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Capital One associate working at her laptop at home for the Catalyst Rotational Program

Accelerating careers with the Catalyst Rotational Program

How do companies make sure everyone, no matter their role, has equal access to growth and development opportunities? At Capital One, benefits and programs like tuition reimbursement, Tech College and Magellan, amongst others, have existed for years—but there was still an opportunity to focus on career development for some of our customer facing associates. Enter the new Catalyst Rotational Program, a career growth development initiative, targeted towards senior associates who work in our contact centers and are ready to explore advancement opportunities.

Catalyst participants have the chance to rotate into two roles, each for a year-long tenure, working within either process management, project management or risk. Why rotate? It lets them explore different roles and job areas, so that they can find a space that best fits their unique skill set. They may be offered a permanent position on one of those teams after the successful completion of their program! Additionally, the participants engage in professional development learning series, executive coaching, networking and mentorship. There are 18 associates in the 2021 pilot program cohort, and participation will likely increase in years to come!

“To be selected for Catalyst is an honor,” says Sean, Unit Manager and Catalyst participant. “To know that my efforts, dedication and performance has caught the attention of a team of people who are willing to invest in me is special.”

Two Capital One associates sitting on a couch discussing the Catalyst Rotational Program

Growth opportunities for customer-facing associates

Catalyst offers career growth opportunities for those in customer care jobs to grow their network, learn new skills and expand their horizons in terms of their future career path. It’s all about creating new paths and possibilities for our current associates.

“We have amazing diversity amongst our contact center teams who have deep knowledge about our customers, products and services. They can really offer different perspectives within some of our other critical job functions,” says Gloria, Sr. Manager, Platform Process Engineering and Program Lead for the Catalyst pilot. “We want to give them the space to continue building transferable skills across multiple areas.”

Those areas include risk management, process management and project management—all of which are roles that help guide the functions of the customer care teams. For contact center associates, opportunities to work in other areas outside of customer care aren’t something they may even know to look for. “The Catalyst Rotational Program helps both associates within the contact centers and our leaders to align on roles and opportunities,” says Gloria.

For Rebecca, Senior Learning Manager and a member of the Catalyst program team, this program hits close to home. “Starting in the contact center, and continuing by supporting contact centers for my entire career at Capital One, has been awe-inspiring,” she says. “Catalyst provided me the opportunity to build a program that gives back to the backbone of our business and the people who touch the lives of customers everyday.”

Catalyst and other rotational programs are part of a larger framework to increase internal mobility, expand networks and help associates find their right next step. “The concept of really challenging how we think about internal mobility at Capital One has been on the docket for a while,” says Gloria. Catalyst is the first program focused exclusively on seasoned contact center senior associates.

Capital One Catalyst Rotational Program associates sit at a table with their laptops

Growing diverse talent with exposure to new opportunities

In conjunction with ongoing efforts to encourage diversity, inclusion and belonging and strengthen our broader communities, this program is helping associates see the investment and value in their success and fulfillment. For associates from underrepresented groups who sit within the contact center environment, many of whom are members of the VOICES and HOLA Business Resource Groups (BRGs), this is an additional resource to build a career and life that they find fulfilling and where they feel valued. “We wanted to make sure that we were being strategic in how we were thinking about connecting these opportunities,” says Gloria. “Our intention is to help establish a pipeline of talent and leaders where we have business-critical opportunities and openings.”

By increasing diversity and representation of our talent through all roles and levels, associates also have a proven and achievable career path on which to model their own future successes. And for the participants, it shows. “In my opinion, the Catalyst Rotational Program is a direct demonstration of Capital One's commitment to diversity and leveraging internal talent who sometimes gets overlooked or passed by,” says Sean. “In my 24-year journey with Capital One, my experience has been that Capital One believes in the values and talent of the people who show up for work each day.”

Catalyst participant Sarah agrees. “I am honored to work for a Company that encourages a diverse environment with programs in place that not only raise awareness but speaks candidly about systemic racism and racial bias,” she says. “Capital One is intent on understanding existing diversity gaps in various parts of our organization and senior leadership structures. The program is a major step towards building a workforce that mirrors the communities we serve.”

“When we think about that concept of equity, much of that is about not just how you walk into the door at Capital One, but what opportunities you have available once you're inside of the doors,” Gloria shares.

Copyright © 2024 Opinions are those of the individual author. Statements are deemed accurate at the time of posting. Unless otherwise noted, Capital One is not affiliated with, or endorsed by, any company mentioned. All trademarks and intellectual property used or displayed are the property of their respective owners.

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