Much has been written about the Great Resignation of 2021 and 2022. In addition, the past few years have seen workplace norms disrupted by COVID and working remote. What’s been the impact of a shifting employment landscape on compliance in the financial services industry?
The impact of the Great Resignation has been felt across the globe. The latest information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that high rates of both voluntary employment separations and new hires continue. A recent study conducted in the APAC market (Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand) found that 91% of small and medium size enterprises are finding it difficult to manage the impact of workforce volatility—and that the lack of skilled talent ranks as the top challenge to achieving successful digital transformation in the region.
A well-run compliance program depends on experienced and knowledgeable compliance professionals. According to a recent PwC survey, If the ‘great resignation’ has taught employers anything, it’s to not take their workers for granted.
PwC surveyed 52,000 workers across 44 countries and territories for their 2022 Global Workforce Hopes and Fears survey. The survey found workers with specialized skills—like compliance—are ready to “test the market” by asking for a raise or switching pay. The analysis goes on to note that “retaining these employees will require more than just pay.”
Internal measures that employers are taking to address skills and labor shortages include expanding employee’s capabilities via upskilling, pay increases, supporting the physical and mental well-being of employees and automating and/or enhancing work via technology.
In fact, PwC’s 2022 Executive Pulse survey found that growth driven strategies hinge on both talent and digital capability. Filling job vacancies and enhancing digital capabilities will also accelerate progress toward other organizational goals including increasing agility, developing new products and services, improving resilience, honing pricing strategies and pursuing mergers and acquisitions.
Hybrid work is here to stay
A Bloomberg survey of UK finance workers found that more than 85% of UK finance workers no longer view the office as their main place of work. Just a fifth of those surveyed are willing to spend three or more days a week in the office. Two days a week in the office — or less — is the preferred arrangement. The survey analysis notes that “hybrid working — however reluctantly — is currently a fixture of finance.”
“Everyone is going to have to engage with remote work to some degree,” said Claire Tunley, chief executive officer of the UK Financial Services Skills Commission, which is focused on building the sector’s skill and talent pipeline. “Working through the challenges of it is key.”
The option to work remote can increase employee satisfaction, but it increases the risk of employee misconduct in tandem. Working at home can lead to MNPI issues when family members and roommates can overhear or have access to restricted information. Bad actors can try to get away with illegal behavior because they lack the supervision of the office setting. And employees can often ignore compliance responsibilities, not necessarily with bad intentions, but because being out of the office can make them easy to forget. Simple to use compliance technology like mobile apps can bolster employee engagement with compliance and increase adherence with policies and procedures in a remote and hybrid work environment.
Crypto regulation has created new opportunities
Increasing regulatory scrutiny in the crypto and fintech sectors has created new demand for Chief Compliance Officers and other compliance professionals. The industry has seen many compliance professionals make the leap from traditional financial services firms to crypto and fintech firms to fill newly created roles. Even as the industry is in flux and crypto assets have lost value in a volatile market, firms are continuing to hire for legal, risk and compliance positions.
Jaikumar Ramaswamy, previously a U.S. Justice Department official and head of enterprise risk managementat a global financial institution has been head of risk, compliance and regulatory policy at a fintech company that works on an open-source ledger with an initial focus on mobile phones since 2019. He told the Wall Street Journal that he was attracted by the opportunity to create a culture of compliance. Making the leap from traditional finance to crypto gave him a chance to “get in at the ground floor” and to “help shape the industry”.
The right compliance technology can increase employee satisfaction
Data collected by Salesforce and Forbes shows that there’s a strong correlation between satisfaction with work technology and overall employee wellbeing, with those dissatisfied with the technology they use at work more than twice as likely to say they feel burned out. A lack of technology and outdated systems can increase frustration and duplication of effort, decrease efficiency, and drag down employee morale and satisfaction.
Everyone wants to feel respected and taken seriously at work. Investing in a technology solution that helps people do their jobs faster and better demonstrates to employees that a firm is doing exactly that. Compliance technology is a cornerstone in building a culture of compliance. That culture of compliance keeps risk under control for the firm—and increases satisfaction for compliance professionals.
Technology helps to improve employee satisfaction by eliminating busywork from the daily routine of compliance. Automating functions like disclosures and questionnaires reduces the time both employees and the compliance team spend on rote and mundane tasks, opening time up for focus on the big picture aspects of their jobs along with upskilling their capabilities. Compliance technology also provides reporting and analysis to help spot trends and aid in strategic decision making.
Having compliance technology in place mitigates key person risk when there’s employee turnover. With manual procedures there’s always a risk that when someone leaves the organization the ability to carry out a process goes right with them. An automated solution reduces key person risk by embedding compliance policies and procedures across the organization.
The right compliance technology makes it easier for both employees to fulfill their compliance responsibilities and for the compliance team to oversee compliance across the organization. Contact us today for a demo to see first-hand how MyComplianceOffice can help you increase employee engagement and adherence.