In established companies, people are the biggest cost—as well as the biggest asset.
As banks compete for the best talent, many are realizing they need to re-examine the fundamentals of how they operate.
Even traditional financial institutions built on top-down process and authority are looking for ways for employees to drive informed, collaborative decision-making.
What is collaborative decision-making?
Collaborative decision-making is a process by which a group reaches a consensus based on collective intelligence through information sharing and open communication, often enabled by collaboration technologies. Decisions develop free from the constraints of tradition and authority. The environment is safe, democratic, and often virtual. Team members have opportunities for critical review, self-critique, discussion, and voting.1
Participants in the decision-making process are more likely to feel involved, satisfied, and valued.1 Team members are also more committed to a decision when they play a role in its development.2
Today, a powerful way to encourage collaborative decision-making is through collaboration technologies.
4 Reasons why rethinking your relationship with email can benefit your employees
Relying on email can be draining for your employees. According to Deloitte, employees spend 25% of the average workday answering emails. By introducing collaboration technology, you can reduce dependency on email—and encourage collaborative decision-making. Here are some of the benefits.
- You can break away from traditional hierarchies
Technologies like email align with traditional organizational structure and decision-making processes and are less agile. Often, institutional knowledge is housed in individual email inboxes and hard drives, inaccessible to everyone on the team.
Collaboration platforms encourage a seamless flow of ideas from all contributors, a basic tenet of collaborative decision-making. Email becomes less important (or maybe even unnecessary) when the right mix of employees can meet in a safe virtual environment.
Collaboration technologies also allow you to bypass traditional chains of communication and reporting for greater transparency, as well as assess contributions based on merit.
- You can kick-start innovation
Many employees dedicate multiple decades of their career to one bank. After a while, workdays become routine, and information becomes siloed with certain people and groups who have “always done it.” These silos can decrease agility, stagnate communication, and make processes more frustrating to navigate.
Collaboration tools can help employees communicate across teams. A passing idea beyond an employee’s typical role can help inspire someone else. You’re also able to quickly loop in additional team members as needed, or bring new employees up to speed quickly.
- You can create a collective mental toolbox
Team collaboration platforms can serve as a “collective mental toolbox” where documents can be shared, video calls can take place, historical communications can be tracked, content can be posted and searched, and communications take place via text, voice, or video. As a result, employees can spend less time figuring out what the latest conversation is, where the newest version of the document is, or who “owns” what file on their hard drive.
“If you have the right people around the table with the right expertise from a variety of backgrounds, if you ask the right question and you can help facilitate that, there is no question that something good is going to come out of that discussion. Figure out how to do that virtually, whether it is around the planet or around the country, with the most expert employees.”
–Jeff Watts, Former Head of Global Innovation, Property & Casualty, AIG
- You can take a vote
Instead of relying on the approval of multiple layers of management after multiple meetings (with a slide presentation for each phase of the project), decision-making can take place inside group voting applications.
The better voting apps like Ranktab display shared wisdom and resources inside a visual platform and can be added to collaborative technologies via chatbots. Using algorithms, the app enables groups to drive collective decision-making by voting on multiple criteria and to understand the evaluation of each criterion by others in the group, discuss decisions, and view consensus decisions in a graphical format.
Success story: How one credit union made collaboration work
Diverse employees with varied skills, experience, and perspectives can be a major differentiator if you know how to make the most of their talent resources. The Local Government Federal Credit Union (LGFCU) in Raleigh, NC, saw a need to break down silos to help accelerate and enhance interaction among employees.
“We have a strong desire to continuously extend the capabilities of our infrastructure, meet employees’ expectations, and give them the tools to help them think outside the box about how to better serve our members,” said Terry Phelps, Senior VP of Management Information Systems for LGFCU.
Since the credit union installed an integrated collaboration platform (that includes web conferencing, video conferencing, instant messaging, advanced contact center capabilities, and a secure, intelligent, wireless network), Phelps has seen their workforce grow more efficient. “We have raised internal service levels and are seeing a 25 percent increase in productivity and employee collaboration,” he said.
Don’t stop here: Learn more
Discover new collaboration technologies that can increase productivity, efficiency, and retention by enhancing interactions between employees, increasing their ability to innovate and attracting the best talent.
- Visit http://collaborate.cisco.com/workplace/
- Download an infographic with information to help you make the case for moving to a more collaborative workplace
- Watch a video that demonstrates what collaborative meetings can look like.
- Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter or visit Cisco Financial Services
- Clinical Reasoning in the Health Professions. Higgs, J. & Jones, M. et. al., 2007
- “Unhealthy work: Causes, consequences, cures.” Baywood Publishing Company; 2009. pp. 211–229.
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