Photo Arab National Bank team and Blackboard team

Arab National Bank Sees Positive Results with Unique Employee-Centered Training Approach



Article originally published on E-Learn Magazine on Aug 14, 2018 – Click here for the Spanish version.

In just a year and a half, the Arab National Bank in Saudi Arabia has built an online learning program that has already been used by 10,000 employees in 25 courses. Due to this great achievement, the ANB is the recipient of this year’s Blackboard Excellence in Training Award.

At the outset, it wasn’t easy to convince ANB’s managers and employees about all the possibilities and benefits of online learning. After all, change can be hard. However, by raising awareness about the benefits of Blackboard’s learning approach, Arab National Bank (ANB) was able to convince their team that a unique training approach was the best way to convey the necessary messages to achieve better results.

ANB identified a standardization issue across the company: daily activities were performed in different ways by each employee and depending on the branch, which occurred due to a knowledge gap – something that could be improved with online training. The bank also realized that training content was too complex. For this reason, ANB decided to reinvent their courses by using diverse approaches such as video, audio, and other user friendly and easy to remember learning methods.

To make online learning a reality for ANB branches, Blackboard technology was presented to the Training Department. They were convinced to give online training a chance, although at first they didn’t see it as beneficial for their needs. After experimenting with Blackboard tools via a Compliance course, the department managers changed their minds.

At first, 1,300 staff members were trained over a three-week period using e-learning. After that, all other employees saw the benefits the method clearly offered: higher quality training and a system that made it possible to participate in training modules at any time, among other advantages.

More Than a Solution

The results were great. Other departments began to get interested in using Blackboard but there was always one underlying concern: Do people actually understand what the learning is all about? More than evolving indicators and avoiding penalties from regulators, the courses are about where each employee is currently at and how they can grow professionally.

Another concern was around organizing trainings and workshops on the weekends, which was a cause for employee complaints from those who wanted to spend more time with their families over the weekend. With online learning this was no longer an issue, as workers can study whenever is most convenient for them.

Company turnover was also a big issue at the time. When training is carried out among teams and a few months later 20% or 30% of these employees are no longer with the company, the bank ends up losing money. With online training, the content is always available, so new team members can be up to date with ANB’s processes, at no extra cost.

Although course implementation using Blackboard technology has happened very quickly at ANB, the bank believes it’s not about speed, but direction. It’s crucial for the company to be aware of all of the critical issues that must be addressed, rather than getting things done quickly.

Mobile Solutions Make Learning Access Easy and Employees More Independent

Blackboard mobile app solutions facilitate the employee learning process. Providing access to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) documents through the app made it easier for teams to find answers for their questions more independently. Along with that, the possibility of participating in trainings while commuting is also an unquestionable advantage of the mobile experience, as workers can study on their way home.

Why Blackboard?

ANB had a clear vision about what they needed for their employee training and how Blackboard could help them get there. Despite having other options available, Blackboard was chosen for being an established company, always investing in new technologies, and focused in solutions for the long run.

Photos by: Photo Credit Arab National Bank