Why internal communication is important for banking and financial services companies
Internal communication is critical but often challenging for financial institutions, which are often large and complex enterprises that operate across multiple locations. Besides branch offices, modern financial services companies now routinely operate through online sites and portals, via mobile apps, and with the assistance of a workforce that may be partly home-based, geographically dispersed, and on duty at flexible hours.
Financial institutions therefore require good internal communications to ensure that all stakeholders receive the information and resources they require to effectively do their jobs, and stay up to date with the latest developments in the company, the regulatory environment, and the banking industry at large.
However, many banks and other financial organizations are failing, in this regard. A recent Institute of Internal Communication study reveals that 60% of financial institutions don’t have an IC strategy in place. Moreover, almost three-quarters of workers in the financial services and banking sector don’t really understand their company’s short-term business plans, while over half of the financial institutions surveyed felt that their staff did not have a good grasp of the company’s values.
If banks and other financial services firms are to optimize their performance and thrive in the information era, they need to improve their internal communications.
How financial institutions can improve their internal communications
If your organization operates within the financial services sector, we propose the following key recommendations for improving your internal communication.
1. Increase employee engagement
Besides a strong asset base and corporate infrastructure, success in the banking sector relies heavily on the performance and commitment of front-line staff and back office employees. Keeping these workers engaged and loyal to the enterprise is therefore paramount.
Good internal communication is vital to keeping workers informed about the goals and activities of the company, and their own role within it. Internal comms also provides an avenue for delivering key messages, notifications, and announcements concerning operational matters. For example, the Claromentis intranet software platform enables employees to give the best possible customer service with financial intranet tools that are built to enhance internal communications and knowledge sharing, such as employee profiles, knowledge base software, and intranet forums.
Internal communication channels are also a great medium for celebrating the achievements of your workers, and making them feel valued. For example, you can use an intranet platform like Claromentis to publicize good work via corporate social media feeds, or employee engagement tools.
2. Provide updated information on rules and policies
Your bank’s internal communications setup provides a channel for keeping the members of your organization informed about the latest changes to internal rules, industry standards, and regulatory compliance demands. Knowledge of these developments is key to operating safely in the financial services environment.
For instance, the Claromentis intranet has a policy management application which allows you to manage the entire workflow of your policies, from creation and approval through to distribution and acceptance. You can increase acceptance rates by adding mandatory read widgets to your intranet home page, so it’s the first thing employees see when they log in.
3. Communicate and manage change proactively
Changes will often be necessary – and when they occur, it’s important to provide the information and guidance that employees need to understand the rationale behind them, and the business outcomes that management envisions as a result of these changes. With a business intranet platform like Claromentis, you can also provide resources to support your change management efforts, such as knowledge bases, Frequently Asked Questions, and specialist training.
4. Give workers an opportunity to learn and grow as professionals
Training and skills acquisition are important parts of the workplace culture of any successful financial institution. Your IC framework should therefore include tools and resources for education and professional development.
To this end, the Claromentis intranet platform includes e-learning software that enables every employee to follow their own learning path, achieve training certificates, and collaborate with their coworkers within a central nurturing environment.
5. Ease the workload with automation
From internal purchase order requests to public-facing mortgage application forms, communication in banking involves a number of complex procedures that benefit from automation, which reduces the chance of costly human errors. Automated workflows also help to boost productivity and employee satisfaction.
Using Claromentis intranet for example, you can build custom e-forms and workflows for your financial processes, and use smart features that automatically assign e-forms to specific finance team members, and capture data from every e-form submission to gather insights and analyses key trends.
6. Promote collaboration and inclusion
Facilitating collaboration and resource sharing between teams and departments also works to boost productivity and employee satisfaction. Centralized collaboration tools enable financial services companies to break down office silos and unite their teams. For example, Claromentis provides a communication app for one-to-one conversations, and a corporate social networking tool for company-wide collaboration.
In terms of inclusion, a good internal communication framework should include avenues for sounding out employee opinions – whether that be on general matters concerning the finance house’s operations, or the performance of the IC strategy itself. An intranet solution like Claromentis can provide these avenues in the form of dedicated surveys, shared notice boards and messaging apps, or corporate social media.
7. Invest in the right IC solution
With several approaches to pursue in optimizing your internal communication, it’s important to choose a technology solution that provides a wide range of features and options.
Claromentis is one of the most comprehensive digital workplace solutions for the financial industry. Over the last decade, our teams have worked with banks, credit unions, and financial institutions on projects of all scopes; from out-of-the-box financial intranet software deployments to full-scale custom development projects. Our powerful software helps you handle core business functions and streamline internal processes.
With process automation, e-forms, centralized communication features, and policy management, our intranet and digital workplace software gives your teams everything they need to do their job in a secure and productive environment.
To learn more about how Claromentis can help improve internal communications at your financial services organization, book a demo with our experts.