The key responsibilities of ACs
Simplify the complex
Change is complex and can lack clarity, and therefore often faces resistance from employees and stakeholders. As ACs will be tasked with securing employee buy-in, it is vitally important that they are able to make their firm’s transformation strategies, goals and methods transparent and simple to understand.
For example, the investment industry has been undertaking significant efforts to re-platform their operating systems. To ensure success, ACs must clearly communicate the complex details and long-term benefits of these projects. They must empathize with employees to better understand perceived impact of the change – the best strategy will be challenged if those most impacted don’t understand how it will benefit them. This may sound obvious but experience shows that the need to understand “what it means to me” is critical to embracing change.
Heed the 20-60-20 rule
In my experience, generally 20% of a firm’s employees are willing early adopters who embrace and act on change. An additional 20% are more comfortable with the status quo and tend to resist change efforts. The remaining 60% may be open to change but require clarity around the impact of the change – especially what it means for their role.
For example, firms who are looking to optimize their operating model may seek to automate some of their work with robots. In this scenario, it is critical for ACs to be transparent with employees about how this will affect their role, as job stability or an understanding of new responsibilities may be a concern.
Leverage tools for internal use
ACs can leverage the firm’s tools that are typically used for client services to gain useful insights about their staff. Firms could use advanced technologies to analyze employee data in the same way they do customer data when determining segmentation strategies.
For example, our EY team worked with a client to use tools to better predict investors’ behavior based on their personality traits, values and lifestyle. Organizations could potentially use those same tools to create profiles for their employees, which could help them:
- Create segmented groups to target with particular change strategies
- Better understand their employee workloads and forecast optimal times to implement change
- Inform how to execute change (e.g., communication approaches; metrics for success)
- Identify diverse AC prospects to lead change
Of course, all of this would need to be done in accordance with the client’s internal policies and with respect to their employees’ information.
The bottom line
Transforming an organization can be a complex and arduous process, but it ultimately leads to better outcomes. Firms who identify the right ACs to carry out their critical change strategies can increase their bottom line, gain market share and strengthen their competitive positioning.
See how our EY Wealth & Asset Management team works with clients’ ACs to help implement successful technology transformation and business transformation projects.