3 keys to restoring trust in financial services

October 15, 2018 8:45 pm

While regulation is undoubtedly necessary, it’s not sufficient for restoring customer trust in our financial service companies following some of the shock findings of The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

According to the head of the Scottish Fiscal Commission,‘Dame Susan Rice’, who recently spoke at the Australian Company Directors ‘A New Cultural Era for Banking’ briefing, restoring trust takes three key ingredients: “regulation, professionalism and culture”.

Her tri-lens framework for reshaping banking and financial services is excellent and very relevant to any organisation seeking to put customers at the centre of their thinking.

She observed that more regulation is not inevitably better; inspiring accountability is as important as forced answerability.

Her second lens – professionalism –should be considered an enabler to any financial services business but is too frequently left out of the equation.

The change in thinking from ‘industry’ to ‘profession’ involves a shift in mindset and professional identity that brings with it a stronger sense of confidence, pride and personal responsibility.

What’s great about professionals is that they are willing to turn the lens on themselves – to explore how they may be contributing to undesirable behaviour and unintended consequences. That’s probably why Dame Susan Rice’s research has found that professionals are afforded higher public trust.

The integration of regulation and professionalism, in turn, helps to cultivate culture. This third lens encourages us to think of culture not as a set of values or ‘brand promises’ that have been carefully crafted, but as the day-to-day behaviour and habitual responses that define ‘how we work around here’ for employees and ‘how we are treated’ for customers.

In our work across a range of industries, we have observed that people usually want to ‘do the right thing’, but it is hard when there are competing priorities, limited time to think, distractions and a multitude of other pressures.

We believe that creating the conditions that facilitate ‘good decisions’ even when the pressure is on is what leaders need to focus on to create the right environment to create a cultural shift.

Leaders in our TalentFAST™ program often say participating in an immersive simulation followed by immediate feedback provides a lens to view themselves and how they react in real life scenarios rather than ideal circumstances. The feedback we receive from the program is that the simulation-based leadership assessments help high performing leaders identify biases and blind spots, so they know how they react when in a typical information overload, time poor and complex work environment.

This self-awareness is crucial to professionalism because it increases people’s competency and confidence to make sound reasoned judgements and execute ethical decisions and behaviour. Leaders’ day-to-day behaviour is a stronger influence in shaping what people will do and will not do than a set of values pasted on a website/intranet.

Restoring customer trust is not a marketing exercise but a journey that involves strength, persistence and the courage to closely examine not just what we say we will do, or even what we want to do, but what we actually do in the moment when the pressure is on.

Connect with us

Dr Connie Henson, the author of BrainWise Leadership, provides consultation, keynotes and designs change leadership programs informed by the latest neuroscience and leadership research through Learning Quest.

For more information: Email: chenson@learningquest.com.au, Ph: 0410 598 585 or visit: www.learningquest.com.au  or LinkedIn

Photo credit: Niels Steeman; Laurenz Kleinheider on Unsplash




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