Human resources in the financial services industry have always faced unique challenges compared to their counterparts in different industries. Enter a global pandemic, and an onslaught of new obstacles emerge.
Remote working, employee morale, and most troubling of all – information sharing, are but a few employee retention issues facing the financial industry today. Fear not, we have identified effective techniques for clearing five significant hurdles. Here’s some advice to make your job easier and more effective to manage in these extraordinary times …
The 5 financial services challenges and their solutions
Financial Services Challenge 1: Managing a fragmented workforce that’s both in-office and remote
Remote work has steadily gained traction over the last decade but was propelled into the spotlight earlier this year because of the global pandemic. Many companies are finding themselves at a crossroads. How can you manage organizational inefficiencies with some staff being in-office, others working from home, and what does this mean for the future?
Waiting for the world to return to normal isn’t an option; we aren’t going back to business as usual. It’s time to look at your challenges right now and start working towards solutions for the New Normal.
One of the easiest and most sustainable solutions to managing a fragmented workforce is establishing a single source of truth. This way, there is a central location to distribute news, company information, and even employee engagement, regardless of where the employee is located. A single source of truth is also essential to building an inclusive company culture. It’s especially useful when employees work in different locations or varying shifts. Be together, even when you’re apart.
A great example to look at is Travis Credit Union. Travis has over 600 employees across 24 branches. They needed a simple, easy-to-use space to house their documents and over 10 000 external links. IC’s intranet stepped in and not only became their single source of truth but with 100% user adoption, Travis Credit Union had an effective information-sharing platform.
Whether it be new regional regulations, company processes, an interactive calendar, or submitting health screens, the key is to effectively manage this knowledge. With a single source of truth, you can do just that.
Challenge 2: Providing frontline workers with clear and consistent information
Frontline workers are at the forefront of a financial institution. On any given day, these employees need to be up to date with information to make the customer experience smoother. In a pandemic, relevant and timely information isn’t a nice-to-have; it’s essential.
In a study to see how email works within organizations, market research firm Radicati found that the average North American worker receives 126 emails a day. As a channel, email attracts a lot of noise. Sending daily or weekly information via a quick email is just not en effective way to share knowledge. Moreover, during moments of crisis or uncertainty, you need to manage the moving pieces as they happen.
Sun Peaks Resort, in the heart of the British Columbia Interior, usually operates with more than 460 people, most of whom are seasonal employees. Their most significant pain point was keeping their deskless workforce informed as newsletters were not performing well enough. Using Reach, an internal communications tool that integrates with end-users’ preferred channels, Sun Peaks Reach kept staff informed and calm. Support was available, and information was at everyone’s fingertips – no one was left out of the loop.
“Our staff have come to expect daily updates on what is happening in response to COVID-19. I can’t imagine what people would have thought if we just started sending email after email.” – Helen Davies, Director of Employee Experience, HR
Vital information to share with your frontline staff
- Hygiene: Washing hands regularly and wearing face masks are essential, but working in a financial institution has unique requirements for cleanliness. Did you know money carries hosts of bacteria, pathogens, and viruses? Keep staff aware of these dangers and protocols to follow when handling coins or cash.
- Fraud: Scams and hoaxes are ever-evolving crimes. The pandemic has brought several new fraudulent schemes to life. Update staff regularly what to look out for as and when further information emerges to combat fraud.
- Processes: Within your organization, there are processes and public health regulations that may require you to change your approach with little to no notice. Avoid uncertainty and confusion by reaffirming processes and implementations.
Challenge 3: Boosting employee morale in times of uncertainty
Psychologically speaking, uncertainty can wreak havoc on our brains by causing extreme anxiety. In fact, job uncertainty takes a higher toll on health than actually losing your job.
In a time where layoffs, extended sick leaves, leaves of absence, stay at home orders, and uncertainty about permanent remote work is becoming the norm, you need to bring stability and certainty to the table to take care of your employees’ mental wellness.
“Our Intranet has bridged the miles between our employees who are now working remotely across the state. We’ve been connecting socially and sharing personal stories through the News section, using the real-time quick poll feature to gauge employee interest, and even sharing quarantine recipes. Our Intranet has provided us with a platform to build upon our ‘office’ culture while no one is in the office.” – Brianna Ludwig, deputy state auditor, North Dakota State Auditor’s Office (NDSA)
Source intranet provided the NDSA an engaging way to keep all staff informed about the situation and some lighthearted respite from the crisis. Learn more about how the North Dakota State Auditor’s Office gave employees stability from uncertainty while building a thriving office culture.
Challenge 4: Ensuring your message is heard, from executives to frontline staff
“I don’t know if anyone reads my message” is a common pain point for employee communications. During a global crisis where news and information seemingly shift on a day-to-day basis, that pain point becomes a significant obstacle to effective communications.
This is where software steps in to help.
Did you recently update policies or procedures? With a “read and confirm” functionality on Source Intranet, you have affirmative proof that employees are on the same page. This reaffirms the value of creating a single source of truth so that employees can fall into knowing where to look for updates.
Furthermore, using Reach internal communications software, you can promote your intranet content to your employees’ mobiles and create custom forms to follow-up on the information. Then track who’s acted on the message and schedule automated reminders until you get the results you need. No more chasing people around!
Challenge 5: Looking to the future and the New Normal
A McKinsey Financial Insights Pulse Survey conducted in April 2020 found that 87% of consumers trust their banks to do “the right thing” during the crisis. Two-thirds of respondents said that they trust their banks now more than they did before the pandemic.
After a tumultuous start to 2020, and the remainder of the year still draped in uncertainty, that’s incredible news. It’s also a great time to start looking at the future of your organization and reimagine processes to collaborate meaningfully.
Looking to the future, digitization and remote working have been marked as critical trends for the financial industry. This relates to both internal and external consumer fronts. Though not marked as an essential need of the moment, it’s predicted to become a necessity.
The pandemic might have surprised you before, now there’s an opportunity to get ahead of the curve. Through a corporate intranet and active employee communications, set your organization up to thrive in both in-person and remote working environments.
Digitization is often a buzzword thrown around loosely, but it essentially means bringing your processes and company information online. In the end, this filters down to effective employee communications. And better communications lead to a better workplace.
We’ve partnered with multiple financial institutions to digitize their processes and to fulfill organizational goals. We’re here to help you survive the crisis and thrive in the New Normal.
Please book a FREE DEMO with our product specialist today for more detail about our financial intranet solutions! Not quite ready for a demo? Then take our complimentary internal communications assessment to see how your intranet efforts stack up!