Employees: The Key to Successful Branch Transformation

iStock_000006277927SmilingAfAmwoman_for_9-27-16_blog_resized.pngSome of today’s financial institutions are changing from a traditional staffing model—based on tellers and transactions—to a universal banker model.

This is a direct response to consumers’ increasing adoption of digital channels and their desire for advanced advisory services when visiting the branch.

This staffing transformation has a wide impact on many aspects of business operations and involves a renovation to everything from job design, recruitment, training and staffing levels to internal processes.

It may also require employees to perform unfamiliar activities or even learn new skills.

Regardless of the specific approach financial institutions take to change their staffing models, there is one fundamental truth to keep in mind: Successful transformation takes place only when the impacted employees truly understand and embrace the new way of working. 

So how can organizations minimize disruption to daily operations, maintain service to customers, and provide a positive experience that encourages employees to embrace change?

Look Inside First

Many organizations make a critical misstep when launching into a change initiative. They fail to take the time to conduct a thorough assessment of the organization’s current state and its capacity to change.

A successful transformational strategy certainly needs to align with the organization’s business goals and customer demands. However, it also must reflect the cultural qualities, characteristics, perceptions, experience and capabilities unique to its employees.

It's tempting to launch right into making changes without taking the time to truly understand the gap between your current state and your desired future state—and to identify and mitigate any potential obstacles that may impede the transformation.

Quite a few companies are good at assessing the technology and process-related impacts of change but don’t spend a lot of time planning to address the people impacts of change. Taking the time to really understand the employee culture, appetite for change, stakeholder needs, and potential resistance points will help provide insight needed to help ensure the change strategy is well received across the organization.

Let Employees Co-Create Change

Financial institutions are responding to the voice of the customer—why wouldn’t they also respond to the voice of the employee?

Numerous studies reveal a strong correlation between high employee engagement and an increase in organizational productivity, performance and profitability. So how can financial institutions promote employee engagement as part of their transformation to a universal banker model?

Share the transformation strategy with your employees. Ask for their input and test ideas through surveys, focus groups and other feedback methods. Gathering employee input increases the likelihood of a successful outcome by driving their engagement and helping create shared ownership.

Knowledge Is Power

Make sure you empower employees with both education and training. You may be wondering—what exactly is the difference?

Education is focused on why the change is important to the company and what the impact will be on employees—the traditional “What’s in it for me?” Training is focused on developing the skills and abilities that will be needed to perform successfully in the new environment.

When it comes to developing successful training programs, use the 70:20:10 rule.

This rule states that employees glean 70% of their knowledge from job-related or experiential learning, 20% from interpersonal interactions or social learning, and only 10% from traditional training, coursework or instruction at formal educational events.

Keeping a focus on employees and what they can contribute to a successful branch transformation can potentially lead to big rewards. By conducting a robust current state discovery, co-creating change with employees and empowering them with knowledge and training, financial institutions can increase the likelihood of successful and sustainable transformation.  

Learn more about how Verint can help your transformation succeed.

 

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