In the past, investing in enhancing the employee experience in financial services (FS) has been viewed as a “nice-to-have” generosity without any measurable returns, but that mindset is changing. More studies and analyses are showing that an engaged and satisfied workforce can drastically improve customer satisfaction, profit and a company’s ability to be agile and embrace innovation.

A new Accenture report continues to highlight this shift and pulls together stats and use cases to support the importance of taking care of employees. Here are five statistics from “The Employee Experience as a Competitive Advantage” report that demonstrate just how important the employee experience is for future success in financial services.

Companies that provide a great employee experience outperform the S&P 500 by up to 122 percentage points.

An analysis by Glassdoor followed companies that were awarded Best Places to Work and compared their performance with the S&P 500. All groups outperformed the S&P 500 by 53 to 122 percentage points.

There is a clear relationship between employee satisfaction and financial success. Engaged employees in turn provide high-level customer service, which in turn develops customer loyalty and brand promotion, which finally leads to higher profits. Review the full Glassdoor report here.

Two years ago, more than half of all business leaders planned to create individualized employee experiences comparable to customer experiences.

One way to transform your view of the employee experience is to see employees as customers. Accenture’s Employee Experience Reimagined report indicated that most business leaders had plans to do just that. But some companies have been more successful than others.

Accenture and Microsoft’s joint venture, Avanade, is one success story. After helping a bank in Spain reimagine their employee experience, that bank’s revenue increased by 40 percent and customer satisfaction rose by 35 percent.

Historically, companies have used processes to drive the employee experience. Instead, employers can use design thinking and develop the employee experience from an outcomes perspective.

71 percent of company leaders say their employees are far more digitally mature than their organizations and are “waiting for their company to catch up.”

Accenture’s 2019 Technology Trends report found a sobering fact that almost three-fourths of company leaders think their employees are more adept at technology than the company offers. This disconnect can lead to unsatisfied employees, due to old technology negatively impacting their day-to-day work and also from a lack of excitement and learning opportunities.

The financial services industry is already experiencing difficulty in attracting enough talent to support its digital transformation. If a company’s legacy systems and workflows are so outdated, it will be even more difficult to attract the right potential employees.

61 percent of bank and insurance workers said they expected artificial intelligence (AI) to make their jobs more interesting, while 67 percent believed the technology would expand their career prospects.

AI can make some employees nervous about the impact it could have on their jobs. But this is rarely the case, and AI is often used to enhance an employee’s work by taking the more mundane or time-consuming aspects of their job and automating them. This automation actually frees up time for the employee to focus on analysis and the more unique and interesting aspects of their job.

AI is a complex and emerging technology that’s impacting all industries, so it naturally follows that employees who understand it and have experience using AI would feel that their experience will open career doors for them.

Seven out of 10 employees of highly automated companies say automation improves job satisfaction and increases time for creativity, as well as opportunities for advancement.

Similar to the AI concern, sometimes automation can make employees feel wary. But an article from The Business Times demonstrates that automation doesn’t have to be scary and can actually increase employee satisfaction by allowing them to be more creative and learn new skills for career advancement.

The article continues to say that eight in 10 employees from highly automated companies say automation simplifies work processes, enhances efficiency and boosts productivity. But training is key when introducing automation technology: 85 percent of employees who said that they received excellent training from their employers said that adapting to automation was easy, compared to only 39 percent of those who said they received poor training.

When looking at the employee experience, statistics can only take you so far. Employees are humans who are constantly changing and adapting to their life and work circumstances, and companies need to take a holistic and agile approach to their employee experience.

As competition in the industry increases, employees are often going to be the differentiator between success and failure. Investing in employees is no longer a “nice to have.” It’s a necessity for financial and global success.

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