Talent management is one of the most important elements in driving a healthy financial services industry. Because banking is no longer viewed as one of the most “attractive” industries, financial service organizations are now competing both inside and outside of the industry when recruiting employees.
BAI conducted a market research study earlier this year through its BAI Banking Outlook program focused on talent management and employee engagement trends in financial services. The survey consisted of 594 financial services leaders, including human resources professionals and employees of financial service organizations ranging in size from community to large banks. Based on survey findings, financial service organizations should evaluate the following dynamics to improve talent management.
Many employees have placed a heightened importance on employer ethics and the organization’s practice of its core values. The survey respondents indicated that these two areas are the primary sources of employee satisfaction, and that employees recognize that their organizations are making ethics a priority. In turn, employees that are aware of an organization’s statement of ethics and see those principles integrated into its operational practices are more engaged and satisfied at work.
More than 65 percent of respondents said that a higher salary would be the primary reason for changing jobs. Given the slow salary growth in post-recession years, many organizations are well aware of this factor, but should carefully assess its impact on retention rates.
When considering salary and benefit packages, organizations should ask themselves the following questions:
- Has your organization recently completed a competitor analysis focused on salary and benefits?
- Have you reviewed or updated your benefits to fit the needs of employees? Only 30 percent of survey respondents viewed their benefits as competitive. Consider surveying employees to identify what benefits they value most, and if possible, implement one or two of the top responses.
- Are you quantifying the benefits you offer in your total compensation statement to employees, such as compliance training, internal and external professional development training? By highlighting these numbers, employees will better understand the investment their organization is making in each individual.
Career advancement opportunities
Aside from salary, the opportunity for career advancement is a top reason why employees would consider leaving. In many cases, if employees do not see clear opportunities for growth within the organization, they will be dissatisfied with a long-term future at the company.
To address this, organizations should consider implementing or increasing awareness of a leadership development program. This type of program can help employees learn and grow, and potentially introduce new leadership opportunities to the organization. To make sure the program is relevant, organizations should ask employees about specific topics they’re interested in learning about and incorporate them into the agenda.
If your organization has a leadership development program in place, it’s important that its availability is properly communicated. When asked if their organization has a leadership development program, 54 percent of employee respondents said no, even though the majority of human resource professionals indicated that the organization does in fact have one. A lack of knowledge about the program correlates to a lack of participants. Assess how these programs are being marketed to employees to make sure this benefit is given more visibility.
One of the most important parts of implementing career advancement opportunities and development programs is not only participation, but tracking and communicating metrics to demonstrate how the organization is developing and retaining high potential employees. Creating a tracking method to evaluate the progress of a development program is a key method to determine its success.
More engaging or fulfilling work
Forty-eight percent of respondents said they would leave their financial services organization for more engaging or fulfilling work. While job-specific duties are difficult to change, strategies to improve employee engagement in the workplace include:
- Clearly communicate open positions and consider career pathing for employees with advancement aspirations.
- Provide incentives for exemplary performance.
- Send regular emails highlighting employee accomplishments and contributions, both in and outside of work.
Win the war on talent
Organizations that create a culture in which employees feel engaged and empowered benefit from improved productivity, higher quality of work, lower turnover, stronger teamwork and better service. Additionally, fulfilled employees are more likely to refer customers or potential employees. Organizations that proactively practice ethics, compensate employees well, implement leadership development programs and foster a more engaging work environment are more likely to attract and retain satisfied, talented staff.
Karl Dahlgren is managing director of BAI, a nonprofit independent organization that delivers the financial services industry’s most actionable insights.