The coronavirus pandemic and economic woes have had a dramatic impact on the banking industry. Between market volatility, hiring freezes, and a surge in demand for online banking platforms, it’s been a historic year for national banks and community banks alike. 

Although we’re not bankers, our organization has partnered with banks to meet their talent needs for over 20 years. We’ve helped various banks navigate the dot com bubble, the 2008 crisis, and now the coronavirus crisis. These experiences have left us with a few thoughts to share on what comes next for banks and how they can best weather the storm. 

An important piece to keep in mind amid all the chaos is that all the changes in the banking world aren’t going anywhere. Banks that rapidly adapt to these new changes will not only outperform their competitors during the crisis but will flourish in the coming years. 

Here are a few thoughts on how banks can adapt and position themselves for long-term success.  

Online Banking is Not Going Anywhere 

Digital services and tools were already taking center stage in banking, but the pandemic and lockdowns rapidly accelerated this transition. As more and more customers are forced to use digital solutions, this will have lasting effects on customer behavior. 

With digital banking now the standard, it’s important that banks provide a stellar customer experience on these platforms. However, making that happen is easier said than done. If your bank hasn’t already done so, now is the time to carefully review your digital offerings, get customer input, and start making a concrete plan to put your best foot forward digitally. What are you doing today to deliver the best possible digital experience tomorrow?

In short, it’s not enough for banks to offer digital banking anymore. They need to make sure they’re offering a truly superior digital experience for their customers today and for years to come.  

Purpose is More Important Than Ever 

Here at Qualigencewe’ve always strongly believed in the idea that every business should have a purpose beyond making money. When organizations have a clear sense of purpose at the core of their operations, it directly translates into better services, products, culture, and ultimately leads to greater profits. It also makes it easier to attract great talent.

This is true for banks just like any other company. In a time of historic uncertainty and fear, people need support from their banks more than ever. The banks that go above and beyond to show their customers that they truly care will build tremendous loyalty during this time. The actions of banks during this crisis could easily influence how customers view them for months or years after the pandemic passes.

A few options for banks to consider are suspending late fees, options for customers to temporarily skip payments, complimentary financial fitness guidance, and help hotlines. The key is to try to go above and beyond to show customers you care.  

All banks will likely adjust their service during this time. Now is your chance to step up and show that you’re truly driven by purpose, not just reacting to industry trends.

A Forward-Thinking Talent Strategy is Crucial 

As you can imagine, these changes mean that banks need to adjust to their talent strategy. We can’t rapidly respond to digital disruption without tech professionals on board, and we can’t serve our customers well if we’re short-staffed.  

As market turbulence continuesmany banks will be hesitant to make hires and layoffs may be inevitable. While this is totally understandable, we all have to make sure we’re not hamstringing our long-term goals.  

The increased demand for digital, purpose-driven banking solutions will remain incredibly relevant after this crisis passes. Furthermore, customers won’t wait for banks to recruit during the recovery. In short, banks need to make sure they’re planning for tomorrow’s needs.  

Through the 2008 crisis, we watched as organizations went overboard with layoffs only to find themselves struggling to keep up during the recovery. While some cuts are inevitable and good for the business, we must always balance short-term needs with long-term plans. Even if you’re not actively recruiting, building a strong talent pipeline for tomorrow is never a bad idea.

Coronavirus Caught Us All Off-Guard. Now is the Time to Adapt 

Very few organizations fully anticipated the full impact the coronavirus would have on our lives and the economy. Months later, many of us are still scrambling to keep up and adjust. The unfortunate reality is that things won’t be returning to “normal” anytime soon, so now is the time to pivot and pivot quick. 

If you’d like an outside perspective on how your bank can recruit more efficiently, build diverse teams, or otherwise build a resilient people strategy, then schedule a consultation with our team today. With broad experience in helping banks meet their talent needs, we’re here to help you brainstorm solutions to your challenges.