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The benefits of building resilience in the workplace

Mar 10, 2023

With mounting economic uncertainty, financial services organizations are looking for ways to build resiliency and stay prepared for the future.

But what about creating resilient people?

Resilience isn’t an inherent quality that people simply have or don’t have. It’s a quality that your organization can foster by creating the right kind of workplace. You want an environment where employees feel heard, have access to the tools they need to optimize their work and understand what’s expected of them.

By creating that environment, you’re helping both your people and your organization be at their best.

Here are four ways you can start building resilience in the workplace:

1. Establish clear communication

Clear communication is an essential part of workplace resilience because it can put your organization in a position where it’s continuously looking for ways to improve and capable of communicating changes so that it can pivot when needed.

Part of fostering better communication is ensuring that messages from the C-suite reach employees at all levels, without being diluted. Digital communication lets you directly and frequently address all employees through online meetings or recorded messages.

Executive leadership should focus on providing a monthly or quarterly meeting that covers the progress on your strategic plan priorities. This helps leadership stay accountable for organizational goals and ensures that employees understand what changes are being made and why.

2. Ask for employee feedback

It’s also important for your leadership team to engage in effective employee listening.

You can’t understand the unique needs of your organization unless you ask. For example, while employees across industries are looking for more remote work opportunities, those in client-facing roles may want more office time to facilitate meetings with customers.

Your employees are the ones directly impacted by inefficiencies in your workplace, so they’ll be able to not only identify problems quickly but also propose effective solutions.

Leadership throughout the organization should be taking regular feedback from employees. And you need to establish an anonymous feedback process, so that you still have access to information employees may not feel comfortable reporting face to face.

3. Better leverage technology

Digital transformation is a way for your organization to optimize efficiency by providing employees with the solutions they need to operate at their highest and best use.

For financial services, one key area to focus on is data. Employees in financial services need to access and analyze large amounts of data for actions such as building customer relationships, loan underwriting or credit decisioning. If you’re not offering solutions for automating those processes, you’re limiting your employees’ productivity.

It’s also important to extend employee listening practices to your implementation process.

Beyond your tech people, make sure you take the time to collect feedback from all end users. That feedback will help you ensure that you’re implementing the functionality you need and not paying for upgrades that your people won’t use.

4. Provide a clear path for development

In Wipfli’s recent state of banking report, financial institutions listed career development as an important part of retraining good talent — financial services needs to follow suit.

Start by creating leadership personas so that employees can see how to move upward in your organization from their current position. These personas should be based on specific positions and the skills required to hold them, rather than specific individuals.

Having personas helps ease the stress on your employees by giving them clarity in their career development. An employee can easily evaluate their performance and identify where they need to improve or grow to achieve their career goals.

This also makes your organization more resilient by minimizing succession risks. If a key employee leaves, you’ll already have people developing the skills and knowledge necessary to fill their role.

How Wipfli can help

Wipfli’s consultants bring a depth of experience when addressing your organization’s challenges. We’re here to provide support in the crucial areas you need it, such as regulatory compliance, talent management and leveraging technology. Contact us and discover how we can help you create a more resilient workplace.

This article is part of our series on how your financial services organization can use technology to build resilience. We cover the latest technologies and strategies to improve efficiency, engage customers and increase revenue in any economic conditions.

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Michelle Joseph, MBA
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Carlos Vega
Director, Digital Strategy
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