Lloyds Banking Group is the UK’s largest retail and commercial bank. It has a footprint that touches nearly every community and household in the UK. Each of the 70,000 people that work there has a role to play in helping to achieve Lloyds Banking Group’s vision of becoming the Best Bank for Customers.

Lloyds Banking Group’s Learning at Work Week supported its three year Bank of the Future transformation strategy which identifies 10 key skills that need to be built. It’s objectives were to develop colleagues’ awareness and understanding of these skills and support a culture where learning is part of the company’s DNA.

The team recognised that to do this successfully they would need to create something eye-catching and fun that engaged colleagues in a different way. This would help gain the interest of colleagues in a big organisation undergoing a large transformation, where there are constant messages and opportunities. They also wanted to create an engaging learning experience that supported a culture where people’s perception of learning is about ‘continually growing and developing’ and not ‘mandatory training’.

In partnership with creative communications agency Top Banana, the team created a gamified learning activity ‘Skillsville’. Colleagues could use iPads to explore 10 Skillsville ‘landmarks’ and play a game at each through which they learned about each of the 10 skills. 

To fit with the ‘Skillsville’ theme and create a consistent internal campaign the team used comic book style characters and playful language. Profiles of learning role models were created using Skillsville comic book style case studies and bitesize vlogs called ‘Skills:Talks’.

The team toured the key office locations with Skillsville, creating a visual display that presented a new environment for learning. To support Group-wide activity, the team worked with leaders in each division to show how Skillsville supported the business strategy and to schedule divisional events and messages (both face-to-face and virtual). This ensured that Learning at Work Week was supported by leaders and promoted in established divisional communication channels. Lloyds network of 650+ volunteer ‘Learning Legends’ helped to embed activity across the entire Group  and supported the testing of the innovation. Overall this led to time spent on learning relating to the 10 key skills for the future increasing by 84% in Q2 2019 compared with the average quarter.

By engaging networks, leaders and Learning Legends early in the campaign the team overcame the challenge of promoting a non-mandatory activity. The compelling campaign identity with recognisable branding ensured the communications stood out. Though it aligned with Group brand guidelines, the copy and imagery was very different to that of a traditional financial services organisation.

A mix of online surveys, tracking of hits, and likes and comments on social media were used to evaluate the impact of Skillsville and to see if this innovative approach raised awareness and understanding of the 10 key skills and sparked colleagues interest in learning.

Learning at Work Week supported the 565k learning hours completed in Q2 related to building the Group’s 10 key skills for the future (not including mandatory training). That’s the most learning ever completed at 84% higher than the average quarter since the team started measuring in January 2018. In addition, Learning Hubs were visited over 21,000 times in May, a 120% increase in page hits compared to the average month. 

Colleagues rated the Skillsville on average highly (4.3 out of 5) and specifically referenced  fun, interactive, creative and thought-provoking the sessions were. This shows that the innovation helped to engage colleagues with the 10 key skills for the future and change perceptions around learning. 

This approach has supported the organisation’s transformation strategy and has been recognised by senior management as a great example of using innovation to drive the change for the organisation. 

More colleagues have engaged with learning and are equipping themselves with the right skills for their futures. This will enable Lloyds to serve its customers better in a digital world. This success will be built on and used for future activities including the use of virtual reality technology within the Group's personal vitality and resilience courses.