Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


Employee Training Takes Center Stage At VCNB

When we talk about banking at VCNB, we don’t mean account numbers and government regulations. It isn’t just about dollars and cents. Instead, it’s about people. It’s about the customers who we help, the money they rely on us to keep safe, and the individuals we employ to do just that.

That’s why we have placed a special emphasis on investing in our employees throughout this last year. In doing so, we were able to foster professional growth and a deeper knowledge base among employees who we believe will offer greater care to our customers when they are better trained.

What makes our training program unique is that the instructors are all longtime bank employees who are experts in their fields. These are the people who know their topics best. Sometimes they use their voice of experience to reach newer employees and sometimes they are instructing peers on tips and knowledge gained from experience.

Ask Employee Development and Recruitment Officer Kyle Exline to describe the bank’s new internal training program and her enthusiasm is contagious. That’s because she led the bank’s effort to host an average of one in-person training session per week this year, reaching employees on a variety of timely topics. She said the feedback has been positive. When asked if there is one training that was particularly successful, she said the IRA training that reached forty bankers in five sessions is at the top of her list.

“Gosh, it's hard to choose just one because they all provide so much value to many different groups! I am really, really proud of the IRA training that was done as part of the Advanced Deposit Boot Camp and the IRA Refresh sessions. IRAs are tough and they have changes each year. We knew we needed to find a way to train individuals working with IRAs for the first time and still provide continuing education on IRAs for all employees who work with them.”

So, the bank formed an IRA team of ten individuals who were already familiar with IRAs and committed to in-depth learning about them. That team completed significant training so they could support others throughout the bank when needs arise. From that team, Compliance Analyst Sheena Gibson and Senior Personal Banker Stephanie Mathias volunteered to attend additional training sessions from PMC, a leading IRA training provider and resource. These two continue to lead sessions and are empowered to help coworkers better serve their customers.

Deposit Operations Supervisor Brenda Branscom also participates through support in material development and shedding light on the operational side of IRAs. They are continually revising and updating training materials to provide the most current information available. “I love that we have a retail personal banker, a compliance analyst and an operations manager all involved in helping to ensure we provide the most accurate and clear information possible,” Exline said.

That’s just one training topic the bank has covered in a list that includes refreshers and boot camps for topics like HELOCs, consumer loans, managing people and even one that takes a deep dive into software we use here at VCNB.

Exline said one of the most rewarding parts of training is the feedback that comes afterward. Each participant is asked to provide thoughts on the 3R’s of training. They are asked to Reflect on something they learned, share anything that needs Revised or improved in the training session and say if there is anything they wish to Revisit either for clarification or to learn more about.

“Employees are finding tremendous value in hands on training in an uninterrupted environment that allows them the opportunity to learn new things or review others. We often receive feedback that employees love being able to spend time with and even get new ideas from their peers from other branches who they don't regularly see in person,” she said.

Exline believes that a key to the program’s success has been using internal trainers. It allows experienced employees to take on leadership roles and grow their skills and confidence. Those internal trainers are also accessible to employees who need to reach out beyond the training room and it is easy for them to conduct multiple trainings a year. This allows more individuals a chance to attend in-person trainings.

Exline said plans are already underway for 2024 and that this year will bring even more opportunities for learning. Some existing classes will be reconfigured while more classes are being developed. Emphasis will be on frontline employees to ensure bankers are providing a high level of service.

While virtual training opportunities are already provided to all bank employees, efforts are underway to create additional mini training sessions and tutorials on a variety of topics. New employees participate in quarterly sessions that teach them about the bank’s history, culture and service standards. Click here to read about these important training sessions.

This year’s trainers included Products and Services Manager Judy Wohrer, Senior Retail Products and Services Representative Mike Winter, Consumer Lending Officer JJ Wright, Business Application Manager Eric Dennis, and BSA and Fraud Mitigation Officer Lori McElfresh along with Branscom, Exline, Mathias and Gibson. Numerous bank executives and other bankers also participated in New Hire training days.

“I cannot express enough how valuable these internal trainers are to VCNB and how much of an impact their efforts have on all of our employees and thereby our customers too,” Exline said.


Click here to read about the bank’s New Hire Training, a program that teaches new employees about the bank’s values while giving them access to bank executives in a casual environment.  





Share on: