New technologies, new ways of engaging with customers and the pace of innovation are all putting pressure on financial services (FS) organizations. Employees are key to success and, as the pace of change continues to ramp up, employee experience—especially the kind that helps individuals secure their future—is proving a competitive advantage. Leading FS organizations are investing.

The employee experience (EX) is central to three of the biggest challenges facing FS companies today. The first is the unrelenting struggle to attract and retain the skills that are essential for banks and insurers to capitalize on new technologies and practices. The next is productivity, which is a huge driver of the organization’s cost structure. And then there’s the profound impact people have on the appeal of, and therefore the demand for, the offerings of any service organization. 

With the FS workplace in a state of flux—business structures are changing, becoming flatter; rigidly defined and highly specialized roles are being reconfigured to support more agile business models; work processes are fragmenting, automation is increasing, tasks are being augmented by intelligent machines—employees are feeling decidedly unsettled. 

HR has the opportunity to lead change, creating a simpler and more direct path to engage employees.

Unaddressed, these responses may intensify and, as the quality of employees’ work experience directly impacts their productivity and therefore the business. It’s important to address. To improve the employee experience, organizations need to understand where their people are today, but also where they want to be. 

Gallup research shows that when employees know and use their strengths, they are more engaged (nearly six times more), have higher performance and are much less likely to leave their company. 

HR has the opportunity to lead change, creating a simpler and more direct path to engage employees and their concerns about career paths and personal development.  

Three factors will be essential for success. 

  • Embracing data and digital HR technology for their ability to help reshape the workforce and the nature of work. 
  • Staying in touch with the human side of the equationtechnology is important, but how it’s applied is even more important. 
  • Developing a workforce that operates effectively with machines and with outside partners. 

Leading FS organizations are investing in EX 

HSBC understands the value of digital HR.  

It has rolled out digital employee experiences to help improve performance and productivity. Its cloud based digital HR services make it easier for its people to find what they need, make data-driven decisions and access HR content, services and support. While improving all services, HSBC also added new capabilities to enable employees and leadership to better manage talent, succession, career development and performance. Improved access to data and insights will enhance the ability of leaders to leverage the bank’s talent and allow them to make better decisions about their teams and people. 

JPMorgan Chase is investing in growing skills.  

In 2019, it announced a $350 million, five-year global initiative that will help it to prepare for the future of work and meet the growing demand for skilled workers. The initiative will focus on creating economic opportunity and career mobility and on identifying and forecasting future workplace skills at JPMorgan Chase, to build and accelerate opportunities internally for upskilling and reskilling.  

BNP Paribas knows how to attract talent. 

In 2019, LinkedIn Top Companies rated BNP Paribas as the most attractive company in France. The analysis uses data generated by the 546 million LinkedIn members worldwide to measure the appeal of a company’s employment opportunities, engagement with its employees, and its capacity to retain talent. The research highlights why BNP Paribas attracts talent: gender and wage equality, a large diversity of careers and the development of new careers relating to digital transformation, training as well as the possibility of pursuing a career everywhere in France and abroad, featured highly. 

Join me next week as I look at emerging employee experience strategies. 

Meantime, for more on EX in financial services, click through to The Employee Experience as a Competitive Advantage: The New Digital Workplace in Financial. 

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