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More than one-third of financial services employees frustrated with technology, new Eagle Hill research finds

Tech aggravation can harm employee engagement, customer experience and business results

Arlington, Va., May 18, 2021 – More than one in three (36 percent) of U.S. employees working in the financial services industry are frustrated with technology, according to new research from Eagle Hill Consulting. Also, 21 percent report that technology makes their job harder. Only about half (48 percent) of financial services employees say their company prioritizes providing technology to make their jobs easier.

These findings are contained in the Eagle Hill Consulting Financial Services Employee Experience Survey 2021, a new national poll of financial services employees across the U.S. Download the research here.

“Financial services companies are investing heavily in technology to improve their bottom-line results and customer experience. But, employees’ experience in actually using that technology is falling short,” says John Boochever, who leads Eagle Hill Consulting’s financial services practice. “Legacy infrastructure, outmoded development practices, and organizational silos typical to this industry make the employee experience challenges even steeper.”

“One common misstep is the lack of upfront attention to technology adoption, that is – continuously engaging and preparing employees, managing preconceptions, and equipping employees to work smarter with technology so they derive more benefit from it. Failing to do so impacts everything, from productivity and morale to business results.”  

“Our research shows that too many financial services employees have a negative experience with their technology, which can erode technology return on investment over time. No one wins under those circumstances. The challenge for financial services companies is to shift their focus to the employee technology experience. Technology change should incorporate employee needs and shift ingrained behaviors, which ultimately delivers better value to customers. This is where financial services organizations often come up short,” Boochever explains.

The research finds that:

  • Nearly one-quarter (22 percent) of financial services employees indicate that technology either has no effect or makes it more difficult to collaborate with colleagues.
  • Twenty-nine percent of employees surveyed fear replacement by technology, such as through automation, bots or AI. 
  • Only 48 percent of financial services employees say their companies prioritize providing the technology to make their jobs easier. 
  • More than one-third (36 percent) are frustrated with company technology. 
  • One-third (33 percent) report that technology either does nothing to enable them to be happy at work or makes it harder.

Financial services companies can drive employee technology adoption and maximize value by:

  • Defining what success looks like. Organizations should go into any technology investment and implementation understanding what the technology represents for every stakeholder group. This means understanding current pain points across the customer lifecycle. 
  • Directing investments in technology functions and features. Organizations should avoid making technology investments in a vacuum. It’s important to align them with the employee and customer experience strategies, along with the desired business processes. 
  • Providing continuous learning beyond the classroom. People learn in many ways, and organizations should think outside the box to educate employees about new technologies. This applies to both the methods used and the focus of the learning. 
  • Measuring and managing adoption and use. As with any investment, companies need the right metrics to understand whether they are achieving the maximum ROI from technology. Consistent communications and incentive programs can build awareness and take-up, and leaders can use reports and dashboards to monitor adoption.

The Eagle Hill Consulting Financial Services Employee Experience Survey 2021 was conducted online by Ipsos in January 2021. The survey included 505 respondents from a random sample of financial services employees across the United States. The survey polled respondents on employee experience aspects, including technology, diversity, employee engagement, and customer service.

Eagle Hill Consulting LLC is a woman-owned business that provides unconventional management consulting services in the areas of Strategy & Performance, Talent, and Change. The company’s expertise in delivering innovative solutions to unique challenges spans across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, from financial services to healthcare to media & entertainment. Eagle Hill has offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Boston, MA and Seattle, WA. More information is available at www.eaglehillconsulting.com.

Media Contact: Susan Nealon | 703.229.8600 | snealon@eaglehillconsulting.com | @WeAreEagleHill