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Employee Recognition 18 Dec 2018

Becoming lifelong learners

A new career development program at BBVA Compass is leading to better customer experiences and greater employee engagement on the Mortgage Fulfillment team.

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Building a first-class workforce is something that Director of Mortgage Fulfillment and Operational Strategy Kim Thompson is clearly passionate about—for many reasons.

Since joining the bank two years ago, Thompson has put career development at the center of her strategy for making the bank’s mortgage services more competitive. New technologies and online-only competitors require every industry to adapt to survive, and Thompson said she wants to enable employees to drive needed changes and thrive.

Thompson: The only way for all of us to keep up with the accelerating pace of change is to become lifelong learners.

“The technology is already here; we can’t ignore it, and it is driving continuous, transformational change,” Thompson said. “We want to exchange fear of the unknown with the excitement and satisfaction of seeing your ideas come to life. The only way for all of us to keep up with the accelerating pace of change is to become lifelong learners.”

Thompson’s commitment is what led to the Mortgage Career Development Program. The program offers Mortgage Fulfillment employees the opportunity to build their knowledge of residential-secured lending principles and methods. At the heart of this process is the Mortgage Academy, a 48-course program that covers everything from origination, compliance, and underwriting to processing and selling loans. The Academy enables employees to become better advisers to their customers as they help them navigate the mortgage application process.

Once certified in their core job functions, employees can then choose from multiple career tracks to prepare for the next steps in their careers. These include a technology track that exposes employees to business analysis and requirements development, as well as the division’s robotics automation initiatives. There are also Underwriting and Compliance tracks that lead to industry-recognized certifications, and a leadership track that nominated employees can take part in, led by Thompson on a biweekly basis.

To reinforce the importance of the program, the team set aside dedicated time for employees to complete training within the work week. So far, eight employees have achieved Level 3 Certification. One of them is Mortgage Fulfillment Specialist Wesley Johnson. Since completing his Level 3 Certification, Johnson has received a promotion and the opportunity to partner with developers to improve the loan origination system. While not a developer himself, Johnson is learning to “speak the language.”  His expertise in mortgage processing makes him the ideal person to test the system and make sure it works as planned.

Johnson: The bank is investing in employees and giving us a chance to invest in ourselves.

“The bank is investing in employees and giving us a chance to invest in ourselves,” Johnson said. “It’s been great to learn more about every piece of the puzzle and understand the underlying reasons why we do some of the things we do. I’m glad that I took advantage of this program.”