Santander’s ambition is to become a learning organisation that provides a workplace culture where all colleagues can learn and grow to reach their full potential. 

The shift to remote working due to the pandemic has resulted in a move to virtual learning. To ensure colleagues and the business thrive during this digital transformation, Santander’s event ‘Learning at Work Week and Beyond’ offered colleagues tools, platforms, live experiences and support that would promote career mobility, digital fluency and capability development. 

The team designed the themes and activities by listening to colleagues’ feedback, insights and ideas from their previous Learning at Work Week, Idea-thon and Global Engagement Survey.  

All the week’s activities and content were available on a special events hub and delivered under three themes linked to Santander’s strategic goals: ‘Your Skills’, ‘Let’s get Digital’ and ‘Career Mobility’. Colleagues could take part in twenty live sessions, register to access Pluralsight’s 700 virtual tech courses and explore online content including short videos and new programmes. To promote the power of continuous learning, colleagues shared their own learning stories on video, and everyone could share tips via the community site.  

The key message for the week was ‘going beyond...’ so that colleagues looked beyond the week and beyond work. A special logo was created to build brand recognition that will continue past the week. A teaser video ran on all virtual channels with #madeforlearning and #makeitcount followed by an event schedule and the event hub, where colleagues could register and start to explore. A separate mini-campaign encouraged colleagues to download an app so they could access the learning from any device at any time.  

A community site was created so that there was one place where colleagues could connect, collaborate, share and learn. This was marketed in the lead up to Learning at Work Week and Beyond including through an intranet tile and by the Director of Culture and Capability, resulting in a 400% increase on 2020 membership.  Fun activities and competitions with prizes to support learning were used to encourage colleagues to share stories, experiences and learning in creative ways.  

Colleagues were encouraged by senior leaders to take time out to engage with the event. This supported a 48% increase in session attendance from the previous year and a 36% increase in playbacks of recorded content. The event hub had 44,000 hits during the week, a 47% increase on average and over 2200 colleagues attended the live sessions. Over 3000 virtual learning hours have been linked to the event. 94% of colleagues who took part say that Learning at Work Week and Beyond has inspired their continuous learning. The event has achieved a Net Promoter Score of 40 and colleagues have requested more events and opportunities for informal learning. 

The event has boosted engagement across the business with a positive increase in colleagues that believe that Santander provides training to handle their current job well, placing the bank above the UK all-industry external benchmark of 65%. Nearly 70% of colleagues believe the company supports people to develop new skills to achieve their ambitions. The success and brand reputation of Learning at Work Week and Beyond has provided the business with a blueprint to deliver local events, with eight events to further engage colleagues in continuous learning – from digital transformation, through coaching skills to yoga and baking. Colleagues are connecting and sharing using the community space, networks and Santander’s new events functionality to host their own learning sessions. Summerfest, a follow up to Learning at Work Week and Beyond, is strengthening the message about the importance of continuous learning and that it is supported and encouraged at the bank, with 900 colleagues already signing up for sessions.