Austin, Texas (PRWEB) June 3, 2005 -
Â No matter how good the trainer, the curriculum, the facilities and the incentives, without a Âmanagement commitment to a well-organized training culture,Â an organization can expect only negligible benefits, says a leading trainer for financial institutions (FIs).
Dick Kendall of Houston spoke to separate sessions of banking and credit union executives during the 2005 Floyd Forum Leadership Conference in Austin, Texas, in May. He said:
ÂManagement commitment is more than a passing nod to the need for training. It is its dedication and assurance that money and resources, qualified trainers and satisfactory settings, as well as adequate time for training, are integral elements of a first class training program. Thriving, progressive organizations of every size generally make training an endemic feature of their strategic growth plans.Â
Kendall, who joined John M. Floyd & Associates of Baytown, Texas, in 1994, is a regularly featured speaker at state and national conventions. He has published numerous articles and a book Â ÂNobody Told Me IÂd Have to SellÂ Â on the subject of marketing and sales training. KENDALL PHOTO URL: http://www.jmfa.com/DickKendall.asp
Previously, he was a founding officer and director of marketing for Allied Bancshares, Inc. He formed Kendall Marketing in 1976, subsequently working with more than 400 firms to help them increase their sales and profits.
The best trainers at FIs typically have years of in-depth financial services experience, Kendall said. Teaching experience is a plus, but it is generally trumped by Âthe love of training; being in front of a group.Â Hiring trainers from within may accelerate the Âmessage buy-inÂ of those being trained, but hiring trainers from outside can also bring Âinnovative, challenging perspectives.
ÂThe best trainers are themselves well trained,Â he contends. ÂBy that, I mean they clearly understand the training objectives and know the audience. Their content is organized, timed and has powerful openings and closings. They include trainee participation, a lively use of props and a careful preparation of the physical environment.
ÂEverything from flexible lighting, sound system and acoustics, and current audio/visual equipment to comfortable seating, HVAC, breaks, bathrooms and refreshments must be scrutinized to engender the best learning environment,Â he emphasized. ÂAnd the confident trainer always invites a written evaluation to improve every succeeding session.Â
Ideally, a top quality trainer also is a superb organizer, Âbut it takes different skills,Â he noted. ÂThe organizer must coordinate training; help develop and follow the training plan; organize training to fit within work schedules, and maintain records of training by individual, department, etc. That critical continuity is practically impossible for the external trainer. A dedicated staff member or Human Resources employee of the bank or C.U. often assumes that responsibility.Â
Kendall called curriculum the Âheart of training. To be both effective and efficient, you must decide what you want people to know Â by department, by job and by experience level.Â He believes the touchstones of a valid training curriculum should include:
Orientation, to quickly introduce new hires into the corporate culture;
Job skills, the basics of how to do their job;
Regulations; continuous training in the ever-changing regulatory environment;
People skills (customer service, management); communication skills with customers and fellow employees; and
Sales and product knowledge; listening for sales opportunities, knowledge of the FIsÂ available products.
Curriculum can be developed in house or from vendors, the speaker suggested, but every bank or credit union should put into place a system of testing for content competence. FIs should track the training received and the competence levels achieved by each participant to measure progress.
ÂOrganizations typically find they get higher involvement and better results when they provide rewards and recognition for individuals completing and successfully applying what theyÂve learned,Â Kendall said. ÂKnowledge is power, and incentive programs are like booster fuel when it comes to fully engaging participants in the training process.Â
John M. Floyd & Associates (http://www.JMFA.com) sponsored the week-long Floyd Forum, held at the Barton Creek Resort & Spa. The performance improvement firm, founded in 1972, is nationally known for its creation of the automated overdraft privilege program. It has implemented nearly 1,000 variations of its JMFA OVERDRAFT PRIVILEGESM program. JMFA has served more than 2,000 financial institutions in 49 states and Central America, adding billions in increased pre-tax earnings for its clients.
Steve Swanston, EVP-Sales
John M. Floyd & Associates
Preston F. Kirk, APR
Kirk Public Relations