How financial services can upgrade employee experience with a modern intranet
2020 sparked a large acceleration of digitization for the financial services industry thanks to the shift to remote and hybrid ways of working. Remote trading and mobile banking transactions increased, call center support helped solve customer queries from their kitchen tables, and advisors turned to video calls to meet clients face-to-face. Inside the enterprise, equal levels of digital innovation are required to support employees as they transition to new ways of working.
Forward-thinking financial services are the ones that invest in their employees
It is becoming more commonplace for financial institutions to invest in technologies such as a modern intranet or employee experience platform (EXP), with leaders beginning to understand the importance of ensuring employees have a digital hub to enhance their performance and experience of work.
For financial services (FS) companies, an employee experience platform can help to bridge the gap between leadership and the brokers and advisors that are customer-facing. A centralized intranet can improve communication between employees and departments, offering a more streamlined, collaborative experience for all workers.
The importance of keeping your FS workforce connected
In the wake of the pandemic, cloud technology has been a catalyst for enterprise business transformation and has made hybrid working a possibility. For FS enterprises, where the adoption of cloud-based technologies has typically been slowed by stringent security concerns, this shift has been notable. Today, FS institutions are embracing the cloud, and, in doing so, have laid to rest many of the security fears that prevented this transition previously.
With the new working landscape comes the necessity for financial services organizations to make sure that workers are supported with strong employee experience, wherever they are working. At present, only 27% of FS employees said their company has been very successful at training them to work effectively in a remote environment. FS companies should be looking into investing in the technology that can help to make this process a smoother and easier one, while also aiding in boosting the overall employee experience.
In an era of ongoing innovation and ever-changing regulations, financial services organizations need a digital home to unite their people, knowledge, and technology securely; and this is where an employee experience platform can assist. There are three main use-cases where an employee experience focused intranet can directly benefit the FS industry:
#1. Accelerating a digital-first culture
As mentioned, the FS industry has been slow to adopt a digital-first culture. But thanks to the pandemic, financial services companies have begun to accelerate the move to the cloud and experiment with more disruptive technologies.
An employee experience platform can aid FS institutions with promoting a digital-first culture by bringing digital innovation to the center of every employee’s workday. The modern intranet can take on the role of digital HQ, helping to assuage the challenges associated with increased remote working. Used in this way, the intranet is becoming the home for digital culture and communications, while also enhancing productivity through seamless digital experience and integrations with key business systems.
Being able to smoothly and effortlessly communicate with all employees through a single digital platform can also take away the struggles associated with accelerating digital transformation within an industry. Training, guidance, and targeted updates can allow employees to settle into a more digital way of working, removing some of the anxiety associated with change.
#2. Connecting and engaging the frontline
When it comes to brokers and advisors their day-to-day job is largely customer-facing, meaning they are representing the organization directly to clientele. Frontline employees are notoriously hard to reach, and data points to a frontline disconnect that prevents employees from understanding the company mission, vision, and values. This is a big problem as frontline employees are often closest to the client and arguably have the greatest impact on a customer’s experience.
"84% of frontline workers feel they’re not kept properly informed with communications and 50% feel they don’t understand the overall strategy of the company. "
An employee experience platform offers a solution to this issue by providing a direct link from frontline to HQ. A mobile intranet application puts the full power of your digital workplace into the pocket of every employee, enabling the efficient exchange of knowledge and communications that keep employees aligned and engaged no matter where their job takes them.
Research has shown that organizations with a more engaged frontline see customer loyalty rates that are 12% higher than competitors’, showing the need for consistent communication to the frontline. Features such as push notifications delivered from an integrated Broadcast Center allow business leaders to send critical updates and regular engagement prompts to employees on the frontline that keep everyone in the loop.
6 reasons Unily is first choice for connecting and engaging frontline employees
When it comes to keeping the frontline engaged and connected, Unily’s modern intranet solution stands out from the crowd. Whether you need to ensure your workers out in the field are kept in the loop, or are looking for a beneficial addition to connecting your desktop workforce, Unily’s platform has all the features you need. Here are 6 reasons why.
#3. Improving employee productivity and knowledge sharing
A modern employee experience platform centralizes every business system, app, and tool. So, third-party platforms that FS organizations use frequently, such as Salesforce, can be plugged directly into the solution for a seamless user experience that cuts down on distraction and drives productivity.
This single pane of glass view of all systems means that employees can access legacy tools from the comfort of a central, familiar platform. Paired with single sign-on technology that simplifies the login process by using one set of credentials to connects users with every application, the EXP can improve the digital experience by removing the friction associated with relying on myriad tools. A modern employee experience platform will also allow employees to sign in with their own identity management provider, offering flexibility and increased usability that's particularly valuable for frontline (unlicensed) employees.
4 must-have features for a financial services intranet
#1. Easy-to-manage governance
Due to the nature of financial services companies and the sensitive information held within, having a platform that enables strong governance control is a must. Although governance can be seen as quite a dry topic, it’s a vital aspect of any company and can be a huge challenge for corporate digital workplaces.
A modern employee experience platform provides permissions-based governance, which means only employees with the correct permissions can see, create and manage content. This simplifies content governance and ensures information is only available to those that need it. You can also make the governance of the other tools and FS software, such as Office 365, easier by mandating the tools you want people to use through customizable apps and tools widgets, streamlining the digital landscape, and demystifying access to tools.
#2. Strong authentication and data security
When it comes to security, selecting a platform that enables multi-factor authentication, threat protection, information protection, and cloud security – even on mobile applications – is essential. FS organizations handle a lot of sensitive data, so it needs to be effectively protected, especially considering BCG found that financial services firms are 300 times as likely as other companies to be targeted by a cyberattack.
In the age of GDPR, it’s important to make sure your chosen employee platform is also fully ISO/IEC 27001:2013 compliant with SOC 2 security certifications, ensuring the highest level of assurance of security best practice. These certifications mean that workers accessing the intranet through their mobile devices can be assured that their data is fully secure, and additional mobile device management (MDM) software can set up a standard configuration, ensuring compromised, lost, or stolen devices don’t also pose as a threat.
Intranet security 101
Now that the corporate headquarters has gone digital, information security is at the forefront of protecting your enterprise. But what does it take to safeguard your intranet? We've invited our Chief Information Security Officer, James Heathcote, to unpack everything you need to know about keeping your intranet secure in our latest podcast episode.
#3. Powerful search
One of the biggest impacts to employee productivity is time spent searching for information, with the average worker spending 9.3 hours per week locating the information they need to do their work.
Having a platform with Google-like search capabilities means employees don’t have time to waste looking for information or emailing several contacts to pinpoint subject experts. Cross-functional collaboration paves the way for productivity, bringing together a user profile directory and a powerful search function that can integrate with all external systems to create a single platform. This allows the exchange of knowledge to flourish and means employees can find, share, and discuss information quickly and easily without any barriers.
For frontline workers such as bank workers, having good search capabilities and easy to navigate knowledge bases, such as FAQs, can assist when servicing customers. For example, if a customer asks a tricky question such as ‘How do I close an account upon my mother’s death?’, employees are able to search for and find this on the intranet to inform customers quickly and accurately.
Achieving a “Google-like” enterprise search experience in your digital workplace
In this blog we explore the benefits of a “Google-like” search experience for your digital workplace by taking full advantage of Unily’s brand-new search center. Deliver rapid access to information for your people through our exceptionally engaging and highly accessible digital experience platform.
#4. Consolidation to become cloud-first
Thanks to the shift to remote working, many FS companies have had to embrace a more cloud-first way of working. Having the ability to retire some of the older, legacy technology and consolidate the frequently used tools into one centralized platform will save FS organizations both time and money.
Not only will employees – including those on the frontline – be able to have all the information they need at their fingertips, it means companies will be able to maximize on their existing technologies and investments, including frequently used systems such as Salesforce. Integrating a system like Salesforce into your financial services intranet lets you bring data from multiple systems into a single view, enabling faster decision-making and maximizing the usefulness of every tool. This can in turn further FS companies in their journey to becoming cloud-centric.
Customer case study – how Diebold Nixdorf is digitally transforming with an employee experience platform
Diebold Nixdorf is a global company focused on transforming the way the world transacts in the Banking and Retail space.
Several years ago, Diebold Nixdorf completed a large acquisition. While the transaction was finished, the road to bringing together employees was just beginning. A single source of information was needed to unify the enterprise and cultivate connectivity.
Following the acquisition, Diebold Nixdorf sought out to eliminate silos and communicate transparently with their workforce of 22k employees, who are based in over 100 countries. Leaders recognized that leveraging effective digital technology would be crucial to unify a global organization. While stakeholders had relied heavily on email in the past, Diebold Nixdorf aimed to introduce a new medium that would give leaders real-time feedback on employee sentiment and encourage every team member to join in on the conversation.
"The creation of a single source of information that connects employees and serves as the backbone for internal communications has proven impactful in several ways. Leaders recognize the valuable role that the intranet plays in their employee messaging strategy. Our intranet is a modern, fluid, and streamlined communications channel that provides a new way for employees to connect with colleagues globally, and it empowers a broader sense of collaboration and information sharing across Diebold Nixdorf."
As employees quickly grew more comfortable with The Exchange, Diebold Nixdorf’s Internal Communications team increasingly leveraged the platform to keep users informed and aligned. Since employees generally look to leadership during times of change, executive communications are an ongoing focal point. The Exchange has several key channels for leadership messaging, including All-Employee Townhalls and Leadership Q&As, which spotlight executive team members every other week. Leaders are featured in blogs and videos, where they discuss what makes them proud to work at Diebold Nixdorf and keeps them informed about specific initiatives across the organization.
Instead of relying on top-down communications, The Exchange provides all users with transparent, timely updates from the moment they navigate to the homepage – it features a newsfeed for internal information that is updated daily as well as links to important applications employees need to do their jobs. There’s also DN for the Win, which spotlights recent customer success stories, ensuring that all employees are connected to the success of the business.
The intranet has also been particularly crucial for communicating change and bringing employees together. As opposed to separate teams or sub-divisions, the enterprise now has the communications channels needed to connect as one cohesive community, and employees adapted quickly to the new platform.
"We strived to create a platform that truly united our employees, and made everyone feel like one Diebold Nixdorf family. From local news sites to ERG communities, The Exchange gives us a home base for all employees."
Become compliant, secure, and efficient with employee experience platform
From some of the biggest names in the financial world to smaller community institutions, Unily supports financial services enterprises with its employee experience platform. If you would like to learn more about how an EXP can help your organization, get started with a free demo.