Anthony Morris, senior vice president of global banking strategy and client advisory at nCinoworld leader in cloud banking.
There was a time in the not too distant past when banking was considered an attractive and prestigious career. Banks didn’t take just anyone, and if you were lucky enough to get in, you could spend your entire career working your way up, exploring different types of roles and dozens of avenues.
However, over the past 30 years, the value proposition of a career in banking has diminished. If we were to survey a group of college students, how many would rank banking as their number one career choice? Not as many as we would like.
There are a number of reasons for this change, but the biggest one may be the explosion of technology and innovation. Many of the smart and talented people entering today’s workforce want to do something exciting and innovative, with the opportunity for great pay. Whether justified or not, banking just doesn’t tend to have that reputation. And as we all know, reputation is everything.
Reputations and perceptions, however, can be changed. To recruit and retain top talent in today’s highly competitive and high-stakes landscape, financial institutions (FIs) must find new and innovative ways to rebrand banking as a “destination workplace” and reclaim the prestige it deserves. For banks to thrive in the digital age, this is a fundamental imperative. Here are four strategies that can help:
1. Let new hires help guide your strategies and impact your culture.
When you hire a new employee, the first thing to say to them is, “Don’t become one of us.” He doesn’t want new talent to simply reproduce the old way of doing things. Instead, the existing guard needs to be given new blood so that they can inject their own knowledge into the institution and help create positive change from the inside out. While change rarely happens from the bottom up, it can’t be forced from the top down either. True transformation occurs when all levels of the organization work together. For FIs today, while digital transformation is the calling, the need to maintain stability, manage risk and ensure compliance with a fresh mindset is key to bringing new ideas so these industry pillars can be managed effectively. effective in the digital age. When you’re open-minded and allow new talent to bring their own perspectives, change happens faster.
2. Model your institution on the values of your talent pool.
The first thing many new talents value is their own personal career “equity.” Rather than perform repetitive tasks, most employees want to constantly learn; they want to understand the value of the company in the marketplace, drive change and create real innovation. Like any investment, there must be a return.
The new generation of workers tend to value ideas like quality of life, work-life balance, sustainability efforts, respect, diversity and inclusion, so it makes sense that they would want to work for someone who shares those values. FIs have traditionally offered good benefits, discounts on mortgage rates, improved rates and other advantages. But becoming a true destination workplace is about more than just rethinking compensation structures. It is rethinking every opportunity in your institution. Instead of just one job, they can experience holistic careers with multiple opportunities. With this mindset, a path in banking builds one’s career equity and boosts the motivation to prosper and feel fulfilled.
3. Invest in technology that improves the employee experience.
It’s hard to deliver great experiences when employees are constantly tracking paper, re-entering data, uploading forms, and using legacy technology. To create a destination workplace, you need great technology that simplifies the work lives of your employees and helps them do their best work and meet customer and compliance demands. A new hire shouldn’t have to learn 20 different systems or juggle multiple manuals to figure out how to open a loan. A single, transparent platform that combines key banking needs can help empower employees to become a part of the solution, rather than just a user.
When choosing which technologies to invest in and deploy, institutions should also engage new recruits, established “challengers” of the status quo, and a mix of power and novice users to get a real sense of where to focus. For example, the teams that are closest to the customer know what will enable a better experience. If you can create a culture that gives employees a voice and values their feedback, you can see them thrive for years to come.
4. Prioritize stronger relationship-based experiences to amplify the human effect.
Most banks call themselves relationship banks, but true relationships are with a human being, not an institution. If you want to be a relationship bank or build on the trust that already exists, everything needs to shift from legacy account and transaction-centric models to a customer-centric model of understanding needs and transparency. This will create better employee experiences from the ground up.
To prioritize relationship-based experiences, employees in administrative and support roles need to be able to understand customer relationships in context so they can appreciate customers’ mindset, need, urgency, and long-term view. Technology that helps every member of your institution’s team collaborate, understand customer profiles, and deliver on the bank’s promise can create stronger relationships with your customers and among your employees. Technology that serves everyone in your organization ultimately serves customers, and this mindset is critical to redesigning the technology approach.
With the tremendous opportunity of dozens of pathways, career challenges, exciting innovations, and a rapidly changing marketplace, a career in banking can help build the “career equity” many demand and offer a lifetime of return on investment, both personally and professionally. By focusing on strong relationships, investing in great technology, and creating an inclusive and collaborative culture, banks could once again be seen as a destination workplace that attracts talented people and gives them many reasons to stay, grow, and transform both their institution like industry. .
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