Technology promises to cut costs, increase productivity, and improve service. But more technology also means having a more sophisticated work force. So, the American Banker asked a number of bankers: What training and educational opportunities is your bank offering employees?

We found that banks use a variety of methods, including formal in-house classes, training by outside educators and vendors, and subsidizing tuition at local colleges.

Bankers also cited the benefits of computer-based training, which allows employees to learn through on-line courses or with the assistance of an instructor.

Mixed Media

A few banks noted that they are moving toward multimedia course material.

Some training is broad in scope. Albert C. "Skip" Patterson, department executive of systems services at Bank of Boston, told how the bank implemented a new customer information system.

"We planned the transition over a weekend, which meant more than 3,000 people would use one system on Friday and another the following Monday," he said.

The training was accomplished over six weeks. "We identified all the people who needed to be trained and put together a computer-based training program, which they used wherever they were at work," said Mr. Patterson.

Bank of Bank of Boston offers more than 150 self-study courses that Mr. Patterson said are "very economic in scheduling student time and reaching our people in the many locations where we operate worldwide."

The bank offers some 500 instructor-led and computer-based training courses.

In the Classroom

At Huntington National Bank, Columbus, Ohio, all training for off-the-shelf PC applications is done in a traditional classroom setting.

"We've gone to 100% outsourcing for all basic personal computer training," said Marvin Gifford, manager of the information resource center.

"However, when it comes to customized business applications that run on PCs, we're also customizing the training."

Here's what some other banks are doing.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.