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Post-pandemic people productivity: quite a mouthful for banks to swallow

  • Posted on April 2, 2021
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
Post Pandemic People Productivity

Our clients have summarised their top three banking challenges in 2021 as CX, operational agility and people productivity. We’ve already blogged about CX and operational agility. Now we look at people productivity.

Let’s start with the challenge:

  • The average worker spends 13 hours a week (over a quarter of their week) on mundane tasks
  • Almost three-quarters of digital transformation projects fail because employees do not support the change. Employees often respond to change with resentment, disregard the need to transform or are overwhelmed by new rules and regulation.
  • Almost a third of people plan to increase the time they work from home, but Forbes found that less than 10% of organisations measure employee experience (EX) associated with working from home and less than 5% of organisations measure EX at an individual journey level.

But there’s good news too:

  • Over three-quarters of employees would be happy to change if it made work easier and less mundane
  • Almost half of people who never worked from home before now plan to do so more often in the future, creating an opportunity for a 2.7% increase in productivity
  • Gallup research shows a potential 4% increase in productivity across the workforce would equate to a 16% increase in pre-tax profits.

The key challenges around bank staff in a post-pandemic world are to improve remote productivity, reduce costs by eliminating mundane tasks, upskill the workforce, improve CX and drive sustainable change.

  • Improve remote productivity: most banks are aware of Microsoft Teams’ capabilities as a communications platform but haven’t explored how it can be used as a collaboration platform to create rich employee experiences – for example, to speed up loan approval, develop new proposals for wealth clients, share operational targets, assess footfall impact of a new branch, hire and onboard talent faster or design campaigns with external agencies. Check out Raiffeisen Bank International to see how they have improved workplace experience using Microsoft Office 365 as a change management tool.
  • Cost reduction: we’ve used AI/RPA to digitize the customer journey, automate complex processes, reduce mundane tasks and convert interest into sales faster than before. By adopting this approach we increased productivity for one international bank by 75% within their mortgage division.
  • Upskill the workforce: I’m still haunted by a stat from Accenture from 2018 stating that only 3% of bank boards were significantly investing in reskilling their workforce over the next three years. This has to be a necessity, especially given the scarcity of certain skills, such as data scientists and AI specialists. Given hiring is expensive and the churn of these roles is higher than average, upskilling existing employees makes economic sense.
  • Improve CX: giving employees quick and easy access to complete customer profiles, helping them understand their needs in more depth and propose personalized banking solutions in a very short time is key to improving CX – and EX. AIB or Banco Sabadell are good examples of this approach.
  • Drive sustainable change: we’re using behavioral science and nudge theory, combined with AI, to analyze work and model outcomes for a remote workforce. This simplifies and reduces low-value tasks, influences real-time behaviour to generate long-lasting change and allows you to measure EX for every journey of your frontline workers.

One global retail bank needed to restructure to protect profitability, reduce risk and comply with regulatory requirements. Over a three-year timescale, we started by modernizing workplace technologies to reduce cost and complexity in their IT estate. We then focused on improving EX via a hybrid remote working proposition and in-branch CX management.

Finally, we enabled physical estate reduction, divestment and future branch sale. This led to major benefits, including an 18% reduction in absenteeism plus a significant reduction in facilities costs through flexible/remote working. These benefits alone were worth $1 billion to the client. The benefits derived from the programme were four times the cost of the deal.

The truth is that your people are more important than ever. Improving their attitude and motivation will significantly impact on your business performance – whether it’s employee productivity, customer retention or delivering change. As you can see, there are exciting developments in this area to help banks do just that. Contact us for more details.

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