Employee Experience is a Driver for Change in Financial Services

Main visual : Employee Experience is a Driver for Change in Financial Services

When implementing workforce technology, employee experience and ensuring worker wellbeing are key considerations for financial services ICT decision-makers.

Change in the financial services workplace is inevitable. Where traditionally the workplace was all about IT infrastructure, recently there’s been a shift in focus towards employee experience and employee engagement to drive performance and innovation.

Today people want collaborative, inclusive, and inspiring workplace experiences - making work-life balance, workforce engagement, and employee wellbeing important drivers for change. With the rise of Fintechs and Challenger Banks, attracting and retaining the best talent has become a key priority for financial services providers, and employee experience is an important consideration.

This is something at Fujitsu we are all too aware of, both as an employer and a digital workplace solutions partner. In 2020, for the 4th year running, we were recognized by Gartner as Leader in the execution and vision of Managed Workplace Services in Europe proving that within the workplace, we really do know what we’re talking about.

We see improving the employee experience and ensuring wellbeing as very strong workplace transformation requirements – however, the question is do financial services ICT decision-makers see things the same way? Where do they rank employee experience and employee wellbeing on their list of priorities?

In 2021 we decided to find out. We commissioned research by the advisory firm DataDriven, which was tasked with conducting a major study of over 150 financial services ICT decision-makers across 14 countries.

Our study ‘Digital Transformation Trends Financial Services Industry’ looked at a range of ICT issues through the eyes of the people who actually manage and deliver these technologies – the financial service ICT decision-makers.

Now concluded, our report findings are illuminating and make very interesting reading. Download our full report to find out exactly what the 158 ICT leaders in 14 countries surveyed think and their attitude towards workplace technology.

Key finding 1 - Employee experience is now a critical factor in building positive employee branding and attracting talent

Improving employee experience plays a central role in financial services workplace transformation. This is a significant finding, with almost two-thirds of financial services organizations advising that improving the employee experience and ensuring employee wellbeing is a high or extremely high priority objective.

Employee Experience is a relatively recent concept referring to all the factors that contribute to how an employee feels about their employer and role. Employees are increasingly sophisticated, and their rising expectations of ‘work’ reflect their growing desire for experiences, purpose, inclusion, and transparency. They want a ‘consumer’ style workplace experience that’s digital, personalized, meaningful, and user friendly. Just as customers are influenced by their experience with a company, so are employees, and technology can be seen as a positive force for improved wellbeing.

Why invest in employee experience and workforce wellbeing?

Employee experience and ensuring wellbeing can be core enablers of employee engagement and organizational performance leading to better business outcomes such as better customer experience, improved employee retention, and reduced costs due to absenteeism.

Simply put, fostering employee experience and workforce wellbeing is good for both employees and the organization they work for. But, how do financial services organizations go about using employer experience to build a positive employee brand that attracts the best candidates in the fierce competition for talent that exists in the market today?

Workplace transformation must first begin with culture change

At Fujitsu, our years of experience as a workplace technology partner has taught us that on the road to transformation organizations must first begin by changing their workplace culture. This doesn’t happen overnight, but without it, any transformation is likely to miss its target because without employees being genuinely invested in the vision for change, it is significantly less likely to succeed.

However, that’s easier said than done, which is why we developed FUJITSU Work Life Shift. Culture Change is one of its three core pillars, specifically focusing on; employee experience - automated and AI-driven solutions helping to create positive behavioural change, workforce wellbeing – BuddyConnect offering workplace support, and employee safety – next-generation social distancing, anxiety monitoring, and contact tracing solutions. Working together with financial services organizations we are building resilience into the fabric of their workforce, making life better for the people they employ and the customers they serve.

Key finding 2 - smart deployment of workplace innovation is a key factor in delivering a positive employee experience

The bottom line is employees want to work at businesses where they have choice and a sense of purpose. Where they can choose their own mobile devices, where they have the collaboration tools to give them the flexibility to work from anywhere, and where smart applications of AI are used to work more efficiently. This frees them to do more rewarding and more valuable work with teammates, customers, and partners, with follow-on benefits to customer experience.

A positive employee experience is imperative for most employees, especially digital native millennials. The smart deployment of workplace innovation is a key factor in delivering it.

Financial services organizations are firmly focused on employee experience as a business priority, have already executed widespread digital transformation initiatives to improve it, and are making significant investments to further improve it in 2021.

Key finding 3 - financial services organizations are relatively mature in deploying workplace initiatives to improve employee experience

Many financial services organizations are already deploying workplace innovation initiatives as part of their efforts to improve employee experience. Workplace innovation covers a wide spectrum of technologies, but it’s mostly about supporting and improving productivity and teamwork with collaboration, automation, and messaging apps such as Microsoft 365, Teams, Google Workspace among others, and supplying the personal devices needed to access those apps and networks securely – both inside and outside the organization.

More than 80% of the financial services organizations that we surveyed report mature workplace innovation implementations or projects that are well underway or in pilot stages. These workplace innovation projects include widespread deployment of laptops, tablets, desktops, virtual desktops, remote working tools, security, and collaboration apps like Microsoft Teams as well as others. While these initiatives were already well underway pre-COVID-19, financial services organizations have accelerated their workplace innovation projects to support secure and agile WFH environments.

Key finding 4 - increased investment in workplace innovation is planned in the next 12 months

Over the next 12 months, around 20% of the financial services organizations surveyed advise that they plan to make at least some level of investment in workplace innovation, with a further 60% surveyed advising that their planned investment will be significant.

Planned workplace innovation investments in 2021 include initiatives like secure remote, as well as innovations specifically designed to support the hybrid workforce (work from home/office blend), and more spending on mobile devices. Around half of organizations surveyed are also making significant or major investments in employee experience friendly projects including social media for business, collaboration and workflow apps, and workforce analytics.

In other innovations, financial service organizations are investing in Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications to monitor the well-being of the workforce as they look to use every possible technology to give them an edge in providing the best employee experience, and by extension the best customer experience.

Download our Digital Transformation Trends Financial Services Industry report to find out where financial services organizations are on their journey to workplace transformation and what they are planning for the future.