Reflecting Back and Looking Forward
Training Wheels - January 2024

Internal Links Kristen Reid

As many people do this time of year, I have been reflecting back on 2023 and looking forward to 2024.  What experiences and learning did I have and what do I want to pursue this year?  What am I willing to start doing, stop doing, or change to help continue my own growth and encourage those around me?  As 2024 is a big year, birthday-wise, for me, there are a few things on my personal list that I intend to make happen (if anyone is interested in skydiving, let me know!). 

If you read the “Training Wheels” last September, Falling Into Change, you will remember I talked a little about how we were in the midst of planning for the upcoming year.  In an industry that is evolving at an ever-increasing speed, the VBA wants to ensure that we are continuing to provide members with what they need to be successful in their roles, with both the technical and the “softer” skills.  This means the Education & Training team is also constantly looking at what we want to start, stop and change for the new year.  I am excited to share several new offerings and partnerships as we continue to grow and evolve throughout 2024:

  • NEW: Understanding Bank Performance (virtual): A quarterly offering hosted by Washington Bankers Association, the VBA is excited to join 22 other states in providing this opportunity to its members. During eight two-hour sessions, participants will learn about financial statements, credit metrics, funding & liquidity (and more!). This is a great way to get your new/newer and up-and-coming leaders to understand the basics of bank performance – and is a great prep for Bank School!  The next quarterly series will kick off April 30 – learn more here.
  • NEW: Three-Part Leadership Series (virtual) – Last year, we held a virtual training on crucial conversations with our Bank Supervisor School instructor, Karen Butcher, and received amazing feedback. This year, we will be partnering with Karen again to offer a three-part leadership series with the following topics:
    • The Gift of Feedback
    • Supporting Employees Through Change
    • Active Listening Unlocked

Banks can register individuals OR register for a license and host watch parties allowing employees to learn and grow together. This program kicks off on April 18 – learn more here.

  • Preventing Elder Financial Exploitation Training (in-person and virtual) -  Sadly, elder financial exploitation is a trend that is growing. The VBA hosted a “train-the-trainer” several years ago in partnership with Adult Protective Services and the police and will be looking to host a similar event in late spring/early summer.  In addition to the in-person “train-the-trainer” session, we are exploring hosting a virtual training specifically for bankers interacting with customers daily, to arm them with tools to combat this problem.  Stay tuned, very soon, for more information.

These are just a few items that we are planning – and, as always, we are assessing and adapting to ensure that the VBA is your number one stop for training.  If you ever have any thoughts or suggestions, please share them with us.  Here is to a happy, healthy and fulfilling (personally and professionally) 2024!