MReport October 2019

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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32 | TH E M R EP O RT FEATURE When a solution is hard to use and is not making employee's jobs easier, they often are not using the product to the employer's intent and ultimately end up wasting money for the financial institu- tion, and when a solution is hard to navigate, too much time is wasted on learning how to use the solution and training new employees. In this case, a high ROI can't be achieved because employees are not fulfilling the functionality of the product the financial institution invested in. Advantage Employees T o improve the employee experience, financial institu- tions must truly understand their employee's frustrations with exist- ing technology while trying to do simple daily tasks. Failure to do so will undoubtedly result in reduced productivity within the work- place. In fact, a report by the IBM Institute of Business Value states, "With this greater reliance on software-based tools comes a host of issues that, left unaddressed, can increase employee frustration and reduce productivity." Compounding this problem, consider that most financial institutions have many extremely complex technology solutions which increase the risk of a poor employee user experience and frustrated staff. Although employees are seeking advanced, top-of-the-line solutions, financial institutions frequently don't realize the complexity of using it. To understand how to create a positive user experience for their employees, financial institutions must go beyond looking at the overarching uses of the solution and thoroughly examine the employee's day-to-day uses of it to ensure it is working to their benefit. Employees often feel resentment towards the technology they are using. This can stem from the delay of a solution requiring data entry by hand rather than the use of simple import functions or automated entirely. Employees expect solutions with high levels of automation that make their jobs easier because they know these options are available. Another cause for employee frustration is when processes have to be completed in spreadsheets because the core product is not capable of providing the needed functionality. Over time, these spreadsheets become extremely difficult to manage or audit and as a result become less reliable and a tremendous time sink. The Other Perspective K nowing the inner workings of a company's technology helps employers provide their staff with the right tools to do their jobs. Increased efficiency of decision- making processes, automation, dashboards, and intuitive solutions will result in employees feeling empowered. On the employer's side, un- derstanding how a new product will impact employees before the implementation is critical because changing systems after such an implementation may not be pos- sible. By giving users a tool that allows them to do their job better and more easily, employees will be able to do more thereby providing a greater likelihood of achieving the goals set for the new system. When considering new technol- ogy we should ask, are employees using the existing solution to its fullest capability? If the staff had a choice between using new tech- nology or figuring out a different way to complete their tasks, what would they choose? When employees are using the current solution and utilizing all its features, then they are more likely to be happier at work and produce better results for the institution and its customers. But, if they are avoiding the solution at all costs, then the financial institution should re-evaluate the technology and decide if a differ- ent one might yield better results for employees, their customers, and the overall bottom line. A Peek Behind the Scenes W hile customer experience is imperative, financial institutions need to place more emphasis on the employee's user experience. When employees can utilize the solution more ef- ficiently and effectively, the staff can parallel this experience to the financial institution's customers. Improving the user experience of employees may mean that financial institutions will need to re-evaluate and upgrade to new, modern solutions, but reducing frustration and improving their employee's user experience behind the scenes can often mean the difference in a higher ROI or an unsuccessful financial institution. BRIAN D. LYNCH is the Founder and President of Irvine, California-based Advantage Systems, a provider of accounting and contract management tools for the mortgage banking and real estate industries. For more information, please visit Knowing the inner workings of a company's technology helps employers provide their staff with the right tools to do their jobs. Increased efficiency of decision-making processes, automation, dashboards, and intuitive solutions will result in employees feeling empowered.

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