Case Study | Santander

The Client

Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. It has brought real competition to the UK, through its innovative products for retail customers and relationship banking model for UK SMEs. At 30 June 2017, the bank serves around 14 million active customers with c19,500 employees and operates through 826 branches (which includes 61 university branches) and 65 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.

Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading retail and commercial bank, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain. It has a meaningful market share in 10 core countries in Europe and the Americas, and is among the world’s top banks by market capitalisation. At the end of June 2017, Banco Santander had EUR 1.65 trillion in managed funds, 131 million customers, 13,800 branches and 200,000 employees. Banco Santander made attributable profit of EUR 3.6 billion in the first half of 2017, an increase of 24% compared to the same period last year.

The Challenge

Santander UK has a need for its employees to be able to converse with customers and peers in different languages, and at varying levels. Employees are regularly expected to conduct presentations, hold conference calls and meetings, as well as completing placements abroad, so an understanding of the relevant foreign language is desired. Being able to participate language sessions has become one of key development elements for Santander staff.

In 2016 The Language Plan was asked to support and deliver language training for Santander UK employees, which would address the needs of the business in terms of the different types of training sessions and levels required.

The Solution

Bespoke design for Santander UK, our current offering includes the following:

  • One to one sessions – a customised course that uses specific materials including books and online resources to cover a wide range of skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. The delegate is provided with a Scheme of Work to see in advance the lesson plan for the following months. At the end of each the term, the employee can easily track their progress.
  • Group sessions – customised course for those delegates who do have language requirements on a very high level (i.e. they may need to join conference calls, but wouldn’t need to present in the foreign language). All delegates are provided with a Scheme of Work to see in advance the lesson plan for the following months, and an individual assessment and progress report at the end of each term.
  • Virtual learning – a bespoke blend of various platforms and offerings, where the teacher is available at any time via email.
    • Online language platform with weekly assignments,
    • Short clips – a simple platform which allows short video clips to be filmed and submitted. Teachers and delegates are posting videos which not only enhances the relationship but encourages the delegates to practice their listening and speaking skills in a fun way.
    • Webinars – customised webinars for delegates to view in their own time,
    • Online quizzes and assessments,
    • Individual and group progress tracking

The Impact

100%

of delegates increased their language level within the year

72%

of delegates are highly engaged learners (attending >75% of sessions)

4.5/ 5

stars rating from delegates for their language sessions

4.37/5

stars rating from delegates for The Language Plan administration team

Feedback from the delegates has been very positive in terms of progression of learning as well as the teaching style and materials, helping them to progress according to industry guidelines as well as perform better in their roles. Some comments from delegates include one who mentions that“ I am learning quickly thanks to her [the teacher’s] excellent guidance and support.” and another who says “[the teacher] gives the class in a really proactive way. He is always analyzing my weaknesses and helping me in improving.”

And with regards to The Language Plan’s administration team, delegates also have noted the customisation and quick responses, saying “The classes were flexibly arranged around other commitments and with sufficient notice. Communication was clear and straightforward.”

What assessment is used?

The Language Plan uses the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages which grades delegates on their level from A1 to C2. Each level is subdivided this into sub-level representing one term (for example: for A1 sub- levels are: A1.1 / A1.2 / A1.3). This means that with each term, a delegate should progress ⅓ of a level.

By using this common framework, delegates are able to measure their progress against an accepted measure and apply their levels to various institutions which also test and teach according to the same system.

What do we offer to the business & HR?

Beyond offering language sessions to delegates, The Language Plan team understands the importance of maintaining close discussions with HR Learning and the business to ensure that they are up-to-date on delegates’ progress, have a clear understanding of the fee structure, and are involved in the decisions as they are made.

Our monthly reporting offers an overview of the attendance and cancellations, progress, cost structure and other metrics that our clients wish to measure.

By using this common framework, delegates are able to measure their progress against an accepted measure and apply their levels to various institutions which also test and teach according to the same system.

The Language Plan is a UK based teaching agency specialising in providing business language clients with customised courses.