- Bank working to equip individuals for workforce of the future
- Invests $78 Million annually in employee learning, upskilling initiatives
TORONTO, October 4, 2019 – The Association for Talent Development (ATD) has recognized BMO Financial Group with a 2019 BEST Award. BMO is the only Canadian bank ranked among the top companies on the 2019 list. The award was presented during a ceremony held in Washington, DC on October 3.
ATD’s BEST Award is one of the talent development industry’s most rigorous and coveted recognitions. The global program recognizes organizations that demonstrate enterprise-wide success through talent development.
“Investing in our people is key to BMO’s long-term sustainability. We know that career potential is the number one reason employees come to BMO. At the same time, attracting and retaining top talent ensures we are providing the best experiences to our customers,” said Karen Collins, Chief Talent Officer, BMO Financial Group. “To remain competitive, we need to be bold on talent, creating the conditions for human and machine partnerships and building and nurturing a culture that sparks engagement and encourages learning, growth, creativity and innovation.”
The bank’s commitment to learning is unwavering. For more than 25 years, BMO has been at the forefront of corporate learning initiatives, investing more than $78 million annually for employee development. In the coming decade, businesses will be faced with unprecedented opportunities and challenges, with changing workforce demographics, the disruption of traditional business models, and rapid technology shifts. These shifts necessitate investment in skills.
“Learning and development is foundational to our purpose as an organization. Providing an inclusive workplace where everyone is supported to perform at their best includes having a workplace without barriers to learning. Our innovative strategy and approach to building future-focused skills is equipping our workforce to be successful in the face of increasing complexity in the financial space,” said Gina Jeneroux, Chief Learning Officer, BMO Financial Group.
In 1994, BMO Financial Group stepped into the future of corporate education with the opening of the Institute for Learning – BMO IFL – in Toronto. Designed by renowned Canadian architect Raymond Moriyama, the IFL was created as more than a symbol of learning; it was a tangible investment in the bank’s workforce, its change agenda and its belief in the power of reinvention.
The range of learning options has increased dramatically over the past 25 years. From formal classroom programs to online courses to bite-sized videos, articles, eBooks, infographics and on-the-job development activities, BMO employees can now choose what, where and how they build their skills.
Digital learning: enabling flexible, scalable learning
In 2018, BMO established BMO U – a mobile, 24/7 learning platform – to empower employees to learn for their jobs, careers, personal interests and for the future of work. BMO U creates a customized experience by offering easy access to thousands of formal and informal learning resources, and it provides ways to share insights, find experts and participate in learning communities. One year later, almost half of all BMO employees are active users.
Earlier this year, the bank launched BMO Forward to help employees build the technical skills they will need for a digital future, including artificial intelligence, robotics, data science, cybersecurity, and digital acumen. The program also includes “human skills” – such as empathy, resilience, judgement and cultural intelligence – to differentiate people from the technology they’re building and using and to forge stronger connections between individuals, teams and customers. The goals of BMO Forward are to raise the water line for all employees, help subject-matter experts stay at the top of their game, and equip leaders to lead in a new context.
Connecting employees to explore new opportunities
Available to existing BMO employees, #HelpWanted is a virtual job board where leaders can post short-term projects or challenges with which they need help, and where employees can volunteer to take on “gigs” that match their skills. Projects are vetted by the bank’s talent development team to ensure alignment with program and company goals.
About BMO Financial Group
Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider - the 8th largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $839 billion as of July 31, 2019, and a team of diverse and highly engaged employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, BMO Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.