Employee Engagement Is the Cure to Turnover in the Financial Industry

Teller serving customerDedicated employees are the secret to delighted customers in the financial services industry — that’s according to a BAI Banking podcast. After all, employees who are satisfied with their work and believe in their organization’s mission are more likely to provide a quality experience and seek creative solutions to customers’ problems. They are the ones who drive the institution’s success.

However, nurturing dedicated employees is difficult if they don’t stick around. What’s the secret to making employees want to stay? The answer lies with management. Effective leaders make it a priority to engage employees by doing the following three things.

Give Employees Opportunities to Grow

The BAI podcast mentioned previously describes a scenario where a woman started as a lender for a financial institution while she was in school for HR. Her employer gave her opportunities to work on HR projects, which set her on a path that led to her becoming an HR specialist at her organization.

Do you know what your employees’ career goals are? By collaborating with them to help them create career paths within your institution, they feel a sense of ownership in the process and are more motivated to do a good job. If an employee is content with their job or you don’t have available opportunities for advancement, that doesn’t mean you can’t still encourage employee development. Consider investing in personal and professional development opportunities, including one-on-one coaching, training courses, certifications, and higher education.

Show Empathy

In its 2018 State of Workplace Empathy report, Businessolver revealed that approximately 90 percent of employees are more likely to stay with an organization that empathizes with their needs. Plus, showing empathy doesn’t just affect turnover — it increases profitability as well. Eight in 10 employees, HR professionals, and CEOs agree that an empathetic workplace engages employees and boosts financial performance.

According to Businessolver, empathetic behavior could include:

  • Lowering the cost of traditional benefits, including health insurance and retirement plans
  • Acknowledging personal accomplishments and milestones
  • Holding face-to-face, one-on-one meetings
  • Embracing diversity
  • Prioritizing work-life balance by providing flexible schedules and understanding when employees need to take time to attend to personal, family, or medical issues.

Implementing these changes takes time and may require leadership training or policy changes, but in the long run, the results will be worth it.


To give employees opportunities to grow and to build a culture of empathy, communication is critical. Employees feel valued when they know how they’re performing, have an idea of their growth path within the organization, feel that their ideas are taken seriously, and know that their work is helping make a difference in the world. Lack of effective communication leads to confusion, inefficiency, and in many cases, turnover.

However, when managers take the time to sit down with employees one-on-one, employees begin to feel that their voices are being heard. During these conversations, don’t be afraid to connect on a personal level (as long as you remain tactful and appropriate, of course). Engage in discussions about topics that are important to that individual, such as their family, hobbies, or recent trips they’ve taken.

As your institution grows, it may become more difficult to connect with employees, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still keep the lines of communication open. To build engagement, consider sending an eNewsletter featuring a personal message from you, notable employee accomplishments, and examples of how your institution is making a difference in the community.

Help your employees grow, empathize with their needs, and communicate with them — then watch your turnover rate drop.

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