Financial services workers predict lasting change

by Madison Utley20 Aug 2020

A new survey has revealed widespread – and perhaps unexpected – optimism throughout Australia over the positive ways COVID-19 has changed the country’s professional behaviours and expectations. 

More than half of Aussie workers (55%) expect their industry to be changed for the better in the post pandemic world due to the adjustments implemented over recent months in response to current events, according to research from Qualtrics Work Different study.

The majority of respondents (58%) indicated the way their employer has responded to COVID has been “above average”.

Within financial services specifically, 56% of workers agreed the industry has reacted well to the changing environment and, further, they foresee many of the recent adjustments made to last.

An overwhelming 78% expect to see increased remote working within financial services, while 75% believe a shift towards online and digital services will continue to play out.

Similarly, 74% agree there will be an increased focus on new uses of technology and 63% expect this increased innovation to benefit customers.

Across all industries, 34% of respondents indicated their employee experience has improved during the pandemic, while half said it has remained the same.

“As a result of their employers’ quick thinking and actions, the majority of workers across Australia currently feel a lot more valued (47%) at their company, and a lot more proud (54%) to work for them – in part due to the human centred approach many adopted when the pandemic hit,” said Steve Bennetts, head of employee experience for Qualtrics in APJ.

“While many have made steps in the right direction, businesses cannot afford to take their foot off the gas. Employees want to be listened to, and there is more change on the road ahead as people return and industries adapt. To ensure they continue to successfully move forward businesses need to formalise the human-centred approach adopted with employees.”

A commanding 74% of Australians communicated it’s important to them their employer asks what action they need to see to feel confident about returning to the office.

“While there is so much talk of when things will go back to normal or how we’ll come to terms with the “new normal,” those conversations are fundamentally missing the point, and missing an important opportunity to come back better, stronger, and more inclusive than ever,” said Bennetts.

“We’ve witnessed how changing the way you listen to and engage employees can have a positive effect, which is why those who make lasting changes now will have a key advantage in the future - from attracting and retaining talent through to improved loyalty and productivity.”