Innovative Internships: 3 Reasons Finance Companies Should Invest
While the finance industry gets to grips with remote working and prepares itself for the challenges ahead as a result of the global pandemic, college graduates are left in an unusual situation. Integration processes for interns and new hires for 2020 will be conducted predominantly online, with little to no exposure to a real-world corporate working environment.
Innovation will be key to the success of these online programs as the finance world looks to tackle not only issues centred around the limitations of remote working, but several others, including:
- BigTech and FinTech continuing to disrupt and destabilize as positions in these organizations become particularly attractive to talent.
- A forecasted skills shortage as reported in the EY Financial Services Skills Taskforce Report 2020 (EY FSSTR).
- The changing needs of modern workers resulting in increased demand for on–the–job growth and learning opportunities (Deloitte).
If banks and finance organizations are to effectively tackle these challenges, investing in innovative internship delivery is crucial.
1 Decrease Employee Turnover
Research on employee retention by Attrivity does not reflect well on the banking industry, which holds an annual turnover rate of 17.4%. Considering an Aberdeen group report found over 90% of new hires decide whether to stay or leave their role within the first 6 months, this emphasizes the need for better integration processes in the industry.
According to the Harvard Business Review, losing employees this early on in their contract can be due to certain push factors, including:
- Negative first impressions
- Poor understanding of key issues
- Poor cultural fit
- Job misrepresentation
The knock-on effect is a costly one. The Society for Human Resource Management found the total cost of turnover per employee ranged between 90–200% of their salary.
As finance companies build virtual intern and analyst experiences, the likelihood of miscommunication around key topics such as culture, role expectations and general organizational activities becomes an even bigger challenge. New technology, means of communicating, and a lack of face-to-face contact will create difficulties for organizations who don’t give their intern and analyst programs appropriate attention.
2 Address Skill Shortages
The war for talent is intensifying. The need for skilled workers will increase globally with demand exceeding supply, making employees with varied and diversified skill sets highly valuable.
Reskilling employees makes workforces more agile and adaptable to the ever-evolving industry. Deutsche Bank HR leader Shannon Sali believes on–the–job learning and constant reskilling is the natural solution as workforces look to create a culture of learning and development and subsequently ‘generate more revenue with the same amount of people’.
An effective integration process is vital to the continuous growth of finance organizations. From day one, organizations must offer graduates flexible learning opportunities capable of developing these young professionals into well trained, multi-skilled, high performing employees.
3 Satisfy Growth Expectations of Young Workers
While a demographically diverse workforce with 4 generations is emerging (EY), Deloitte note that banks will focus their hiring efforts on millennials more than any other group. Addressing this generation’s expectations and preferences early on in their employment is critical.
Millennial’s preferences include:
- Meaningful on–the–job growth opportunities. This is in response to fears that their skills are becoming redundant at a heightened rate during the digital transformation (Deloitte).
- Purpose–led and flexible working environment (EY FSSTR).
- The ability to shape their own unique roles (Tims et al., 2013).
The integration process is an opportunity for finance companies to demonstrate their ability to deliver what millennials want. This showcases their ability to fulfil expectations and help banks deal with skills challenges and reduce turnover.
By providing new hires with the environment to develop and grow from day one, finance companies demonstrate that their success is tied to the growth of their most important assets: their employees. Through strong relationships with employees, banks increase organizational commitment. Such commitment increases employee engagement, according to Dutch organizational psychologist Arnold Bakker and his colleagues.
This engagement naturally leads to better organizational performance.
What Innovation Looks Like
While the rapid shift to digital poses many challenges to finance companies, it also presents an opportunity to create innovative solutions. Given the pandemic we’re all experiencing, using technology to enhance business processes is now a priority.
Delivering an innovative online integration strategy can help banks embed a culture of continuous learning and encourage newly hired interns and analysts to engage positively with the organization.
This can be done through a few different techniques, four of which are explored below.
1 Include Pre-boarding Elements
Engaging new hires in the months leading up to their first day can help banks integrate graduates successfully. For example, communicating key resources such as company handbooks and messages from management can help new hires embed themselves in company culture, increase clarity on expectations and compliance, and spread awareness around key resources and contacts. Done correctly, the incorporation of meaningful pre-boarding elements will help new hires forge meaningful relationships early on, even while working remotely.
2 Centralize Learning Resources in an Online Environment
Finance companies using technology to effectively streamline the integration process of newly hired graduates will benefit going forward, even once employees are fully re-integrated to the office. Creating a central online resource where new hires can access all relevant tools (such as eLearning and CPD materials) aligns integration activities.
From ensuring compliance training materials are easily accessible to creating clarity around check-backs and key dates, having an efficient and user-friendly resource will enhance the learning experience for new hires.
3 Learning & Development (L&D)
Finance companies need agile workforces and employees need diversified skillsets to stay relevant. Investing in learning strategies that blend technology and multiple learning methods (online tutorials, virtual instructor-led training, virtual group projects) to create meaningful learning experiences demonstrates a commitment to employee development.
4 Data Analytics
Banks must innovate and use data to tackle knowledge gaps and upskill employees according to the EY FSSTR. Considering the previous three points, centralizing relevant integration resources enables easy deployment and tracking of initiatives such as online compliance and financial training. This data can be used to create a more personalized L&D experience for new hires.
Compliance training initiatives can be positively impacted by learning data. Through combining datasets on historical results, they can predict future outcomes and personalize future training for new hires.
In conclusion, as the world of work adapts to virtual environments, companies must reassess and look to new ways of integrating graduate intakes and new hires to their organization.
Gaining buy-in from new hires will require banks to deliver innovative programs that cater to their unique needs.
Investing in learning technology, centralizing integration processes, and utilizing data analytics will help finance companies to create more personalized experiences that increase employee agility and decrease turnover rates.