IT skills link to high performing banks

IT skills link to high performing banks

High performance financial services organisations are most adept at using technology to bolster employee performance according to new research undertaken by the Cranfield School of Management and Microsoft.

In reaching their conclusions, the academics and Microsoft developed an indication of workforce agility that assesses an organisation's use of business-to-employee strategy and new working models. The research, designed to identify the criteria for a high-performing organisation, looked at how the emergence of new technologies is impacting today's workforce.

High performers in the financial services industry are trend-setters, say the researchers, determining their own business strategies rather than simply reacting to competitor behaviour. They tend to think short-term, assessing skills against immediate business objectives at least twice a year and changing competitor pressure. They are also more likely to exploit e-training to reduce training costs and improve flexibility of employee learning.

With a focus on improving employee skills and competencies, the high performing organisation tends to hold on to the most highly skilled and IT literate staff, says the research. They also reap the benefits of e-admin, achieving increased employee productivity and reducing HR costs.

"At a time when many financial services organisations are under pressure to re-skill vast numbers of branch office employees, those organisations seeking to develop an agile workforce need to learn from high performers in their industry which aggressively exploit B2E technology and, at 86%, retain the largest proportion of highly skilled and IT literate staff," says Richard Horsfield, financial services industry manager at Microsoft. "It is in these organisations that we see the extensive use of, for example, advanced employee self-service, which enables the HR department to focus on employee development, providing the organisation with greater value-added services at reduced cost."

Surprisingly, financial services organisations are not strong adopters of mobile technologies in spite of the fact that 50% see mobile working as a practical form of working. Apart from mobile phones, there is hardly any use of video conferencing via laptop (five per cent) and only a moderate use of mobile Internet devices (29 per cent) and palmtops (36 per cent).

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