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Learning to #BeMore at Citi

Micro-actions create macro change thanks to a 30-Day Development Challenge.
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The Challenge

Established over 200 years ago, this global financial company wanted to shake things up

Traditionally, Citi fed new ideas from the top. But to adapt and to grow, it needed something altogether different. A way for its people to collaborate, grow and help the organization innovate.

Working with Citi, we empowered employees to take control of their development, share ideas, and seed real change.

Specifically, Citi wanted to:

  • Build leadership and manager capability
  • Drive ethical and cultural change
  • Empower employee-led development.

It was clear that the business leaders felt the responsibility and pressure to create opportunities for development. But they needed to get the dynamics right – not just to create a top-down push, but a pull to bring about an employee-owned and manager-supported learning culture.

The Solution

Survival in the city means adapting and growing

Our solution was a campaign centered around continuous learning. The 30-Day Development Challenge comprised thirty micro-actions, one to do per day. Each micro-action takes less than ten minutes and employees can complete them at home or in the office.

We tasked people to do things differently. This builds new neural pathways and influences their day-to-day capacity to learn.

Micro-actions included:

  • Go for a walk and talk with someone today
  • Discover how a different space leads to better conversations
  • Take a valuable piece of advice you’ve been given and pass that lesson on.

A series of emails drove people to the #BeMore landing page for their daily challenge. Here, we asked them to reflect on the challenge, upload a selfie and share ideas via social platform Citi Collaborate. Employees could also dig deeper and look through learning resources there.

Managers and external influencers also took part. They posted video introductions to daily challenges and reflected on their own learning – encouraging others to do the same.

It was critical to shift to new learning principles and pivot our role as learning professionals. In our team, our priority was to shift to the role of performance consultants. Our role in helping our people understand how to balance their own learning across the 3 Es – Experience, Exposure and Education – has been fundamental in supporting business change and agility in our organization.

Why it works

While easy access to tools and resources was important for success, the #BeMore campaign also looked to change behavior in three ways:

  1. Equip employees and line managers to have honest conversations
  2. Focus on continuous learning based on the principles of 70-20-10 and Citi’s 3Es: Experience, Exposure and Education
  3. Encourage better completion of Individual Development Plans (IDPs).

The Results

Two-way engagement with Citi people was essential

The campaign empowered Citi staff to take control of their own development, grow their professional network and learn from each other.

Citi’s public affairs, HR and business leaders across the whole region all took part – building momentum. But they didn’t use HR speak. To engage with employees, the tone of #BeMore content was informal and quirky. This encouraged people to get involved and share their learning experiences.

What’s more, an online toolkit gave access to all marketing materials, which helped break down convention by sparking fresh ideas.

Proof points

  • 10,000 staff inspired by #BeMore Talks
  • Staff engagement scores of participants were double the average
  • More IDPs have been completed to a high standard
  • Campaign rolled out to 54 countries in two years.