by Site Staff
December 20, 2005
When Regions Financial Corp. acquired Union Planters in early 2004, the new company faced post-merger integration challenges, but CLO Michael Pollard understood that he and his team would play a vital role in successfully reinventing the company and ensuring that the most critical workers performed at the highest possible levels.
Pollard developed the merger learning program to establish general culture awareness, create new practices and processes, and develop skills for enhanced or converted systems. His goals for the training initiative were to provide bankers with new knowledge and skills in products and processes prior to the enhancement releases and branch conversion dates, provide training and development plans for all new hires and all existing associates, and ensure associates were able to apply what they had learned.
In order to reach these goals, Pollard and his team introduced a layered approach that began with an emphasis on knowledge recall and progressed over 12 weeks to application mastery. E-learning played a critical role in this process. Pollard developed more than 150 different learning solutions. Roughly half of the designer resources needed for the initiative were established pre-merger, but Pollard chose to collaborate with a vendor to provide the crucial other half. The instructional design group saved $1.5 million by not outsourcing all development.
The blended training approach—approximately 70 percent online and 30 percent instructor-led—adequately prepared learners for branch conversions. The approach was well received by Regions’ workforce with a measured 4.1 level of acceptance on a five-point scale by 5,500 associates in more than 700 branches. The learning programs also triggered 80 percent enrollment and completion rates, and 99 percent mastery assessment results in retail.
Moreover, the program’s online learning saved the company $7.14 million in travel cost and work time, since associates were able to remain on the job.