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Supercharging Fidelity International’s Learning Ecosystem

Supercharging a learning ecosystem to deliver seamless learning experiences and measure business impact

Since its founding in the 1960s, Fidelity International has grown to become one of the world’s leading investment management firms. They look after the portfolios of over 1.2 million investors and manage assets worth £233 billion. But their UK business is changing drastically. After a strategic change in direction to focus more on the retirement market, they found themselves with a whole new range of challenges.

The pensions market has become increasingly complex in recent years, with customers now faced with a wide range of options when it comes to saving for retirement. The sector is also strictly regulated, which means giving poor advice has serious repercussions. Fidelity needed to ensure a larger proportion of their customer-facing staff had the skills, knowledge, and confidence to guide customers on their retirement investment options.

The Design Challenge

While the majority of Fidelity’s staff that support the UK business are in the Millennial age bracket, few were yet to put any serious thought into their own retirement planning. Many of Fidelity’s UK customers are also highly affluent, so even their older staff were struggling to relate to the decisions these types of customers faced.

The challenge for LEO Learning was to create empathy and understanding within this group of learners. They needed to be able to identify with their customers to offer accurate and sensitive guidance.

The result was The Retirement Academy, a solution developed in conjunction with the expertise of several of LEO Learning’s partners within Learning Technologies Group plc.

Digital learning for financial services - Fidelity case study
When LEO Learning responded to our tender, they went over and above what we’d asked for. Their focus on measuring the business impact of learning was really key for us. Their proposal actually enabled us to increase our proposed budget spend with our senior leaders and pushed us to achieve greater things.

– Richard Pedley, Fidelity International’s Learning and Development Manager

The Design Solution

The Retirement Academy is a story-driven solution that delivers emotionally powerful learning to Fidelity’s people working in the UK’s pensions and retirement business areas.

The journey through the academy takes the learner through the experiences of a family going through key life journey points. It examines the types of decisions the family has to make regarding their personal finances at different periods in their lives.

Through microlearning, video drama and animation, the learning content reflects the choices the family is making. Focusing on this one family helps learners relate to them, which in turn helps learners reflect on and empathize with their own customers’ experiences and issues.

GIF showing animation used for digital learning

The Technical Challenge

Fidelity had an established LMS, but engagement with the platform was low—learners associated it with mandatory compliance training. In contrast, the organization’s SharePoint was seen as the knowledge-sharing hub of the business, with many staff accessing it every day.

Fidelity wanted to maximize the investment in their existing technologies to deliver the academy. But it was also important that the learning be placed in the flow of work, meaning staff could access it in a way that fits into their everyday activities, rather than going to a new location.

Measuring the effectiveness of the program was another major priority for the organization. Fidelity was keen to harness the benefits of a data-driven approach to evaluate the impact of the program and gain insights into how their strategy to create a curious, exploratory learning culture was progressing.

Screenshot from a digital learning course in the financial services sector (Fidelity)

The Technology Solution

After a series of technical discovery workshops, LEO Learning designed a technology architecture that would allow Fidelity to realize their vision of creating an engaging learning experience, whilst also allowing the business to evaluate its success.

Our solution was to create the front-end of the learner experience in Fidelity’s SharePoint site, working with their internal SharePoint development team to augment its existing functionality. We integrated SharePoint with their LMS through deep-linked content to create a seamless learning experience for staff.

Learning content was created and hosted in the cloud-based authoring tool, gomo. This meant that xAPI could be harnessed for recording learner interaction, which Cornerstone on its own did not support. gomo hosting was also integrated into the solution by publishing learning content within a SCORM LMS wrapper. This effectively publishes a ‘mini-SCORM’ that points to content that’s hosted on gomo hosting, meaning Fidelity could record deeper interactions than they normally would be able to.

In order to then report on the interactions tracked, a learning record store (from Watershed) was implemented. Watershed collects both learning and business performance data and then visualizes it in easily configurable reports and leaderboards. This allows Fidelity to correlate learning achievement with business performance to determine the true effectiveness of the learning program.

This approach not only allows Fidelity to optimize the existing technology within their learning ecosystem, but also add critical tools that will enable them to deliver on strategic goals.

Results

The Retirement Academy is currently still in development, but an initial pilot has been completed with 300 learners. The aim of the pilot was to gain insights into how learners were interacting with the program. Using Watershed’s learning analytics dashboards, the team was able to drill down into every detail of learner activity. The results are now being fed back into the project to improve effectiveness and engagement.

Learner feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with 96% of learners volunteering to learn more—a very encouraging result for a mandatory piece of learning.

In July 2020, the VR 360 solution that LEO provided to Fidelity won in the Open Innovation category at the 2020 Investment Week Marketing and Innovation Awards.

  • Learning ecosystem optimization for optimal return on investment

    Learning ecosystem optimization for optimal return on investment

  • Seamless learning experience delivered with smart use of technology

    Seamless learning experience delivered with smart use of technology

  • Data-driven insights enable business impact measurement

    Data-driven insights enable business impact measurement

"We see LEO Learning, as part of Learning Technologies Group, as the BBC of eLearning. Their capabilities are very broad but most importantly the quality they’re able to provide to us at the budgets that we give them, constantly amazes."

– Richard Pedley, Fidelity International’s Learning and Development Manager

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