Online training hub keeps staff up to speed
COVID-19 pandemic amplifies the need for virtual training.
First Florida Credit Union in Jacksonville has long been committed to creating a robust online hub of prerecorded trainings on its intranet to meet the needs of more than 200 employees at 16 far-flung branches.
After the coronavirus (COVID-19) hit, First Florida decided to offer only remote training, leading to soaring demand. Staff completed 150 courses in January, 200 in February, and more than 900 in March.
“The crisis simply sped up the process and amplified the need for the initiative to grow quickly to accommodate the new demands on our staff,” says Mark Stetzer, training manager at the $1 billion asset credit union.
Working hand-in-hand with leadership, from the CEO to branch managers, allows First Florida to make sure its online training is easy to access, interactive, timely, and enriching, Stetzer says. Leadership helps pick relevant topics for the two-person training team to develop into compelling educational content.
Current events also influence topics that are in demand. Electronic signatures, wiring funds, and telecommuting tips for have topped the list during the pandemic.
“We film trainings or provide live forums via GoToMeeting™,” Stetzer says. “For prerecorded segments, we edit them into digestible modules that we call Training Tutorial Videos, or TTVs.”
Communication is key to let staff know training is available for both required courses and professional growth, such as CUNA Professional Development Online (CPD Online) courses.
After every remote training, participants complete a survey that reveals whether they retained crucial information.
“It’s critical to implement a feedback system,” Stetzer says. “That has been a big part of our team’s success.”
First Florida’s training team also uses these best practices:
- Limit training to 15 minutes. That may require chopping an hour of content into four sections to engage participants and help them retain information.
- Use a platform with a chat function. The GoToMeeting chat function allows the moderator to field questions and control the conversation. That helps when staff have Internet connectivity issues or are working in a louder-than-normal environment.
- Stay organized. Create a schedule for the training team, communicate it clearly, and deliver a polished final product.
- Involve everyone. First Florida’s senior staff participates in trainings and starts discussions within the organization to encourage participation.
Stetzer also recommends meeting with the leadership team so it understands how remote trainings deliver tangible value.
“It’s critical now more than ever to ensure consistency of service and to encourage morale during the pandemic.”