The importance of employee engagement within the financial sector

The financial sector can be volatile. Employees are expected to react rapidly to developments while safeguarding customers’ investments and sensitive information. With heavy competition in the industry, success is often defined by a business’ ability to develop a strong reputation and build deep relationships with customers.

Being able to do so often depends less on the services provided, and more on the people within your company. Employees need to be passionate and engaged in order to foster those relationships and maintain a strong reputation. Unfortunately, with an average turnover rate of 13.7% in 2019, the financial sector has struggled to retain staff. The high pressure of the job, combined with the current additional stress of remote working, has only made it more difficult for employees to stay positive and engaged.

It is vital that financial firms stamp out this apathy if they are to succeed in the long-term. According to a 2012 Towers Watson study, disengaged employees are a hundred times more likely to make mistakes; in the financial industry, such mishaps can be permanent damaging effects.

Even more critically, a disengaged employee will likely lead to the business losing customers. According to a Quantum Workplace study, banks lose 20% of their business to competitors because of poor customer service. This is often rooted in the frustration and fatigue of employees, which can lead to rude responses or an unwillingness to help. A blunt interaction will make the customer not just unwilling to talk to that worker again, but unlikely to utilise the businesses’ service as a whole.

On the other hand, an engaged employee will go the extra mile to build strong and positive relationships with customers. They will be more organised, proactively communicate with customers and are more likely to follow-up wholesomely and promptly. Further, if an employee enjoys their role, they will remain in it for longer, enabling a business to demonstrate good employee retention and a stronger reputation.

Communication is key

There are many things firms do wrong when it comes to addressing disengagement. Offering more benefits, firing unproductive employees, or setting harsher targets only masks the issue temporarily. To stay productive and engaged long-term, workers need to hold the belief that the company is moving in the right direction. They also need to have good connections with co-workers, feel that they are valued and have opportunities to develop.

At the core of engaged employees lies good communication and efficiency. Employees can’t grow unless they’re free from tedium and able to think innovatively. Likewise, a business cannot effectively predict the needs of its employees unless there’s a steady, two-way flow of communication. Finally, but vitally, co-workers at home cannot build relationships without a quality communication and collaboration solution – which is where Microsoft Teams comes in.

With regards to the financial industry, Microsoft Teams caters to front, mid and back office employees, providing them with secure chat, voice calls, and virtual meetings. A true productivity hub, Teams can help employees reduce time spent on repetitive tasks and allow for integrative collaboration across Word, Excel, and third-party solutions.

It offers businesses some key features to help drive improved efficiency:

  • Advanced messaging with priority notifications, read receipts and message escalation to enable a quick reaction to developing problems.
  • The ability to create custom banking or insurance applications or bots to include directly in a Teams channel.
  • Private channels, auditing and reporting, data loss prevention, and adherence to global compliance standards.

By using Teams, enterprises can eliminate some monotonous tasks while simultaneously enabling strong remote communication between co-workers, their management, and the wider teams.

However, it’s important to note that these benefits can only be realised if employees are trained to use the tools effectively. Wrestling with a new tool without training and guidance will only cause more stress and dissatisfaction among employees.

In this regard, engaged with a Managed Service Provider can be invaluable. An MSP can support you with the training and enablement of your staff to take the burden from already swamped IT departments. An expert provider can offer Teams as part of a wider Microsoft 365 license, which brings advanced AI-based security solutions, multi-factor authentication, and safe document storage, all for a low, flexible cost.

Call us today to discuss how we can help you address your engagement challenges and improve long-term.

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