It's an extremely challenging time to be holding the reins of an HR team at a financial services institution, with 45 percent of senior executives revealing their companies are hit by cyber attacks as often as on an hourly basis. Plus, as new technology emerges, so do new avenues for hackers to find vulnerabilities and attack.
These ongoing data threats not only plague executives tasked with securing their organizations, but they also weigh heavily on HR departments in charge of hiring security teams that are up to the challenge. Below are the specific threats keeping financial services HR leadership up at night, and how they should strive to overcome them.
There are a number of security-related concerns that today's financial services HR teams have, caused by a variety of internal and external factors:
1) Financial Services Firms Are Prime Targets
Financial services firms are targeted more than any other industry, with breaches tripling over the past five years, according to the latest report from Accenture.
2) Compliance Is Challenging and Costly
Compliance costs create enormous burdens on companies. Accenture found that the average cost of cybercrime for the industry has grown by 40 percent over the past three years, from $13 million per firm in 2014 to $18 million in 2017—that includes regulatory fines, legal expenses, restoration of customer losses and other costs.
The daunting responsibilities even push some businesses to reconsider their service lines—some banks and other financial institutions are shedding capital-intensive ventures in order to lighten the burden of regulatory compliance,research from Cornerstone OnDemand reveals.
3) Emerging Technology Presents a Threat
Looming rollout and adoption of 5G networks for smart phones could be the biggest data security nightmare yet. The technological advancement of 5G means more consumers and employees will bypass wi-fi and its accompanying security grid for speedier mobile networks, at work and at home, but these networks are also significantly more exposed from a security standpoint.
4) Employees Create Risk
Workers themselves often cause breaches by error or outright theft of information. Without fluid, constantly-updating, on-demand learning platforms that allow and encourage employees to stay on top of all new developments in their field, employees may not be up to date on the latest compliance requirements, and inadvertently break the rules, according to research from Cornerstone On Demand.
5) Breaches Hurt Recruiting
The regulatory load and fears of failing compliance tasks hurt recruiting efforts. Top candidates may choose to go to industries with a lighter compliance load, or to non-bank financial firms that don't have to play by as many strict rules.
Leading financial institutions spend $250 million annually on data security, but are regularly losing their best IT staff to competitors or other enterprises. Without top talent to execute strategy investments in high-end tech just won't cut it.
As these existing realities and emerging trends continue to plague financial services HR teams, they're faced with challenging questions: How do we recruit, educate and retain talent to handle cybersecurity, compliance and customer satisfaction, without crippling rates of burnout and defection?
The first step is adopting a multi-pronged approach to recruitment that encompasses education and retention through a trusted HR partner who is well-versed in automation, online employee learning and performance tracking.
Another key is to spend less on hiring by retaining existing talent through comprehensive learning, compensation, evaluation and succession plans aimed at cementing a loyal and skilled workforce. Ensure that compliance and IT security leaders are involved in planning ongoing employee training, so that every part of the team is up to date on the steps needed to block cybersecurity leaks, hacks or theft. This way, as security leaders become aware of upcoming challenges—i.e. vulnerabilities created by the 5G network—HR teams can take these new challenges into account when recruiting and interviewing.
And finally, because turnover will always be a reality, make it easy and enjoyable for candidates to apply—nine percent of candidates who have a negative experience in the process will tell family and friends not to purchase products or services from the company. Finding an HR software partner who can create early-stage skill screenings and maintain contact with good prospects is key to getting your positive story shared instead.
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The challenge of non-compliance for financial services
Financial service institutions are turning away from the esoteric, paper-based and manual compliance strategies, bolstering their digital compliance initiatives. LMS's are an increasingly popular option for companies looking to mitigate risk and maintain compliance on a day-to-day basis. They provide companies with the training programs and learning tools they need to stay ahead of compliance and regulation changes and ensure reporting to regulatory bodies is streamlined, accessible and done in real time.
The Friedkin Group case study
The Friedkin Group, Inc. (TFG) represents a consortium of businesses focused in the automotive space, as well as the hospitality and entertainment industry. The automotive business is the focus of TFG’s Cornerstone implementation and provides finance and insurance, marketing, automotive transport and distributing vehicle parts to more than 150 dealerships across Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas. A Learning Approach As Dynamic As Its Workforce TFG needed a best-in-class learning approach that would meet the needs of a growing company. To continue its success and further that growth, the company decided to invest in a platform that would support career development across the organization. But finding a solution dynamic enough to meet the needs of associates across these varying sectors posed a challenge. The combination of Cornerstone’s Learning and Content Anytime subscriptions proved to be the solution TFG needed, offering interactive and engaging learning content that would meet the demands of TFG’s diverse—and ever-growing—workforce. OnDemand Learning Keeps Business Running Even When Disaster Strikes When Hurricane Harvey tore through the southern U.S. in 2017, TFG felt the impact. The category four storm completely flooded the company's corporate HQ in Houston. With over 20 inches of water in the building, it was clear no one was going back to their desks anytime soon. But, TFG’s associate development and compliance needs had to continue, and thanks in large part to Cornerstone, they were able to do so nearly seamlessly. Keeping Associates Learning and Engaged Wherever They Are To keep these diverse businesses running, TFG associates worked remotely for two weeks before occupying a temporary office for the next four months. Some businesses would have struggled to recover from such disruption—not TFG. Thanks to the help of Cornerstone’s on-demand learning platform, which TFG implemented in 2015, associates could access learning as well as performance reviews, from their home or temporary office space, or anywhere else they were working. Looking back, “if all we had was instructor-led training, we would have been in a tough spot because no one was onsite and the focus was on keeping the business running,” TFG Manager of Learning & Development Rob Denton says. “Instead, Cornerstone enabled us to get relevant information out to associates, wherever they were.” TFG kept the strategic momentum going, and today the enterprise offers associates thousands of curated courses through Cornerstone’s Professional Skills and Leadership and Management subscriptions to enable continued growth and development. Engaging and Meaningful Learning Content In the age of smartphones, TFG’s associates expect content that is fast, easily accessible, and user-friendly. That’s especially true for the next generation entering the workforce, the Gen Zers, also known as Digital Natives. TFG knew it needed an innovative approach to learning—not only to accommodate its newest hires, but also to help tenured associates adapt and grow as technology changes business operations. By investing in Content Anytime’s Professional Skills and Leadership and Management subscriptions, TFG effortlessly drives relevant, engaging content across the workforce—making development as binge-worthy as content on similar platforms like YouTube. Driving Targeted Learning, Across Modalities One of the reasons TFG continues to invest in Cornerstone is the ability to satisfy diverse learning preferences. For example, drivers employed by US AutoLogistics, LLC (USAL), an automotive transport business within TFG, are always on the go, so many of them require on-demand learning courses that they can access at their convenience from wherever their work takes them. “Before, if we had a driver on the road and they had training, they had to stop at a terminal, sit down at the computer, and take it,” Denton said. “Thanks to Cornerstone, we now just give them a push notification that tells them about assigned training, and they can complete via a tablet they have in their truck.” In an effort to increase program engagement and awareness, TFG rebranded the Cornerstone platform as “Develop U,” complete with a bespoke collegiate logo to complement it. TFG also organized a tailgate-themed party to introduce the platform and demonstrate how to navigate it. Committed to catering to a diversity of learning styles, TFG configured Content Anytime to give leaders of all levels the ability to create their own learning playlists and post relevant content for their specific business units. Associates stay up-to-date on the latest learning trends by subscribing to playlists for automatic notifications whenever new course content is available. Instead of having to constantly check if new content is available, regular notifications guarantee that associates never miss a learning opportunity. Content is Key to Unlocking the Next Generation of Leaders Businesses like TFG must always be prepared to navigate the next big challenge—whether it be a hurricane or a new technology trend. Much of the company’s success comes from good leadership, and Content Anytime has a direct hand in helping foster emerging leaders through its Leadership and Management subscription. Blending the accessibilityof Content Anytime’s topics with instructor-led learning provides a blended learning approach thatallows TFG associates to apply course content confidently. With Content Anytime, they know they are equipped with the knowledge and expertise needed to successfully navigate a changing business environment. Content Anytime course content runs the gamut-from the basics of employment law to how to run effective meetings-and meeting the leader where they are with the skills they need to develop next. “TFG continues to see changes in the learning space,” Denton says. “It’s no longer enough to just tell someone they need to know something and have them learn it. Now, people want to know why they’re being asked to learn certain skills. With Cornerstone, we can be strategic in helping associates understand the meaning behind these initiatives and delivering it in the moment they need it most.”
How Penn Community Bank Enabled Bankers to Leverage Learning During a Crisis
Headquartered in Perkasie, PA, Penn Community Bank is Southeastern Pennsylvania’s largest locally run, independent mutual bank system. Penn Community Bank began using Cornerstone’s LMS and Performance products in 2017 to automate its manual learning processes, unify performance and learning efforts, deliver modern learning content, and get insight into employee engagement. At the recommendation of Sandy Ziegler, VP, director, training & development, Penn Community Bank adopted both tools to complement one another. Why Cornerstone Penn Community Bank began using Cornerstone’s LMS and Performance products in 2017 to automate its manual learning processes, unify performance and learning efforts, deliver modern learning content, and get insight into employee engagement. At the recommendation of Sandy Ziegler, VP, director, training & development, Penn Community Bank adopted both tools to complement one another. Since the initial implementation, the bank has seen impressive results. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the quarantine began, Penn Community Bank needed to quickly deploy a telecommuting policy for their workforce, all of which had previously worked on-site. Penn Community Bank knew it could count on Cornerstone to power critical communication, provide timely learning and training materials and continue to enable them to reach their professional goals, even during the crisis. The Results A Constant in a Time of Change. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, businesses were forced to pivot to remote work and Penn Community Bank was no exception. Because companies had to shift gears quickly, many scrambled to define remote policies and communicate changes—but for Penn Community Bank, the infrastructure for distributing information and holding employees accountable was already established. The bank used Cornerstone’s LMS not only to share the organization’s remote policy, but also to ensure that employees understood the materials by requiring their sign-off. Using Downtime for Learning. With most of its employees working remotely, Penn Community Bank wanted to ensure that they would be able to use downtime wisely. "We turned potential downtime into an opportunity by pushing out compliance training early. This helps set us up for success as we think about emerging strongly post-COVID,” commented Richards. The company also recognized that the stay-at-home order provided an opportunity for learning and development. It turned to Cornerstone Cares, a centralized hub of complimentary learning materials, to help employees overcome the disruption. The bank selected courses including “Tips for Productive Remote Work” and “Build Work Relationships Remotely.” Already, 70% of team members have completed them. Within a 6-week period, Penn Community Bank saw over 400 course registrations across 190+ unique users, totaling 4,000+ minutes of learning. And employees have been proactive about sharpening other skills—since the start of the pandemic, there has been a 100% increase in completion of courses from CyberU, a learning content marketplace for Cornerstone LMS users. Recognizing Performers. When it’s business as usual, Cornerstone Performance enables the bank’s teams to communicate about performance goals, provide feedback and revise goals. With the COVID-19 crisis, Penn Community Bank updated its mid-year goal review to include additional evaluation areas, encouraging managers to recognize workers for adaptability. “We’re thankful for the ability to create and customize performance tasks to meet our needs in the moment,” says Kirsten Palmieri, HR business partner and VP at Penn Community Bank. A Post-COVID World. Though the future of work is in flux, Penn Community Bank is looking ahead. Before the pandemic hit, the bank saw success with its shadow program, an opportunity for employees to learn about other departments, and is eager to reinstate it. As workforces become more flexible, the program gives employees an opportunity to “new skill.” Participants not only experience personal growth, but also add value as potential candidates for open positions. “As soon as we sent the email that shadow positions were available through Cornerstone, they filled up immediately,” Richards says. From introducing badges that reward learning to debuting “Check-ins” to marry goals with ongoing coaching, Penn Community Bank is always seeking ways to empower its employees. When the crisis ends and workers can return, “we have some very exciting things to look forward to,” Richards says.