CEO of Nymbus, collaborating with financial institutions to help them reach new growth opportunities.
In 2021, the world of work as most knew it encountered a fracture in employee retention. Amid the pandemic, companies experienced a tidal wave of employee churn known as the Great Resignation. Team members began leaving in droves, searching for something more than paychecks and perks.
This exodus continues in 2022, leaving financial institutions (FI) short-staffed and searching for answers—for how to keep their exceptional employees and attract new talent. But in the looming darkness lies an amazing chance to convert the Great Resignation to the Great Opportunity.
The quest for qualified talent in this new employment landscape cannot revolve around money as the be-all and end-all. To retain and attract loyal employees who will advance your company’s purpose, you must understand and embrace the intangibles that today’s employees are seeking.
As with your daily business dealings, the good stuff comes from open, transparent discussions with current and prospective employees. Those conversations offer you insights to self-reflect and provide new teammates what they want and need to thrive—taking your brand higher.
In conversations with clients, these are three key fundamentals that have risen as successful strategies to retain and attract the best teammates.
Retain Employees By Encouragement And Empowerment
Developing a long-term strategic plan that creates a legacy for your financial institution starts with retaining top-tier talent who feel appreciated and animated about your company’s focused purpose.
Retaining talented employees begins with understanding where they are in their professional life and what they need to get their current life closer to their ideal life. When you pour into your employees and empower them with the tools they need to succeed, they pour into their colleagues and your customers—it’s a powerful ripple effect.
As a business leader, introspective work is key in retaining your top talent. First, understand your own specific skill sets—then hire people who are better than you in everything else and encourage them to stay curious. Empower them with an optimized technology stack, continuing education opportunities and mentoring resources to develop their skills. As your employees shine brighter, so does your company.
To prioritize their well-being, keep open lines of communication with your employees. Encourage them to tell you what they need to succeed and avoid unnecessary churn and burn. Conduct these two-way conversations in the same spirited way as you do with your clients. Consistent, active listening and interactions with your employees can lead to incremental growth and long-term transformation.
During a recent conversation with serial entrepreneur Nick Kennedy, he describes this empowerment mindset as “take my bad idea, make it better.” He says his fundamental job as a CEO was to “not run out of cash, figure out where this market was going to be in a couple of years, communicate that to my team and make sure they had the resources they needed to get where we needed to go.” Then, says Kennedy, “build an amazing culture around that.”
That amazing culture—and the advocacy of your employees—will improve retention and simultaneously help attract new, top talent.
Attract Employees With Purpose And Authenticity
The pandemic provided an unforeseen lens that radically changed employees’ perspectives. People realized they have choices in life and are now reevaluating everything: what work-life balance means to them, how they want to be engaged with their family, etc.
Employees are no longer content to sit in the status quo because they felt the sense of urgency from the pandemic that nothing—including time—is guaranteed in their personal and professional lives.
During job interviews, share tangible reasons employees choose your company. For example, perhaps you offer flexible hours, remote or in-person work options or mental health services. But don’t just talk about what you offer. Take actual steps to make work less stressful for your employees. Discuss the tangibles but remember that culture is more than a physical or virtual workplace—it’s about your people. Share your story—the how and why beyond jobs and perks. Dig deep and highlight what makes your FI unique and special to compel others to want to be part of your story, too.
Attract and hire the right employees for your financial institution by encouraging a culture of authenticity that balances risk with integrity to fulfill your stated purpose. If today’s employees don’t feel aligned with your purpose, they aren’t going to work for you. Admit your mistakes, be vulnerable and authentic with your team—just like you are with your customers.
How you emit and emote your purpose attracts more of the right employees to join your cause and fuels your company’s growth.
Advance Your Purpose—And Employees—By Embracing Innovation
If you remain ingrained in the status quo, you miss harnessing the full energy and potential of your employees. And you risk losing them—and your customers. Don’t de-risk yourself out of business. Embrace innovation where appropriate to take advantage of pandemic epiphanies and take hold of new opportunities to further niche market reach.
Financial institutions must discover a balance of an entrepreneurial mentality if they want to survive and grow. You may need to spend money upfront to understand the assumptions: cost of acquisition, what is the churn, what is the lifetime value, etc.
If you choose to partner with a fintech provider as part of your goals to embrace innovation, make sure you go with one that comes in and asks what you are doing—and why. Then take that common understanding and develop solutions with your employees and fintech partners that embrace new ideas, new market segments and new approaches on how to monetize those areas of development to drive long-term growth.
Cultivate A People-First Culture And Set A New Standard For The Financial Industry
When you take smart risks that keep the needs of your employees in focus, it becomes possible to retain and attract top-talent teammates and advance your FI’s purpose.