It is no wonder that with the introduction of the millennial generation, workplace training has undergone a dramatic transformation in order to keep up to date with the first introduction of a digital generation to the workplace.

Over the years, older training methods have slowly been replaced with modern methods including microlearning and simulation training, with 2017 set to increase in modern digital methods as the use of virtual learning gains momentum within workplace training opportunities.

Most industries have adapted appropriately to these changes, understanding how the advancements within technology need to be identified and utilised or risk being left behind.

However, it has been stated that the majority of the banking and finance sector are yet to implement changes, with reports suggesting training methods are outdated and used as only to complete tick box processes.

There are, however, few banks that have adapted to these changes and implemented training programmes accordingly which have seen continued success, and a greater improvement in employee productivity and wellbeing.

In order for banks to see increased engagement levels with their employees through training, they need to understand the training method that would be most beneficial.

What is experiential learning?

Experiential training or learning is the process of learning through practical experiences. It can also be defined specifically as learning through insights and reflection.

Most experiential learning experiences will use a hands-on approach and considers the individual learning process. The main focus of experiential training is to shift the outcome from facts and figures to the development of practical skills.

Different types of experiential learning

There are many different types of experiential learning methods, of which, will enable banks to engage emotionally and intellectually with employees.

On the job training

This training method is used to impart new skills to employees that are working on a certain position. In order to ensure employees are knowledgeable in all aspects of a business, job rotation would be beneficial as all employees can gain a hands-on approach of different roles.


This form of experiential training has grown exponentially over the last few years. The method is based around creating real-life situations or scenarios that emulate elements (or key parts) of the workplace in order to give employees first-hand experience of what they can expect when in the role. Simulations provide a safe environment in which to learn, experiment with ideas and see the outcomes from their actions.

Role-playing (or forum theatre)

This form of training is utilised essentially to change attitudes and help people see things from a different perspective. It can be used to analyse and improve interpersonal skills within employees.

Benefits of experiential training  

It increases employee engagement

As many aspects of experiential learning are based on collaboration, employees are seemingly more engaged as they are interacting and learning from each other.

Due to the nature of training experiences, each participant plays a vital role and are crucial to decision making and therefore have greater ownership of their role again increasing motivation and engagement.

It delivers high ROI

Experiential learning is both personal and effective, it expands far beyond the basic ‘classroom learning’ method and therefore, it often leads to higher retention rates and ultimately higher return of investment.

Personalised learning

In the past, basic forms of training have resulted in employees being taught the same training, it is no surprise then, that these types of training methods have been highly ineffective.

Experiential learning takes into account that all participants have different abilities and different areas for improvement, it allows for training programmes to be personalised to individual needs and requirements, which ultimately means a higher success rate and increased employee motivation.

Why is this training needed for banks?

In order for banks to move away from linear, instructor-led training they must invest in a form of training that allows for employees to interact and engage with the learning at a deeper level, helping to develop more, practical skills that will enable them to perform their roles more effectively.