By Ross Hook, Regional Sales Manager, Q2 Sydney Office
The previous edition of this blog highlighted the need for digital change in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, showcasing a number of reasons to increase digital offerings. This edition covers an essential aspect of executing digital change: getting team-wide commitment.
Winning hearts and minds is essential
Changing systems and processes can certainly prove to be complicated, but the biggest challenge for FIs looking to make the leap is in employing new strategies. Most FIs have been coping well so far, tweaking legacy systems and operating in siloes. It can be difficult to change minds when existing processes work within reason and staff struggle to envision the outcome. And the reasons for reluctance are numerous. FI employees have shared they are often:
- Exhausted by relentless, slowly implemented change programs
- Concerned that digital will erode the workforce
- Afraid that automated systems will sell fewer products and lead to fewer loans, and
- Apprehensive that digital will damage existing customer relationships
With the right strategy, none of these concerns has to be true. Digital frees up the workforce to go where they’re needed most. It reaps rewards in areas like collections, and it enhances relationships because it’s quick, retains customer information, makes magnitudes fewer errors, and helps staff interact more meaningfully.
There may be some heavy lifting to be done, but leadership is an essential component of success in digital change. The following strategies, when employed by management, can make a significant (and likely critical) difference in achieving success:
- Ensure operational alignment
Leaders implementing digital programmes will need expert advice on how to reorganise business processes across wide-ranging areas so that change is brief but sweeping.
- Provide training and support
Invest time in sharing the ‘how' and the ‘why’ of new systems with staff. Listen to their feedback. Where automation is heavy, provide training opportunities that help them explore and advance their career.
The message is critical, and it has to come from the top. Digital only works if it’s continuously upgraded, so staff need to be encouraged to adapt to regular minor change.
- Prioritise optimisation
The best way to get employees on board with digital is to prioritise the implementation of intelligent systems that are easily optimised. By doing so, staff can quickly comprehend the value of digital (enhancing their work, not replacing their jobs).
With the right strategy, a shift to digital doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. By starting at the top and implementing change intelligently, FI teams can leverage the speed, convenience, and opportunities to deepen relationships that digital technology is built to provide.