don’t have free access to these publications, there are a number of free websites that you can visit. Here are several:
Financial industries professional associations offer more than networking and social benefits. They also offer educational opportunities. Here are some professional associations you might explore.
• American Bankers Association: Produces periodicals and publications and provides ongoing education opportunities, such as conferences, Compliance Schools, and general tool boxes.
• Consumer Bankers Association: Runs a school for bankers which provides them with a deeper understanding and appreciation of how various segments of retail banking are interrelated. Under its umbrella, the CBA has associations like the Mortgage Bankers Association that offer specialized training.
Training courses are the most prevalent form of ongoing education. Many companies and associations offer them. Your company may offer a wide array of courses from self-paced web-based courses to traditional classroom training. Since formal training courses involve an investment in time and money, it’s a good idea to create a development plan at the beginning of each calendar year. After creating your development plan, find the internal and external courses that will help you develop the skills and knowledge you have identified. Get funding approval and schedule them. If you wait until later in the year, you might find that funding is unavailable or the courses are filled.
When searching for training courses, consider those that incorporate gamification. Gamification applies game elements and principles to non-game contexts. Competition is a powerful motivator. Group work is fun and fosters improved communication. Simulation teaches intuition about complex data interactions. We here at BankersLab® specialize in gamification. Our simulation-based training courses allow you to gain the financial education you need in a highly engaging way. We know that highly engaged participants learn and retain more of the concepts, skills, and information presented than they do in traditional classroom environments.
If you manage employees, keep this fact in mind. Studies show that making ongoing education available to employees is one of most effective employee engagement tools. We all know that engaged employees are likely to perform better for and remain at your company.
The financial services industry is constantly changing. Ongoing education is a necessity if you and your team want to stay current on the latest skills, technology, and information required to be successful.