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October 26, 2021

With a labor shortage, here’s how FIs can get and keep top talent

As the business landscape continues to evolve post-pandemic, here are three ways FIs can turbocharge their technology and banking talent.

The labor shortage in the services industry is now spilling into other industries, including banking and fintechs. In response, our financial institution (FI) clients tell us they are rethinking their digital technology talent strategies: How can they optimize worker productivity? What can they do to reduce attrition? How can they attract and seamlessly onboard a new generation of workers? 

The answer lies in creating a better experience throughout the entire employee lifecycle — from training and upskilling, to doing their day-to-day jobs. By doing so, FIs can lower attrition, boost productivity, increase employee engagement and make themselves an employer of choice during what could become a protracted labor shortage.

Three steps to turbocharging talent

Here are three ways FIs can develop an optimal strategy for turbocharging technology and banking talent that delivers benefits to employees, processes, clients and the organization itself.

  1. Gamify training to enhance employee engagement. A common mistake businesses make with training is seeing it as a once-and-done activity. After completing a training program, employees may earn a certificate, but they’re seldom offered follow-on sessions or additional training such as role-playing or lab exercises to reinforce what they’ve learned. As a result, when employees go to use their new skills in a real-world setting, they’re unable to put the training into action since they have read through the material but not completed hands-on exercises.

    From our research and experience, people digest information in many different ways. This makes it critical to fortify training via various mechanisms, including town halls, trivia challenges, gamification and role-playing.

    By gamifying training and providing cross-training learning experiences, FIs can boost employee engagement and personalize learning to individuals’ needs, thereby increasing productivity.

    We worked with a large FI client to develop a gamification program for its banking and technology talent and communities. The program reinforced learning through cross-training and modeling behavior using a bottoms-up approach. Because rewards are based on both collective and individual contributions, individual successes are rewarded as highly as team successes, which is both motivating and empowering.

    Through this approach, the organization reduced overall release cycle times by 15%, improved employee engagement scores by 35% and cut attrition for these teams by 25% after one year. We’ve also seen the availability of technology talent makes it possible to reduce lead times for team formation because skilled staff is more readily available.

  2. Hyper-personalize customer experiences to reduce call volumes and customer complaints. Tailored and excellent service is a must for competitive FIs. Due to the pandemic, however, there are fewer in-person interactions and a surge in virtual communications with customers. Differentiating the customer experience in this increasingly digital environment is essential, not just to remain competitive but also to offer a workplace environment that employees will want to work in and be engaged with.

    Many FIs are working to create hyper-personalized experiences for customers and employees. Through big data, analytics and AI, FIs can use behavioral modeling to identify customer requirements and needs and interpret these characteristics at the individual level. They can also use the same tools to match customers with the most appropriate customer service agent for their needs or even the best product or service.

    We worked with the contact center of a leading US automobile financer that wanted to reduce the number of calls in its call center. It wanted to do so by identifying the main reasons for customer calls, pushing customers to self-service channels and identifying the types of customers with a high frequency of call volume.

    Using natural language processing, we identified the top customer pain points and extracted high-frequency call topics and created a dictionary to classify text descriptions into distinct call reasons. Through this modeling and using an Agile implementation approach, our client reduced call volume by about 8% via recommendations provided to call center agents that pre-empted the need for follow-up conversations. The Agile approach allowed us to employ new learnings in near real-time, which helped accelerate call volume reductions.

    We also worked with a leading mortgage services provider to automate call QA monitoring. The client soughtto jetisson a laborious call monitoring process that employed a checklist-based scoring approach for a sample of calls in favor of a more intelligent alternative that reviewed a larger population of calls with minimal spend.

    Using speech analytics, we enabled an offline review of recorded calls using natural language processing (NLP). Auditors used an Agile approach to review the speech analytics findings to provide insight into compliance risk, agent performance and customer satisfaction, to name a few. Through this project, we were able to increase QA coverage from 1% of a random selection to 100% of calls (for 70% parameters). This helped the client reduce customer complaints by 20%.

  3. Modernize process agility for employees to create seamless experiences and reduce work friction. FIs we work with are continuously striving to make processes more agile, nimble and responsive, particularly during the pandemic. There are multiple ways to support business process productivity and culture in the new hybrid way FIs work. These include more integrated, intelligent and instrumented enterprise content, unified communications, digital contact centers and employee empowerment tools like intelligent intranets, as well as collaboration and content/ knowledge management tools, personalization aides and tighter application integration methods.

    We assisted a global FI that wanted to modernize its productivity tools to foster more innovative, efficient work practices. After designing and implementing a change management approach, we guided employees through the transition to ensure they were acclimated to the upcoming changes. Our outcome-driven approach led to the smooth adoption and continued utilization of these new tools. In addition to enabling day-one productivity, 10% of employees reported being ready to work by the targeted deployment dates, which exceeded expectations.

As the business landscape continues to evolve post-pandemic, FIs will increasingly need an agile and engaged workforce. FIs that view and support their talent as a way to capture business opportunities will realize both short- and long-term success.

Cognizant Insights Team

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