L & D Dermatology

October 30, 2019 11:19 AM | Lovina Akowuah

Written by Rachel Ojala DumkeTalent Development Manager for First Bank Financial Centre

…The first of a four-part series on preventative health in learning and development.

The skin is the largest and most visible organ. It is among the first to reveal what is going on inside our bodies. This “canvas” is decorated and adorned to reflect, in part, who we are. It wears the choices we make, whether in the permanence of a tattoo or a fleeting smile.

Just as your skin plays a role in telling your personal story, reflects your physical and emotional health, and contributes to others’ perceptions of what one is about to experience in your presence, so too does the “skin” of your learning and development department. The presentation of your learning solutions (e.g. your LMS homepage, ILT participant materials, vILT welcome screen and presentation, e-learning content, internal communications, collateral, etc.) convey the following: 

1. Your purpose:

- What story does it tell?

- Does it align with the organization?

- If your department were gone, would employees care? Why? The value of what you offer is rooted in that response.

2. The health/state of your department:

- Does it strengthen your organization’s health?

- Is it reflective of your organization’s learning culture, consistent interdepartmental collaboration and employee knowledge-sharing?

3. The learner experience:

- What learning formats (think: ILT, vILT, e-learning, blended) are used?

- What learning styles (think: VAKT) are being catered to, if not all?

- What is the learner supposed to feel at various intervals?

- What is the return on the learners (monetary/time) investment?

In times of rapid organizational change and growth, it is easy to lose sight of small details. Over time, that takes its toll on the “skin.” Materials become dated, messages fall out of sync, accuracy suffers and the wrong channels are used. As a result, our business partners and others we serve stop listening.

Whether you are a department of one or many, the following three “preventative health” practices* will ensure the image you project is an accurate reflection of who you are:

1. Create a style guide (for all channels of communication and development) and adhere to it.

2. Maintain an audit schedule and make core programs a priority.

3. Develop a cross-departmental learning council.

Assign ownership of the aforementioned tips and integrate them into your team meeting agenda. Consistent execution will enhance the overall wellness of your department, attracting employees who want to access and share knowledge.

Whether you call it your “skin,” “look and feel,” or “brand,” it matters. Done well, it is magnetic. It attracts the audience who would most benefit from what you have to offer and accelerates your ability to make a difference in others’ lives.

* Keep an eye out for the three remaining blog posts in this four-part series in which all members of the Talent Development Team at First Bank Financial Centre will share their expertise.

About the Author

As a circus performer, turned banker, Rachel is committed to bringing the same comfort, joy and excitement that is experienced under the Big Top into each interaction with clients and colleagues.

The seeming contradiction of performance expertise (acquired over 20+  years as an entertainer and competitor) with financial services expertise (acquired from over 20 years with global, regional and community banks) has provided an invaluable perspective aiding in:

- strategic collaboration with internal and external business partners to bring creative thought into a highly regulated framework;

- maximizing the engagement and expertise of talent to achieve desired business results, and

- creating clients who are advocates of the First Bank Financial Centre brand.

Her breadth of banking experience includes:

- Retail Banking

- Consumer Lending (sales and product development)

- Talent Development (organizational strategy, program & curriculum design, and facilitation) - CPLP

- Marketing Management (Credit Card and Customer Segments)

- eBanking Management

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