Digital skills development in the fund services segment at Union Investment

The increasing digitalization is changing our working and living world, as far as we are concerned with new, hitherto unknown topics. The frequency of topics is increasing and is also subject to rapid change. Education for digitization is becoming a prerequisite for the success of individuals and companies. Learning in organizations is evolving from static, i.e. planned for the long term and lasting learning offers to a framework organization of a student-friendly workplace.

In Union Investment’s fund services segment, this is reflected in the design of demand-oriented, individual learning units that can be called up at the workplace in line with demand. At the same time, the creation of a learning-on-demand offer for perspective challenges is to have a controlling effect on digitization. This represents a paradigm shift in the area of in-company further training.

In addition to the existing eLearning offer in the Learning Management system, the starting point is a high proportion of long-term planned classroom training. This concept is defined by a widespread separation of learning and working. In a digitized working world, with an increasing dynamization and fast pace of topics, this principle becomes obsolete. While the range of topics for individual employees is growing, processes are increasingly automated or digitally controlled. A profound understanding and mastery of all tasks becomes increasingly difficult. Static learning concepts are supplemented by a demand-oriented integration of learning into the work on the basis of concrete qualification of the employees on the job. The targeted use of a new tool can thus be learned within a few minutes without going through a long-term planned, lengthy training course. This requires nothing less than the creation of a new learning culture.

On the one hand, this includes a new understanding of leadership, which gives employees more responsibility for their self-directed learning process and is more coordinative works. On the other hand, the responsibility of the employee for his or her long-term competence development comes to the fore by ensuring that on the one hand he or she builds up the necessary level of competence and closes any gaps that may arise in the future. For those responsible for continuing education, too, the tasks spread accordingly away from the organization of events (preparation / implementation / follow-up), which are offered as an alternative to working time, to the optimization of work processes by creating the framework for the action-oriented qualification of employees, both by providing learning content and by specifically promoting the framework conditions of a new learning culture.

At Union Investment, the new challenges are manifested in an increasingly broad range of software at ever shorter intervals, the automation of processes and the use of the possibilities of digitization, such as the use of VoIP telephony, webinars or collaborative work in SharePoint. The problem-solving skills that have been learnt by the employees will help no longer, because a high degree of digital competence is required of them. In negative cases, such a situation can lead to anxiety, resignation or refusal. The pragmatic solution lies in simplification and reduction of complex interdependencies to the Target group Essential (keyword: didactic reduction), the simplified demonstration of practical references and the ability to act quickly. Due to the high complexity, a deeper understanding is often not only not possible, but also not necessary. The goal must be a low-threshold, practical ability to act through an understanding in context.

In the daily work of the future, collaboration and exchange with both customers and colleagues will come even more to the fore.

In line with the roll-out of the new hardware and software, employees are offered e-learning units with learning paths and microlearning offerings such as short learning videos. They support employees in the concrete use of new software on demand, such as office hacks, which support them in the concrete use of new software, such as VoIP communication. Employees are offered directly applicable knowledge in a timely and easily accessible manner, which saves time and avoids friction losses due to rejection or simple incomprehension or faulty operation.

In addition, the aim is to enable multipliers in the specialist areas, for example a team of employees trained to become specialist trainers from the specialist areas. Traditional software presence training courses are also increasingly being replaced by individual qualification tools, such as Soluzione, which provides assistance in the form of learning videos and descriptions directly in the respective applications. We are striving for a learning organization in which employees can directly produce and provide their own learning content in order to be able to offer solution-oriented, prompt help from users to users. We have taken a first step in this direction with the further development of knowledge management in the fund services segment: The SharePoint-based knowledge platform, in which the process knowledge of the corporate segment is stored centrally, was previously maintained by a team of editors who were informed of changes.

In future, this task will be carried out directly in specialist departments by selected employees who need the instructions themselves. Thus, the time from the generation to the dissemination of new knowledge could not only be shortened, but the principle of a dynamic process of knowledge generation could also be anchored.

The Author

Sebastian Friedrich

is 33 years old and studied business education at the Universities of Mannheim & Hohenheim. After completing his studies, the trained banker was responsible for training management at Swiss Life Germany. Since 2016 he has been working as a training and coaching manager in the fund services segment at Union Investment and supports the segment in the development of new learning methods.

The Author

Yannick Walter

is 30 years old and studied social sciences and philosophy at the Universities of Leipzig and St. Andrews. Since September 2014 he has been working in the Business Performance group in segment management and development of fund services. His main focus is on training and knowledge management, where he mainly supervises the methodological further development in the field of digital further education.


Union Investment Service Bank AG

Contact person:
Sebastian Friedrich
Training and Coaching Manager

Wiesenhüttenstraße 10
D-60329 Frankfurt am Main
Phone: +49 (0) 69 / 25 67 74 61