Beverly Clayton, a specialist in professional development at Gartmore Investment Management, explains how an off-beat approach won over newcomers and bought their commitment
Keeping in touch with current legislation and ensuring that all staff receive regular training updates is a key issue for HR departments across the financial services sector.
Rightly, the sector is exposed to enormous scrutiny, and that examination is likely to become even more intense when the Financial Services Authority receives its full powers later this year.
Training our 850 staff and equipping them with the necessary skills and information to advise on the wide range of investment products we offer at Gartmore is critical to our reputation.
Over the past decade we have won numerous awards and our funds have consistently out-performed the competition. It’s a reputation we’re in no mind to surrender.
We recognise that innovation is crucial if we are to maintain this competitive advantage - not just across our product offering, but also in the development of our staff - so we are always looking for ways to improve the content of our training and the way in which it is delivered. Recently we turned to e-learning provider Wide Learning for help with this.
Each year we take on around 100 new entrants with varying levels of knowledge of financial products. As part of their training programme all will be invited to attend a classroom-based, two-day Introduction to Fund Management training course.
While this is at a basic level, we still find that some participants have a better understanding of the financial markets and terminology than others.
Combining two such groups in a classroom is not ideal; those who have a basic knowledge feel frustrated that others are slowing them down, while those who are starting from scratch may feel too embarrassed to ask questions.
To address this we investigated ways of tackling the knowledge gap, and after careful research we purchased a number of Wide Learning’s interactive CD-Roms to complement our classroom-based training.
The Making Investment Work product aims to give everyone a common kno