In today’s fast-paced business environment, financial institutions are more focused than ever on finding ways to reduce expenses, enhance service offerings, eliminate system inefficiencies and, ultimately, outpace the competition (which now includes both traditional and non-traditional banking entities).
The recent explosion of innovative financial technology has allowed banks to achieve these goals by modernizing systems, all while improving how employees complete daily tasks and interact with customers.
Employee intranets may not be viewed as “new” technology, but thanks to the introduction of modern fintechs in bank and branch operations, they now play a critical role in the success of financial institutions. This is particularly true as such technology increases in complexity.
While such operational technologies as an intranet may not always garner the attention as the latest fintechs, intranets have evolved significantly to help businesses in a multitude of ways. Below are a few key benefits of implementing a corporate intranet:
- Fosters better communication. A corporate intranet serves as a fundamental resource, because it creates one central location to store and organize all essential information. Employees can use the system to view documents, policies and procedures, rates and any other pertinent information, all of which allows them to better serve customers, ensure compliance and a high level of productivity. Additionally, intranets contain built-in features that facilitate team communication and collaboration. This is especially important for companies with multiple locations spread across the country or organizations undergoing a merger or acquisition. Intranet users can connect in a secure environment and share information in real-time, helping to bring about greater interaction among staff.
- Increases internal engagement. Employee turnover is at 10 year highs, and banks are searching for ways to drive meaningful relationships with employees. By providing employees with a centralized location to engage with each other and quickly access the materials they need to work with fellow coworkers and customers, a corporate intranet can encourage employees to be more involved with the institutions’ internal efforts. This is a powerful tool since engaged employees tend to be more productive, loyal and dedicated. Statistically, companies with staff who are more engaged with their job and career see lower instances of theft, absenteeism and turnover -- all of which positively impacts revenues.
- Improves efficiency and productivity. In addition to fostering better company-wide communication and internal engagement, employee intranets optimize the resourcefulness of teams and ensure that staff time is being used wisely. As an example, ticketing systems hosted within an intranet become muchmore effective as it eliminates the fear that something will fall through the cracks when tracking requests. Inquiries can be responded to in a timelier manner with a simplified source of information at employees’ fingertips. As the saying goes, “time is money.” By being able to access an employee intranet, staff members can accelerate the process of finding information and return to working on core tasks sooner – increasing overall efficiency and productivity.
- Supports Data Loss Prevention & Compliance. It’s critical for financial institutions to ensure the integrity of their internal networks and control the flow of information throughout their organization. Too many banks rely on shared networks and disparate systems, often without administrative controls or permissions, which allows employees to freely edit, update, delete or save over critical documents. With the right intranet solution, financial institutions can reinforce their cybersecurity strategies and dictate who can create, download, edit or even print all internal materials. In doing so, they demonstrate their commitment to protecting their institution’s reputation with peers and consumers.
The financial landscape is changing, and banks and credit unions are tasked with finding ways to cut costs, streamline processes and enhance communication. Employee intranets have a wide range of functionality and can be a powerful tool to drastically improve how banks and credit unions operate and engage employees.
When used with the proper data loss prevention methods, intranets will simplify employees’ lives, make it quicker and easier for them to get their jobs done and ultimately, make the difference between disengaged workforce, and one that’s receptive and enthusiastic about their workplace.
MarkAnderson is CEO of Johnson City, Tenn.-based Banc Intranets, a provider of web-based intranets and directors portals for financial institutions.
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