Hybrid work is here to stay

Stuart Pugh, Chief Customer Officer at ActiveOps talks through how managers can save time through automation and increase the efficiency in business operations.

Today, organisations are emerging from the wave of the pandemic and are waking up to a new world of work replacing the traditional on-site, in-branch operations of the past. We’re not witnessing a mass exodus away from the office, sometimes even seeing whole teams relocate to a virtual environment. The effects of COVID-19 can seem unpredictable, but hybrid work is here to stay.

Overall, employers have been clear that they prefer their workforce on-site four or five days per week. But for many, hybrid work provides welcomed flexibility, wedging managers between the demands of their bosses and their direct reports. If business leaders don’t address this divide, they stand to lose employees, seeing less productivity and morale waning among remaining workers.

Adjusting to this new reality won’t happen overnight. But improving the data and information managers use to make decisions is the critical component for doing so successfully. Financial institutions can achieve this by embracing management process automation (MPA), which enables them to collect valuable workforce performance data to support managers in not only navigating the divide but empowering them to be leaders in the field today and in the digital future.

Enhancing operational management decisions

During times of disruption, the foundations of business certainty can crumble unless it is carefully maintained. Companies need MPA to support managers with systems, processes, and data that raise performance and, in turn, reduce the stress and pressure on managers themselves.

A business that can provide consistency in language, deliverables, tools, and processes empowers its managers to see ahead confidently. And with tools that automate data collection, managers can improve their forecasting and make better decisions, removing the uncertainty from their planning process.

For example, when managers have tools that give them the data they need to effectively control production, they can collaborate and borrow resources without fearing that it will put them in a bad position.

Supporting consistency in management
Companies often leave it to managers to develop their skills and manage the way they think is best. When they use their methodologies, they hinder collaboration. The resulting performance variability and additional friction waste 16% to 22% of the time paid.

Consistency in performance is especially critical as managers contribute remotely and across different teams or departments. But the modern enterprise must exploit and leverage capabilities, capacity, and technologies across broader supply chains. Institutions must upgrade the systems managers use to organise and orchestrate their work and resources to do so.
Formalising development and training in professional operations management gives managers the framework and tools they need to navigate new situations that come up during periods of disruption. With the aid of technology, they can implement a digital solution that ensures the process is automated where it can be, is efficient where it cannot be automated, and most importantly, is followed.

Cultivating the skills needed for optimisation

Managers often have the most accountability to the most people within the organisation. They are not only responsible for delivering against cost, quality, and service, but they have customer outcomes and staff to manage. Treating their role as a formal business process, one they document and standardise across all departments, removes the pressure on the individual to do it all themselves.

Managers also play a crucial role in engaging employees and preventing voluntary turnover. But if they are to have any effect, they must build a baseline relationship and sense of connection with their staff and support them in meaningful ways. For example, a Culture Amp survey evaluated nearly 150,000 managers with over 2.5 million employee ratings across 2,700 companies and found three key factors that would make a direct report more likely to talk with their manager if they were considering whether to leave the company:

• They were showing a genuine interest in their career.
• They were providing regular feedback on how they were performing.
• They were genuinely caring about their well-being.

Deploying the right technology requires managers to buy into promoting it and that the organisation’s culture embraces sharing skills and resources. In turn, managers in organisations that receive the necessary coaching and development opportunities to achieve their full potential as influential, inspirational leaders, can access the support of accreditation and benchmarks against which they can measure their own growth and potential.

Empowering managers

Financial services and banking institutions are working hard to continue to deliver outcomes for customers, including a seamless digital experience and high-quality customer service resolutions. The more insight financial institutions can have into how and where the work is being done, the better — for managers, employees, executives, and customers.

Fortunately, the solution is already here. The pandemic provided the ultimate push of digital transformation for the new world of work, which has allowed order to come out of the chaos. More resilient managers can look forward to supporting a more robust workforce, driving deeper employee engagement and attachment to the institution. The result is a more agile and productive workforce in a world where uncertainty still looms.

However, the digital transformation journey is not just about the data you collect, it’s about the confidence you have in the information you collect. A true insight into operational data means the end of uncertainty for your managers and your organisation, and a brighter, better future for your business, no matter what is around the next corner.

Credits: Alex Henderson, Account Executive Spreckley Partners Limited

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