This is a time of great change in the financial services industry, as digital disruption unlocks new capabilities—and creates new challenges. The workforce is coming to expect a new kind of experience from employers. Providing such an experience will help financial services firms win the war for talent and drive superior business performance. HR teams at banks have a unique role to play in realizing these benefits, as we saw in my post last week.

But making the transition to “experience architect” will be a challenge. Most HR teams today approach the workforce experience as a collection of different processes. Embracing an integrated view of the workforce experience and making the required changes to business practices will take time and effort.

Recent research from Accenture identifies some key points to keep in mind during the transition:

1 Talent expects hyper-personalization

The digital revolution has unlocked personalized experiences for the mass consumer market. Workers now expect similar customization in their relationship with their employers. Everything from professional development and advancement opportunities to day-to-day work functions should be aligned with a worker’s personal and professional goals and accordingly tailored.

2 Money isn’t the only currency, especially for younger workers

People are moved by more than money. Workers at banks are increasingly seeking greater flexibility, autonomy, and development opportunities from employers. Millennials, who are now the largest generation in the workforce, prize quality of life and engagement more than earlier generations. They want jobs that align with their values and lives.

3 The workforce will be liquid

“As needed” talent relationships are becoming more attractive and practical—for both financial services workers and employers. Accenture research reports that two-thirds of workers want to pursue self-employment or freelance work in the future, while executives expect that almost half of their workforce will include independent contractors or temporary positions by 2018.

4 Technology is an enabler

Digital tools are playing a larger role than ever in employee satisfaction, especially with millennials. Banks need to make use of technology to provide information and resources to the workforce anywhere, anytime. Through automation, AI, and advanced analytics, technology can also predict or preempt issues, providing boosts to worker productivity and happiness.

These points provide high-level guidance to HR leaders starting to think about improving the employee experience in financial services. But what concrete steps can leaders take towards this right now?

At Accenture, we firmly believe that advanced analytics are fundamental to creating a great employee experience. Firms that don’t have robust HR analytics systems should conduct strategy assessments to identify areas that would most benefit from these insights. Such as assessment will enable the development of a roadmap connecting data requirements, technology requirements, the analytics operating model, and, eventually, a targeted proof of concept.

Accenture’s confidence in this approach is built on first-hand experience. Accenture has used the advanced workforce planning tool OptTek to analyze two years of HR-related data to improve talent supply forecasts. This helped optimize team sizes and acquisition across geographies, business units, and talent segments, improving business performance and the employee experience at the same time.

Once a financial services firm has a strong foundation of analytics, the next step towards creating a great employee experience is to put those insights to use. Two crucial considerations while doing this are leveraging the cloud and going mobile.

Leveraging the cloud means making HR solutions scalable and streamlined with digital cloud technology. The cloud enables financial services organizations to upgrade and integrate new applications in a matter of months instead of years. This helps firms acquire the agility needed to provide customized employee experiences.

Going mobile means providing a great employee experience to employees whether they are in the office, working from home, or travelling. Today’s financial services employees, especially millennials, want to work seamlessly, anywhere, with access to the data and information they need to take control of their own careers. To remain competitive, HR leaders need to make sure their firms provide these options.

That’s a look at the foundation of creating a great employee experience. For more advice about starting your organization’s transformation, contact me and come back next week, when we’ll look at some more real-world examples of workforce experience transformation.

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