“Talent Training’s New Operations BTEC Academy is a transformational programme for our Advisors and Team Managers across Geoban, Santander.  The impact it has had on our UK operations has been outstanding.  It has specifically targeted all key performance areas of the organisation and continues to deliver high impact results.  I recommend any employer to work with Talent Training if they are passionate about getting the best from their colleagues.  Talent’s dynamic and fresh approach to workforce development has underpinned our ambitious people development plans and they continue to deliver tangible results”. Jayne Hannan, Head of Talent, Resourcing and Learning, Geoban, Santander Group.

The Employer: Geoban is part of the Santander Group and is responsible for the back office support functions of Santander UK. Geoban has over 7,000 employees, 5,000 of these are based in the UK, with the remainder spread across Spain, Portugal, Poland, USA and South America. The Santander Group is one of the most profitable banks in the world and has 171,000 Employees; 91 Million Customers; and 13,600 Branches.

Background: Santander within the UK has been created by the merger of various organisations, at different times, including Abbey National plc, Bradford & Bingley plc and Alliance & Leicester plc. This has resulted in the duplication of assets and resources within the combined entity, together with the issues arising from differing underlying cultures and management; issues which management identified and sought to address. With the desire to build a bank that put customers at the heart of their products and services offering, Geoban were determined to set a new standard and provide service excellence to internal functions across the globe and most importantly, to their customers.

The Challenge: Talent was asked to develop a series of parallel training programmes under the generic branding of ‘The New Geoban Operations Academy’; the overall objectives of these programmes were to garner widespread improvement in customer service performance, to introduce and develop leadership skills and to encourage the development of a single, all-encompassing corporate culture.

The ‘challenge’ was accepted with two caveats: firstly, the rules surrounding the availability of public funding resulted in the need to introduce elements of functional skills training to each of the programmes; and, secondly, consistency of delivery across all sites was a pre-requisite to address to the cultural change challenge.

The Solution: Working with in-house trainers Talent developed two parallel programmes (from which further and more challenging programmes are now being created), based on a number of publicly funded adult apprenticeship offerings, and these were rolled out during late 2012. The training sessions and materials have been updated on an ongoing basis and learners started to complete these courses in December 2013; late entrants to the programme are due to complete in mid-2014.

The Location: All training and support was delivered on sites at Bradford, Bootle, Glasgow, Leeds, Milton Keynes, Newcastle Upon Tyne and Stockton on Tees.

David Harper’s view: “Being offered the opportunity to work with an organisation such as Geoban was a great achievement but the fact that we are now being asked to provide strategies and ideas to further embed our training, mentoring and challenge processes makes me immensely proud; as it demonstrates that our team is delivering in line with my vision and the needs of our client.”