To adjust to the Great Resignation, mortgage firms and lenders must:
- Optimize onboarding for loan specialists and support teams to quickly assimilate employees to the work culture and ensure employee engagement
- Consider the work-from-anywhere structure to boost employee satisfaction
- Invest in a unified communications solution to optimize communication and collaboration
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COVID triggered a phenomenon known as the Great Resignation, wherein a large number of workers exited their jobs during a short period of time. The mortgage and lending sector is among those impacted by staffing shortages. In a recent virtual event hosted by Fortune and the World Economic Forum, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan noted: “A lot of people left the labor market and they’re not going to come back, even with a strong bid for their services. And that’s just the reality we’re going to be facing. We’re going to be chasing that dynamic of not enough people working.”
With a smaller pool of workers and a recent rise in interest rates causing fluctuations in mortgage application volumes, firms must compete to attract top talent and invest in retaining the people they have.
With all lenders facing the same challenges, success will come to those firms that best adjust their strategies. Attracting and retaining talent, adapting to a hybrid workforce, and effective onboarding and communications are among the primary factors leaders must consider if they want to improve employee engagement and satisfaction and lower attrition rates.
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Strategies to succeed despite the Great Resignation
The following is an overview of strategies and insights to help your mortgage or lending business succeed despite the decreased pipeline volumes coupled with the Great Resignation.
Upgrade onboarding for your loan specialists and support teams
One of the main reasons people leave jobs is because they don’t feel equipped to perform well, which breeds frustration and employee disengagement. A quality onboarding plan is an effective safeguard against losing people soon after they join your firm.
There are two critical pieces to effective onboarding. The first is the initial welcome, orientation, and training. The second part is the ongoing training and reminder communications. The initial objective is to convey your company’s work culture and philosophies. New employees deal with uncertainty until they adjust to the environment. Cultural assimilation helps alleviate concerns early.
A common mistake firms make is to treat training as a one-time, upfront process. However, in the mortgage and lending sectors, new hires have a lot to learn regarding the job, industry- and state-specific regulations, and company policies. Thus, it helps to spread training out over a period of time and continuously offer refresher training to boost employee engagement.
Some companies provide ongoing training through an intranet or web portal. Training may come through weekly or monthly sessions, or in a flexible format where new agents have ongoing access to the training (with or without completion deadlines). A mentorship (or “onboarding buddy”) program is a good complement to the onboarding training. The encouragement and guidance of a veteran can help a new agent or representative learn and feel more comfortable.
Implement or maintain work-from-anywhere models
Work-from-anywhere is a work structure that became much more popular during the COVID pandemic. It means that employees can work remotely, from an office, or a combination of the two (i.e., hybrid). During COVID, this employment structure was a response to social-distancing protocols. However, more employers now recognize the benefits to businesses and employees.
Benefits of the work-from-anywhere structure include:
- Cost savings: Reduced employee footprint (such as utilities and supply usage).
- Flexibility and adaptability: Workers can have a schedule and work arrangement that is optimal for their abilities and current tasks.
- Better productivity: Agents working remotely save on commuting time. Managers and workers can collaborate on whether a remote or office format prevents distractions that slow production.
- Work/life balance: With flexible work options, an employee doesn’t have to choose between work and home as often. A loan officer could take a laptop or tablet to an event in some cases. It is easier to shift in and out of work and home mode.
The work-from-anywhere structure makes a lot of sense for lenders and support agents in offices with little regular in-person interaction with clients. Rather than traveling back and forth to an office, remote work saves time on days without in-person appointments. A more flexible work option is likely to help attract and retain people in light of the Great Resignation.
Optimize collaboration and digital communication
Unified Communications (UC) or Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is cloud-based software used to create collaborative communications across multiple platforms. To optimize internal and external communications with the work-from-anywhere model, your business needs a unified communications system.
When employees have the tools to perform their jobs effectively, frustration is less common and employee satisfaction soars. Effective collaboration platforms contribute to close working relationships among colleagues. They also aid loan agents in conversations with prospects and clients.
The following are critical benefits achieved through a unified communications system:
- Cross-channel conversations in one place: The signature benefit of UC is the seamless coordination of all communication channels, including messaging, chat, social media, voice, web/video conference, and calendars.
- More interactive conversations: Because of the ability to shift easily from one platform to another, your loan reps and processors are able to interact with clients more often in real time through calls, chat, social media, messaging, and conferencing. This is much better for customer satisfaction than delayed replies through email.
- Better collaboration: Your team can communicate faster and more effectively via message, video, or phone, as well as have the ability to hold successful meetings—even with participants working in different places and joining through different platforms.
- First-call resolution efficiency: A high rate of first-call resolutions is a typical goal in a support or service function. A quality UC ensures a client gets to the right person who can handle the problem or question by presenting a few automated questions or prompts upfront.
RingCentral: the key to better employee engagement and retention
The Great Resignation presents real challenges to lenders. You can’t ignore its impact; instead, adapt effectively and efficiently to outpace competitors that may not move as nimbly. A number of possible response strategies have been presented here. Choose the right mix for your business, develop a solid plan, and implement it with persistence.
Communication is a common thread across many of the ideas shared. Given its importance internally and externally, optimizing your communications solution for collaboration and providing a better customer experience is a priority.
A cloud-based, all-in-one communications solution is a modern way for your team to manage digital conversations internally and with clients. RingCentral for Financial Services enables end-to-end encrypted digital communications that shift seamlessly from one channel to the next. Learn more about the benefits of RingCentral; request a demo.
Originally published Apr 05, 2022