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Company: Bank of America
Category: Best Use of Blended Learning

Nomination Title: Home Loan Continuum


Bank of America is focused on serving the financial needs of our clients. To ensure all employees are equipped to provide the world- class service clients expect and deserve, it is critical to invest in acquiring, developing, and retaining talent. The Academy, created in 2016, is the onboarding, training, and development organization that prepares over 80,000 employees in the Consumer Bank, Merrill and Private Bank to successfully and confidently serve the needs of our clients.

In late 2018, the company’s strategic direction continued on the journey of providing customers’ with long- term solutions to help them achieve their financial goals. To support this strategy, the company identified opportunities to increase home loan referrals between the Advanced Client Solutions (ACS) and Home Loan (HL) organizations.
Analysis revealed ACS employees, who specialize in connecting clients to products and service to achieve their financial goals through omni- channel client care, were not consistently offering home loans. Through focus groups, employees shared they didn’t feel adequately trained or comfortable offering home loan solutions to their clients, which led to this low historical performance. To help ACS’ 2,000+ employees become more knowledgeable about home loan products, The Academy created a blended learning solution called the Home Loan Continuum.

In Q1 2019, The Academy developed the Home Loan Continuum (HLC) program and trained more than 2,000 ACS employees. HLC is a blended learning experience designed to increase employee proficiency in home loan products through various learning activities.

Over a 12 week period, The Academy delivered HLC learning activities to reinforce Home Loan knowledge. Training was delivered week- over- week in leader- led sessions, with each session consisting of an hour- long module containing multiple modalities to enhance learning. These modalities included a variety of assessments, leader- led training, videos, games, podcasts, readings, team meetings, collaboration sessions and role- plays that shaped training into an engaging learning environment with interactive conversations.

Modules covered the scope of home loans, as well as an introduction to auto and credit cards. Basic mortgage terminology and the fundamentals of extending credit were taught to provide participants the foundation of home loan knowledge, including products such as first mortgage, refinance and home equity. Modules dived deep into understanding each home loan product. Employees learned to identify their client’s home loan needs and relationship deepening opportunities through these collaborative training sessions. By using the blended learning approach, the team was able to flex learning styles and utiliz e asynchronous activities to meet individual needs.

With training completed, Q2 2019 saw increases in all performance metrics that continued exceeding expectations throughout the year. Most impressive was the 440% increase in Offer Rates and 281% increase in Referrals. These results led to the HLC program being fully implemented into the new hire training curriculum.

When compared to performance prior to the blended learning experience of the Home Loan Continuum, ACS experienced significant improvement in the quality and quantity of home loan referrals. The curriculum had a holistic approach to all home loan products including first mortgage, refinance and home equity.

Proficiency improved immediately following training and resulted in increases in all measureable metrics across the home loan products. The blended learning approach, using instructor led training, interactive games, videos, podcasts, online reading, role- plays, assessment and on- the- job reference materials focused on identifying the opportunity and offering of products connected to the client’s identified life priority. The training was built to drive increased offer rates, referrals, applications and funded dollars, with the continued focus on quality of the offer.

The following 2019 results demonstrate the impact of the blended learning approach:

Offer Rate - driven by the behavior of ACS employees identifying the client’s needs and measured by how frequently an offer is presented and dispositioned

January: 5.60%

December: 24.99% (+440%)

Referrals - once the home loan opportunity is uncovered through establishing Life Priorities, ACS employees refer to a Home Loan specialist for needs based conversations

Pre- training average: 2,672

Post- training average: 7,502 (+281%)

Applications - illustrates the improved proficiency and quality of conversations from the Home Loan Continuum blended learning training events

Pre- training average: 256

Post- training average: 549 (+214%)

Funded Dollars - return on investment is recognized once the application is approved and the home loan product is funded

2018: $83,924,452

2019: $226,950,730 (+270%)

Home Loan Referral Process – demonstrates how client interactions with ACS employees may lead to conversations with HL team

Life Priorities - understating priorities at different stages of life allows employees to better connect with their clients and understand their needs

Training Cycle – this details the training cycle for the Home Loan Continuum training program

Blended Learning Activities – an overview of the variety of blended learning activities utiliz ed throughout the training experience

Learning Activity Make Up – shows percentages of the variety of blended learning activities

Blended Learning Examples – a few examples of the videos, role plays, interactive games and on- the- job reference materials to create a blended learning experience

2019 Home Loan Performance – this chart demonstrates performance pre and post- training while detailing the dramatic increases achieved in Referrals (+281%), Applications (+214%) and Funded Dollars (+270%) through 2019

Employee Feedback – verbatims from leaders and employees/participants of the Home Loan Continuum training program