In the previous post in this series, I outlined why digital tools and processes are becoming such an integral part of the employee experience in financial services. To pick up on this topic, I’ll take a closer look at how digital tools can provide a robust platform for workplace collaboration as well as support flexible ways of working.

As I pointed out in early posts in this series, many millennials value more flexible ways of working and seek a healthy work-life balance. This is also true of boomers looking ahead to retirement and many Generation-Xers with young families. Luckily, today’s digital tools can support a flexible workplace that is more accommodating of employees’ needs. Thanks to broadband and modern collaboration tools, many people can do at least some of their work outside the office. Video and voice solutions help people to collaborate effectively, regardless of distance. For many roles, work can be what employees do rather than where they are.

This addresses the growing demand from talent for a healthy work balance and a growing recognition among organizations that long work hours and difficult rush-hour commutes harm rather than enhance productivity. Given that is this the case, leaders need to think about what sort of technology platforms they will create on which people can collaborate.

For financial services organizations—where information security and data privacy are critical—one of the primary challenges is deciding how to support bring your own device and bring your own application models of IT usage. In the past, the default response to an employee wanting to bring personal technology tools to work would be “no, you can’t do that”.

However, given employee demand for consumer apps and the growing role of consumer social media platforms in the financial services business, many organizations are looking at how they can support these tools in the workplace while ensuring security. This is just one of the challenges of creating a more flexible workplace.

One that is perhaps even more difficult to manage lies in encouraging employees to adopt a flexible working culture. Managers and leaders need to foster more agile ways of working and provide employees with the support they need to adapt to changing working styles.

Leaders, too, may need training in how to lead virtual teams and manage people in a more flexible workplace. Despite the challenges, financial services companies that adapt today to a more liquid workforce can gain a significant advantage in attracting and retaining the best possible talent.

The next part of my series on a digital EVP for financial services will look at learning and career development.

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