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Rabobank saves €500,000 on internal administration and financial handling in 2018

Rabobank is a cooperative bank that is active in 40 countries, with 43,000 employees and 8.7 million clients. Its aim is to be a market leader across all financial markets in the Netherlands, committed also to being a leading bank in the field of food and agriculture worldwide.

The Challenge

“Empowered employees” is one of Rabobank’s four strategic pillars. Achieving this strategic objective requires a transformation into an organization in which there is room for vitality, adaptability and craftsmanship, with a continual focus on development and training.

Rabobank believes it is important that their employees take responsibility and control of their own development. One of the tools to stimulate this is a personal development budget which is part of Rabobank’s collective labor agreement. This budget can be used for personal development, professional knowledge and career opportunities.

The main challenges to implement this were to:

  • Create a user-friendly and inspirational portal where employees can easily find and access a wide range of courses.
  • Create efficient and effective processes for approval, cancellation and notification.
  • Give employees, managers and Rabobank real-time insights into portal usage, utilization of the personal development budget and progress in applications and enrollments for training.


The Solution

For Rabobank, Totara’s partner Bloomville has created a solution which consists of three components, all working seamlessly together. The solution was named Time2Grow!

Component 1: Totara (the engine)

Totara is the powerful engine enabling a lot of customer requirements. Starting with the integration of a single sign-on so that users don’t have to continually login, enabled by a fully automatic, daily HR feed.

The standard functionality of Totara has made it possible to create flexible and diverse workflow processes for any (blended) use of a personal development budget, company budget and personal contribution, including notifications.

Standard functionality also used:

  • Employees can view their status, requests for training activities, or reserve their own
  • Managers can monitor training status and usage of their direct reports’ personal development budget
  • Manager approval
  • Reports and analytics



The robustness and security of Totara, in combination with a MySQL database, was chosen to process and secure order requests and cancellations, learning content, budget data, personal data and billing data.

The open source nature of Totara has given Bloomville the opportunity to extend its code base with innovative and more common extensions. Added were:

  • A budget meter, giving employees a real-time numerical and graphical view of the use of their personal development budget.
  • A budget feed.
  • A training evaluation plugin.
  • An Ideal payment plugin.
  • Extensions on existing reports, as well as making new ones.


Component 2: Learningville® (the content database)

Learningville® is a content database where Bloomville harnesses the training supply of all major Dutch training vendors. It currently has around 30,000 learning offerings from 130 vendors, and is expanding on a weekly basis. In Learningville®, customers like Rabobank can easily decide for themselves which training they want to publish for their employees. Prices, depending on specific vendor discounts, are calculated automatically.

“This is really awesome, makes signing up for a training very clear and easy’.

Rabobank employee
Component 3: Add-on layer (the front-end)

An intuitive and user-friendly user interface was developed for Rabobank to maximize the user experience and to attract and retain the use of Time2Grow!

The front-end was developed with a Rabobank look and feel, making for a familiar and accessible feeling.

The main functionality of the front-end consists of:

  • A powerful search index with multiple filters.
  • Inspirational content, comprised of short learning nuggets, e.g. films and articles.
  • Highlighted training chosen by the L&D back office of Rabobank.
  • An ‘outside-the-catalog request’ route for employees.
  • Standards like FAQ and contact info.


The Results
  • Time2Grow! was developed and launched within three months, exceeding customer and market expectations.
  • The first week, 10,000 users visited Time2Grow!, with a steady rate of 1,000 users per week after that.
  • Time2Grow! received a lot of compliments from employees.
  • A very detailed insight into the development needs of Rabobank employees, enabling Rabobank to match their training needs and tailor the supply of courses in the learning catalog.
  • On average, Rabobank employees sign up for 150 trainings per week, and this average is constantly growing.
  • Saving of €500,000 on internal administration and financial handling in 2018.

“Time2Grow! has increased the convenience and the findability for our employees and therefore contributed to empowered employees.”

Janine Vos. CHRO Rabobank, CHRO of the year 2017 by CHRO Community in the Netherlands

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Prepare your people for tomorrow, today.