In the fast-evolving world of finance, staying ahead isn’t just about numbers; it’s about communication.
Banking and financial institutions are some of the largest and most complex organisations, and internal communications has always played an important role.
But historically, the banking and finance sector has been known for its rather conservative approach when it comes to tech.
Outdated communication systems, often characterised by email overload and cumbersome processes, have been the norm for well over a decade.
But times have changed, and the sector needs to catch up.
The shift to remote work has only ignited a craving for something more agile and efficient.
2020 saw a huge spark in digital transformation for the financial industry.
Consumers saw an acceleration in contactless payments and mobile wallets, digital onboarding, AI and automation, and enhanced cybersecurity measures.
For employee’s, call centre operatives moved to their kitchen tables, and advisors turned to video calls to meet clients face-to-face.
This huge transformation meant that employees expected a newer, more improved employee experience.
Leaders in the industry are starting to understand the importance of the digital workplace, and whilst some institutions are beginning to invest in technologies like modern intranets and employee experience platforms, there’s still a long way to go.
Keeping the workforce connected
As a new working landscape arose, so did the necessity for financial organisations to ensure that workers are supported with a strong employee experience.
They no longer want old-school, outdated platforms.
Instead, they expect an experience similar to that of the consumer; and rightly so.
The current landscape
Communications can often be too frequent, with stuffy, irrelevant email threads, complex document-sharing processes, and slow response times.
This not only hinders productivity but also disconnects the employee.
Yes, you might be seeing high email open rates, but does it mean employees are actually engaging with your content? (Probably not)
Lloyd’s bank actually recognised the need for an upgrade and adopted a new messaging framework that focussed on showing sympathy and empathy.
They ran stories on people’s experiences to create an inclusive and caring culture, and opted for peer-to-peer led content rather than executive-led content.
This resulted in 84% of their workforce recognising their efforts to change their approach.
Channels and Systems
It’s no secret that many financial institutions can be reluctant to adopt new technology, and understandably; the highly sensitive and regulated nature of the industry often draws out transformation projects.
As a result, organisations continue to use old channels and systems.
This might be in the form of a traditional, locked-down ‘local’ intranet that typically works as a corporate noticeboard or a repository for information.
These systems are often ingrained in everyday operations, taking a one-size-fits-all approach where leaders are unaware of the negative impacts they could be having.
The impact of outdated systems and processes
Frontline workers are often neglected
Advisors and personal bankers spend a large part of their day in front of customers.
They’re notoriously difficult to reach because they often don’t have direct access to many of the primary channels internal communications teams rely on.
Many decision-makers don’t understand the specific technology needs of their frontline workers, leaving information inaccessible.
As a result, they’re missing out on vital information which can often lead to frustration.
When you consider these employees are closest to the customer, they’ll be the ones having the greatest impact on the customer experience, so they need to be kept engaged.
An employee experience platform could be a powerful solution because they’re a cloud-based application that can be accessed from any device without needing to download corporate applications on personal devices.
Delays or difficulty in accessing information due to clunky systems and processes can result in missed deadlines.
This can have serious consequences; particularly in the financial sector where timelines are often critical.
Collaboration is also impacted, particularly for large and complex organisations where teams are working across departments, branches or with external partners.
An inefficient internal comms system will only hinder that collaboration and lead to silos and reduced efficiencies.
Increased support costs
Complex, and outdated intranet systems often require additional IT support which can create bottlenecks, delay projects, and divert resources from other critical tasks.
Simple, codeless interfaces, like an Employee Experience Platform (EXP) will empower your internal communications team and create important efficiencies.
Lack of engagement
Intranets and old systems are often privy to low levels of engagement. This could be due to the irrelevance of content, outdated information, or difficulty in navigating to the information they require.
Once employees start to get frustrated with a poor employee experience or begin to feel as though they’re being treated as a number, rather than an individual, they start to become disengaged.
Disengagement is costly and can lead to a high level of employee turnover as they start to seek out new opportunities with competitors where their experience is prioritised.
Why modernisation is needed
Upgrading internal communications is not just about keeping up with the times; it’s a strategic move to boost engagement and productivity.
Modern systems can:
Facilitate real-time collaboration
Instant messaging and video conferencing can bridge communication gaps in remote work environments.
Simplify document sharing
Cloud-based platforms streamline document storage and access, reducing confusion.
Modern tools enable clear communication, and relevant communication and provide visibility across projects and updates.
Adopting new tools can empower employees to work more efficiently, stay connected, and take ownership of their roles. When employees have the right tools, engagement naturally flows.
Only 50% of employees in the banking and finance sector feel engaged at work and a revised communication strategy and new systems and tactics will play a big role in increasing that number.
The future is bright
The path to a bright future in the financial sector begins with a simple, but powerful step – upgrading your internal communications platforms and revising your strategy.
Embracing modern, user-friendly and personalised tools will not only meet your employee’s expectations but will also drive higher engagement and productivity.
Let’s bid farewell to those clunky systems and welcome a new era of seamless, efficient internal communication for the sector.
We have a wealth of experience working with clients in the banking and financial services sector, so if you are looking to upgrade your digital workplace, speak to a member of our team.