Strengthening The Training Department's Ability To Deliver Results

Rapid change and growth may be a welcome problem to have but it’s still a problem. Montana-headquartered Glacier Bancorp took on several major process-changing initiatives while also maintaining an aggressive acquisition strategy. The $13 billion multi-state bank with 181 locations identified a widening gap in its approach to training. Historically, Glacier Bancorp and its divisions delivered most of their training “on-the-job” by a co-worker or Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). They needed a long-term solution that would: introduce consistency, enhance the skill sets of the training staff, build the bench strength of the SMEs, and ensure that training transferred to learning.

InterAction Training’s Train the Trainer Boot Camp was initially selected to be a part of the solution. In a customized form, InterAction Training brought the Boot Camp to Missoula, MT. Glacier Bancorp encouraged the target audience to register for a seat. The early success translated into an expanded curriculum that would include an option for full training professional certification. The expanded curriculum is based on the A-E Professional Development Model, designed by Honey Shelton, condensed into a 2.5 days version of Train the Trainer Boot Camp, followed by an additional 2.5 days condensed Advanced Week session for those attendees that elected to pursue certification. 

Part 1: Train the Trainer Boot Camp

The program engages the learner in applying the A-E Professional Development Model. Program modules include best practices and how to:

  • Assess training needs with consideration of key impact factors such as what do you want the learner to know and to do, how will you know it worked, who are the responsible parties, etc.
  • Build training materials around learning objectives and breaking training into chunks
  • Create engaging training using a variety of media and designing quick reference guides, checklists and other learning resources
  • Deliver training with confidence and maintaining the attention of the learner
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the training experience and tweaking the training for continuous improvement

Part 2: Advanced Week

The program takes a consultative approach by introducing the learner to topics such as alternatives to classroom learning, visual learning techniques, PowerPoint and MSWord shortcuts and enhancements, and preparing for the certification exam.

Part 3: Exam

The certification exam confirms the knowledge and expertise attendees gained during their learning experience. The exam consists of 100 questions that test your knowledge of the A-E Professional Development Model and the principles learned during Advanced Week. Glacier  Bancorp certification candidates are encouraged to complete the exam immediately after their condensed boot camp and advanced week to help cement the concepts.

Part 4: A-E Professional Development Assignment

The assignment reinforces the principles of the A-E Professional Development Model and allow learners to demonstrate how they would apply the model in a fictitious scenario. The scenario tasks learners with welcoming a new trainer and introducing them to the A-E Professional Development Model. Certification candidates from Glacier Bancorp are encouraged to complete this step as soon as possible following their condensed week of learning.

Part 5: Work Submission

The requires every participants to apply the principles they learned to a real-life training program of their choice. The goal is to demonstrate deep knowledge and understanding of the A-E Professional Development Model and illustrate how you put this into action. This training program will be reviewed by a panel of experts in the field of training.

Ranked #9 on Forbes’ 2020 list of Top 100 Best Banks in America, Glacier Bancorp has hosted this training event annually since 2015 and 97 employees have successfully completed Train the Trainer Boot Camp. 45 of those have earned the status of Certified Bank Training Professional.

The event has increased the value of training across all 15 divisions and boosted the quality of training design and delivery from both trainers and SMEs. The competencies of those doing the training and those receiving the training have shown positive results.

Implementing the solution enhanced the company’s philosophy of “Let’s Lead” by empowering the training workforce to become more proficient and better leaders.

The initiative aligned consistent and successful execution when training on product, policy and procedure. Additionally, learning how to organize, design and deliver training shortened the stress and time required to pull together needed training programs.  By focusing on empowering and educating the team of professionals responsible for training, the company was able to set itself up for continuous improvement with implementing changes, executing on conversions, and onboarding newly acquired banks.