Michael Wagner Financial Services Palm Beach Gardens Chief Marketing Officer
The financial services industry is comprised of the banking, securities and commodities, insurance and real estate sectors. Over the next few years, you will see significant changes in this industry with the rise of mobile banking, social networking, the millennial generation and the talent gap. Below, I’ve captured eight of the biggest workplace trends that executives and HR leaders should pay attention to if they want to succeed now and in the future.
1. The Internet will be used to engage with millennial employees and customers
Millennials are looking for more engagement from financial advisors and banks. They want advisors to connect with them using online tools instead of face-to-face conversations like they typically would have with older generations. 61% want video meetings with advisors and 57% will change financial advisors for a tech setting. Millennials want a more connected experience and want to work in an environment where they can freely use their mobile phones and social networks. Cisco reports that millennials won’t work at a company that blocks these tools or doesn’t let them choose between mobile devices. The financial services industry is regulated and is strict on what employees can access at the office but will eventually have to open up or risk losing top millennial talent.
2. High turnover of millennials will delay strategic initiatives and growth
Millennials see the financial services industry as a stepping stone to other career options. Only 10% of millennials in the industry plan to stay in their current job for the long term, compared to an average of 18% across all industries. 42% are open to offers from other companies and 28% are actively looking for the next big opportunity, reports PwC. Millennials end up working for far more hours than they expected to and if they aren’t able to produce, they end up moving on to an entirely different industry. The financial industry is cut-throat and many companies understand that only a small percentage will be able to make it.
3. The talent gap is becoming wider
It’s widely known that the global economy suffers from a skills gap. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that there are currently 3.9 million job openings in the United States alone and not enough talent to fill those positions. In the financial industry, almost half of CEOs report that they are unable to find talent with the right skills and view the issue as a serious threat to their company’s growth. Almost 25% of those CEOs have had to cancel or delay a key strategic initiative over the past year because they didn’t have the right talent available at the time to execute.
4. They will have to recover from a bad reputation created by the financial collapse
The financial collapse has unquestionably tarnished the reputation of the industry. Millennials have especially questioned the industry because they became adults during the time of the financial crisis, bank failures and the foreclosure boom. As a result, 21% of millennials have decided to avoid the financial services sector. In addition, millennial investors are more conservative and less trusting of financial advisors than older generations. They are four times more likely than older generations to consult with other sources before taking the advice of a financial advisor, reports Accenture. Millennials are looking to their peers for money guidance over advisors says a new survey by the American Institute of CPAs and the Ad Council.
5. Diversity at work becomes a major conversation
There is now more pressure on financial companies to embrace diversity in the workplace. 68% of millennials said that while companies talk about diversity, they felt that opportunities weren’t equal for all. While African-Americans make up almost 14% of the U.S. population, their share of senior positions in the financial services industry remainsunder 3%. If the industry wants to stay relevant, innovative and progressive, they are going to have to start recruiting people from a variety backgrounds.
6. Millennials demand workplace flexibility
Workplace flexibility is more in-demand in the financial sector than almost any other sector, yet there is no flexibility. Employees work from the early morning until night and it makes having a social life difficult. 94% of millennials said that workplace flexibility is important to them but 28% of those said that it was worse than they expected when they started their job. Millennials want this flexibility especially because their personal and professional lives are so intertwined and want to spend time with friends and family throughout the day. The way financial companies are set up now, employees are unable to work from home and don’t have collaborative work spaces.
7. Show me the money
Relative to all other industries, money matters in the financial industry, even to millennials who usually prioritize meaningful work over more money. 38% say that the starting salary with a key factor in accepting their job and 44% rated cash bonuses as an important benefit (compared to 36% across all industries). In another study by Kelly Services, they also found that more millennials are looking at money compared to all other industries (23% vs 20%). This shouldn’t be a surprise to most but it’s still important to note that money drives millennials (and older generations) because of the nature of the industry.
8. The office will become more casual and less strict
One of the patterns I’m seeing is that more financial companies, especially smaller independent ones, are getting rid of the normal suit attire in exchange for a more casual one. In an MTV study on millennials, they found that 79% think they should be allowed to wear jeans to work at least sometimes, compared to only 60% of boomers. In the next few years, you will see more financial firms drop the suit and tie and replace them with more casual clothing. While, they won’t move from a suit to a pair of jeans, business casual is more accepted than it ever has been.
Michael Wagner Chief Marketing Officer 727-557-9993 Insurance Services