Accenture Banking Blog    

Is it fair to describe the workplace culture at the typical bank today as a competitive disadvantage?  

That depends on each bank’s particular situation. But Accenture’s cross-industry research, discussed earlier in this blog series, has found that the workplace culture at many banks suffers by comparison to many other organizations. 

This is a significant drawback for any bank looking to make a successful journey to the cloud or otherwise capitalize on cutting-edge digital tools to achieve growth. That’s why we’ve spent this series exploring how to improve the workplace culture at banks. 

This post wraps up the series with the second half of the Q&A we began in my previous post, which I recommend you read first. 

1. If a bank wants to invest in its employee experience, where should it start?

I’ve seen research that shows employees today will get frustrated with a lack of modern technology in their organization, which they might not have minded a decade ago. In their personal lives, they are now used to the consumer-grade experience of paying with a click or a tap. Then they come to a workplace with dated technology and cumbersome processes, and their reaction is hardly surprising.  

When you look at the whole experience, employees want things to be intuitive and easy. They want to work for an organization that’s leading edge, forward-thinking and investing in tech. When they have to deal with processes and practices that were put in place a decade ago, it shows that their workplace doesn’t have modern technology.  

2. How long does it take for investments in the workplace to bear fruit?

When you roll out new technology, you can see the results very quickly. SaaS and cloud-based tech like ServiceNow are easy to use and full of analytics that let you know how people are adopting it, what they are spending time on, how long they remain on certain screens, what benefits they can derive, and so on.  

The key is to identify where you invest because you can’t invest in everything. Focus on moments that matter. Where is it that frustrates employees the most? What really matters to them? That’s where the greatest opportunity is. 

Say someone is taking leave to have a baby. This is a moment that matters in their life! They want to know they’re supported by their employer. Having a smooth process for that leave of absence is going to make a huge difference. Other moments that matter include onboarding, getting promoted, and making sure technology runs smoothly when your people are working from home.

3.  What other benefits can a bank expect for strengthening its workplace culture?

The business is likely to benefit from higher engagement levels, retention and productivity, and fewer employee relations issues. I could go on and on about business benefits, but ultimately I think society benefits too when people are motivated, excited and enjoying the work that they do. A positive work culture contributes to well-being and better mental health. It can enable people to volunteer and contribute more to their communities.  

4. What’s the cost of doing nothing?

Most banks are probably already experiencing this in the form of higher attrition levels and absenteeism. Not being considered a great place to work creates some reputational risk. And while you might get some cost benefits and efficiencies from doing nothing, it’s hard to organically grow revenue if your employees are not highly engaged. 

If you’d like to discuss workplace culture in banking today, I would love to hear from you. I can be reached here. 

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