How Engaged Is Your Talent?

A lack of leadership training could have employees looking elsewhere.

A research study of nearly 600 financial leaders, including human resource professionals and employees of financial services organizations, found that leadership or training programs play a big part in determining if/when an employee will walk out the door.

In fact, according to the 2018 BAI Banking Outlook, employees of an organization without a leadership program are three times more likely to resign in the next 12 months than those working for a firm with such a program. Regardless of whether employees take advantage of this benefit or not, simply having leadership training available can increase engagement and employee satisfaction.

Unfortunately, of those surveyed, only 46 percent reported that their organizations had a leadership development program, and less than one third of all respondents strongly agreed that they possessed the necessary training to do the job they had been hired to do. These sentiments were more strongly expressed by employees of larger banks, lower-level employees and long-term tenured employees.

HR professionals cited several benefits of increased employee engagement:

  1. Lower turnover.
  2. Improved productivity, service and teamwork.
  3. Better communication.
  4. Greater propensity to go above and beyond in
  5. the workplace.

Moreover, engaged employees are more likely to refer their peers to work at the same organization, and BAI’s research found that employee referrals are the best source for new, high-quality employees. Referrals account for 50 percent of new recruits, compared to job posting sites (25 percent), job postings on an institution’s own website (13 percent), and recruiting firms/other (12 percent).

Training and engagement, also increase career stability for an employee. While a higher salary was still the no. 1 reason a banker would leave his/her current institution (66 percent), career advancement opportunities and more engaging/fulfilling work were tied at 48 percent, with better benefits and better boss/coworkers being significantly less influential (24 and 15 percent, respectively). Additionally, career development was listed above salary as an area in which employees were least satisfied with their company: 49 percent listed development as an area in which their firm could improve, versus 43 percent who listed salaries as an area that needed improvement.

There’s a window for winning over employees, however. The research also showed that satisfaction with career development decreases over time. For those with less than 5 years on the job, 69 percent reported that “career development” was one of the most satisfying parts of their job. But for employees with 5 to 10 years of experience, that number dropped to 52 percent, and for those with 10 or more years in the office, it fell to 48 percent. Clearly, employees still value it fairly highly at all career stages, but leadership training makes the most impact when it’s delivered early.

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