The ability to collect precise information on work and workforces offers financial services firms enormous opportunities to create more innovative, agile and productive organisations. This makes trust in the workplace an anchor for the wider digital journey.

Accenture’s “Decoding Organizational DNA” report reveals that an overwhelming majority of leaders in insurance (96 per cent) and banking (91 per cent) recognise that new technologies and sources of workplace data can be used to unlock value that is currently trapped in the enterprise.

Leaders in both industries also agree on the top three areas where the greatest improvement is possible from the use of workplace data:

  1. Productivity and workforce performance (by analysing work processes, how people spend their time and who they collaborate with);
  2. Placing right people in the right roles (by assessing skills, cultural fit and passions in the context of work requirements);
  3. Organisational agility and speed (by spotting and improving work patterns to reduce time to market, and adjusting change programs with customised incentives for individuals).

In addition, our “Supercharging HR Data Management” report reveals that HR functions in FS firms are not driving the full value from their vast reservoirs of data, due to underinvestment in infrastructure, challenges around data quality and the misconception that data management is an IT issue.

Our research shows that more than half of insurers (66 per cent) and bankers (58 per cent) are using new technologies and workforce data extensively, but their confidence in doing so responsibly lags behind substantially (27 and 21 per cent, respectively). That seems to be caused by a lack of checks and balances: only one in four insurers and bankers have a C-level executive accountable for the responsible use of data.

Furthermore, employees harbour serious concerns about fairness, ethics, personal privacy and the impact on society. Among the top concerns of employees are:

  • Will employers use the data the right way?
  • Will employers spy on their every move?
  • Will the data collected about them accurately represent their performance or turn them into a commodity or a mere number?
  • Will algorithms perpetuate bias?

Workers are wary, but our research also shows a majority (89 per cent in insurance and 93 per cent in banking) are open to their employers collecting data on them if they can benefit in return.

It is clear that, going forward, FS leaders need to place trust at the heart of their business strategy, on equal footing with growth and profitability. To accomplish this, developing a framework for responsible use of workplace data will be key.

In my next post, I will look into how FS leaders can reinvent their organisations to rebuild trust in the workforce and become resilient in an era of disruption.

To find out more about how to get the best from your workforce using analytics, while responsibly managing digital trust and employee data, please contact me here, or @andyyoungACN.

To learn more register to download: Decoding Organizational DNA.

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