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WX: The way to keep scarce talent

  • Posted on January 13, 2020
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
workplace experience

Banks and insurers are no strangers to the need to recruit and retain exceptional talent. However, new fintech entrants and technology giants are making this much harder than it used to be.

We believe that creating the right workplace experience (WX) is critical to acquiring – and keeping – your people. Getting this right is critical because it’s the cornerstone that will enable your other business goals (such as a distinctive customer experience (CX) or increased productivity) to be realized.

Banks and insurers need to provide three building blocks for great WX to take place:

  • Culture: employees need to feel empowered and motivated to make changes to the way work is done
  • Operations: management need to keep processes and systems simple and easy to use, so they enhance employees’ ability to deliver great service
  • Technology: modern platforms and tools need to be in place that allow banks and insurers to scale up quickly and cost-effectively

For WX to work, all three plates need to be spinning at the same time: culture, operations and technology. Focussing on just one element will not create the right workplace environment that helps you acquire and retain scarce talent.

For example, you may have new tools and technologies to support staff, particularly in customer-facing roles. But if your people simply see these tools as ways to make them more transactionally efficient (‘sweating the asset’) and still feel de-motivated, your IT investment is diluted and CX will decline.

Or you may motivate people by reskilling them in areas such as AI or analytics, but if the processes are still complex and the new tools have not been integrated into existing systems, then your people will still feel constrained.

So, are retail banks and general insurers managing to spin the plates?

  • When asked if employees felt empowered to make changes to the way work is done, banks’ and insurers’ responses were the lowest across the sectors we surveyed, including retail, manufacturing, consumer goods, energy, utilities and chemicals (79%; industry average was 83%).
  • Banks and insurers were also the lowest ranked across the sectors in agreeing that making employee experience on a par with CX is critical for recruitment competitiveness (87%; industry average 91%) and talent retention (92%; industry average 95%).
  • When we looked at banks’ drivers for digital transformation, the usual themes emerged: more innovation, better CX and keeping ahead of new entrants (39-41%). However, employee experience was bottom of the list (20%).
  • Banks and insurers do agree, however, that talent acquisition (40%) and upskilling (37%) are major WX transformation challenges.

The reality for banks and insurers is that their people need to develop new skills, their best people are being poached and that the best talent in the market simply may not want to work for them.

Using modern collaboration tools and employee value propositions leads to faster innovation, improved productivity and boosts employee satisfaction. It also breaks down silos within the business and drives cross-functional activity. All these elements combine to develop a new way of working and a different culture.

For one European bank, we helped create an internal collaboration network among its 100,000 employees. The vision was to improve collaboration and facilitate open social communities on specific topics and circumvent hierarchical constraints. The bank now has a unique way to get closer to colleagues so they can share their experience and solve business issues. One member commented: “Our collaboration network is very precious because it allows us to find answers to problems based on our people’s competencies.”

If you want to keep your scarce talent, then developing great WX is essential. You can’t afford not to.

Find out more about Avanade’s approach to developing great WX for banks.

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