About Fidelity International

Established in 1969, Fidelity International UK is an investment solutions provider with over 400 financial services professionals and research staff around the world and a total workforce of 7,500. The company is responsible for client assets measured in the hundreds of billions of dollars, with over 2.4 million clients worldwide. Clients may be institutions, individuals or their advisors, and solutions range from workplace pension administration to full-service asset management outsourcing.

Learning Authoring and Delivery That Promotes International, Cross-Generational Understanding of Complex Money Matters

After strategically pivoting to focus on the UK’s increasingly complex retirement market, Fidelity International’s UK business found itself facing a quadruple threat of content challenges:

  • Product complexity: Fidelity UK wanted to reinforce employee understanding of the broader retirement market, not just the products they offer.
  • An employee empathy gap: Sections of the organization are less familiar with UK pension market topics for various reasons. Younger employees commonly spend less time considering retirement topics, and Fidelity has staff in Ireland and India who don’t encounter the UK context before onboarding.
  • An employee culture gap: A traditional asset management mindset occasionally prevails—improving employee understanding of the retirement market would help challenge these biases.
  • Low engagement on existing LMS: The platform’s presence outside the everyday flow of work—the main pillar being a successful SharePoint implementation that most staff accessed daily—and a strong association with mandatory compliance training were barriers to wider acceptance.

Fidelity wanted a learning ecosystem that could address all of these challenges. The learning would have to engage a workforce at a (sometimes literal) distance from customer experiences, in formats and on platforms that conveyed the message in an interesting way. The right ecosystem would help equip their employees to make customers feel comfortable and to authoritatively present all the options available.

Maximizing Engagement, Understanding and Ease of Accessibility

The Gomo authoring tool provided an effective, scalable solution for the ambitious custom eLearning program designed by sister-company LEO Learning. Using Gomo, LEO delivered a story-driven curriculum called ‘The Retirement Academy’ following the lives of the fictional UK-based Williams family and their various friends and acquaintances. Every Williams family member or family friend featured is at a different life stage, making key personal finance decisions. These stories provide a jumping-off point for learning material across 18 eLearning courses.

Gomo enabled LEO’s learning designers to realize a diverse vision for the project with support for numerous content types. A series of short video dramas featuring the Williams family discussing various financial decisions in everyday settings is the centerpiece of the learning, promoting learner empathy with a relatable cast of characters. These are supported by a range of animated clips, microlearning pieces and animations that make use of key Gomo HTML5 functions such as carousels, accordions, filmstrips, and hotspots. The project’s need to track data on engagement, curiosity and return visits was covered by Gomo’s xAPI compatibility.

As Richard Pedley, Fidelity International UK’s Learning Project Manager, explains: “The stories were integral to unpacking some of the complex financial decisions individuals need to make. So these were used to build learner empathy with customer needs—to highlight that not everyone feels confident managing their money, and how Fidelity can help guide these customers.”

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Designing the course using Gomo also allowed for various question formats, with learners empowered to check their own understanding and move around the full syllabus at will. The subject matter demanded detailed and challenging questions, though these questions made reference to the characters and stories that learners experienced, assisting their understanding.

Learners additionally benefited from an achievement system—a selection of 21 learning accolades that could be obtained throughout the syllabus. These were designed to motivate learners to become self-sufficient. The idea was to reward curiosity, and adopt rewarding curiosity into the company culture—a cultural change that was the main goal of the project. 

To this end, the accolades measured different aspects of engagement, rewarding behaviors such as:

  • Returning a certain number of times per week, month or quarter
  • Consuming small amounts of learning content regularly
  • Consuming large amounts of content in one sitting
  • Watching a certain amount of video content
  • Exploring side content
  • Passing knowledge checks
  • Revising material for which learners had already taken a knowledge check

These interactions were tracked via xAPI and measured using the Watershed Learning Record Store and Learning Analytics Platform. From here, Watershed handed over to a LEO-developed Django application that provides automated and personalized progress emails to learners.

Gomo is a platform built with this kind of interoperability in mind. We worked with Fidelity’s teams to link the Cornerstone LMS with their more active SharePoint site. The ‘Retirement Academy’ was then deployed within this LMS via Gomo’s SCORM LMS wrapper. The wrapper allows a Gomo-hosted course to be delivered in whatever context is required, while allowing xAPI statements to be delivered to the LRS for analysis. This maximized employee visits while creating a seamless learning experience.

“It was really important for every platform to speak to each other in a way that was essentially invisible to our learners,” notes Richard Pedley. “This was easily achievable once Gomo’s compact LMS wrapper was in place on the LMS—and our content creators benefited from the instantaneous deployment of their edits.”

Results: Taking a Compelling eLearning Drama Business-Wide 

After a successful initial pilot of 300 learners in mid-2019, the series was made available business-wide to Fidelity’s 6,000 learners in the UK, Ireland and India. Every person in the UK business now takes the introductory course—regardless of whether they are in a customer-centric role.

In the project’s first year:

  • Over a third of Fidelity’s employees are already getting stuck into the training—and the training remains non-compulsory.
  • 300,000 xAPI statements have been sent and interpreted since the program began.
  • Over two-thirds of everyone who has completed the first module have already gone on to complete the entire first tier of learning—with a steady flow of new learners starting the program
  • On average, it takes 20 days for employees to complete all six milestones in the introductory element—learners take time with content and return (employees complete two further levels over the course of several following years, where relevant)
  • The material is consumed with particular enthusiasm in India—helping employees better understand UK products and customers

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  • 6,000 Learners in UK, Ireland and India
  • 300,000 xAPI statements sent and interpreted
  • 20 Days to complete first content level
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