Thanks to its wide portfolio of personal and commercial banking services, Scotiabank is a preferred bank across Canada and around the world. But its true competitive advantage lies in its 90,000 employees, affectionately known as “Scotiabankers.” Every day at Scotiabank, employees are provided with cutting-edge learning and career opportunities that create a meaningful employee experience.

As a result, not only do customers prefer to do business with Scotiabank, but the company’s own employees see Scotiabank as an employer of choice too, according to Barb Mason, group head and chief human resources officer at Scotiabank.

Empowering Employees with Better Learning Experiences

Should employers hire candidates with a strong desire to learn, or try to nurture this quality in all its employees? According to Mason, it’s a bit of both. Too often, employees aren’t afforded the opportunity to learn on the job and grow their skill set – especially women and people of color.

“For us, it is all about ensuring that we have systemically equitable processes in the bank to allow everyone to have the same opportunities and understand what they need to do to be able to get these opportunities,” Mason said.

Scotiabank embraces equitable hiring processes that set a standard for equity for the rest of the employee life cycle. This begins with diverse interview teams who strive to ask unbiased interview questions and follow other best practices for inclusive recruitment.

From the start, Scotiabank lets its employees know it is dedicated to providing next-level learning and skill-building experiences. Throughout the recruitment and interview process, HR leaders open the door to a world of on-the-job learning for candidates. With a modern learning experience similar to employees’ favorite video streaming services, Scotiabank’s workforce can tap into on-demand learning and training built on Blend by TalenTeam powered by SAP SuccessFactors Learning.

Creating the Highest Performing Workforce to Date

Mason knows that learning doesn’t do any employees – or the business – any good if people don’t know how to access learning resources. In addition to making these resources readily available to employees as part of the company’s next-generation HR experience, Scotiabank also readily provides opportunities for experiential learning for directors and above.

During hypothetical scenarios, employees have the chance to tackle new tasks set at a level above their current role at Scotiabank. For instance, a mid-level bank officer may have to resolve a simulated customer challenge that is usually handled by a senior officer. Employees get to learn new skills on the fly, and the company gets to see employees’ aptitude for performing in a new role. “It’s not a pass or fail,” said Mason. “It’s an experience.”

Meanwhile, the Scotia Inspire program, enabled by SAP SuccessFactors Human Experience Management (HXM) Suite, empowers women in senior positions to participate in mentoring and sponsorship for the next level of women at Scotiabank. This begins at the very top, with women in the executive suite enabling leaders to mentor women in every other role across the business.

“We now have the highest caliber performance of women that we’ve ever had in the history of the organization, and I don’t see that ever changing,” said Mason.

To learn more, watch Barb Mason’s interview in an episode of Forward with Adam Grant.

Carolyn Judge Phillip is vice president of Corporate Marketing for SAP SuccessFactors.
This also appeared on SAP BrandVoice on Forbes.