One of the biggest stumbling blocks when optimizing processes is that employees don’t initially get on board. In this blog post, managers of fiduciary companies receive tips on how they can prepare their team for process optimization and support them during the transformation phase.

With process optimizations, fiduciary companies create an important basis for exploiting the potential of digitalization in the best possible way. For example, by outsourcing non-business-related activities to intuitive fiduciary software, they can deploy their specialist staff more efficiently and effectively at the same time. Digital processes that have been freed from analog thought patterns allow them to simplify collaboration within the team and with clients with the help of new technologies. Completely digitized and optimized processes also reduce the risk of data loss in the event of hacker attacks or other IT disasters, as all data is stored on a secure and often cloud-based platform.

Reading tip: Check out this blog post for five reasons to optimize processes in your fiduciary business.

In the first transformation phase, understanding and good communication are needed

“We’ve done it this way for years and it’s always worked,” or “You don’t have to go along with every hype if the company is doing well: According to change management models, the first reaction to change is often incomprehension and rejection. In this phase of the transformation process, you as a manager must take employees’ fears and concerns seriously. Point out what the optimization of your processes means for your fiduciary company but also for individual team members. To do this, you should have a clear vision and be able to communicate it in a comprehensible way.

Always keep in mind that process optimization should be part of your digitalization strategy. Digital transformation in the trust industry is based on the five pillars of business model, employees, processes, customer relationships and technologies. These pillars do not exist independently of each other, but always interact. You should therefore be able to demonstrate how the planned process optimizations will affect your business model, the way you work as a team, the collaboration with your clients, and the use of technology solutions. Prepare answers to the following questions:

  • What does the adapted business model look like and how sustainable is it?
  • To what extent do the optimized processes change the way your team works and collaborates?
  • What does your customer strategy look like in the medium and long term?
  • What new technologies are you implementing as part of the process optimizations?

Many trustees are afraid of being replaced by software

After the rejection phase, many people experience a sense of shock or anger in change management. Especially if you want to automate tasks as part of your process optimization plan, you should take into account that your employees may perceive this as a threat. Indeed, there are still quite a few trustees:inside who fear that they will be replaced by software in the medium term. Allay these concerns and confirm to your employees that you want them to continue to count on you in the future. Explain how the work in your fiduciary company is shifting with the process optimizations. What does this shift in work look like in practice?

According to a study by Treuhand Suisse and Accounto, instead of processing routine activities, the focus is increasingly on building on strengths and competitive advantages and deepening the relationship with customers. Routine work with high automation potential no longer represents a major benefit for many SMEs. With optimized processes, you can save valuable working hours and concentrate on what generates recognizable added value for your clients. During the anger and shock phase, you should reassure your employees several times that they will continue to play an important role in your fiduciary company even after the successful implementation of process optimizations and the automation of repetitive activities. Emphasize that your competent and dedicated fiduciary professionals will be able to focus more on the core business in the future and will continue to be crucial to the success of your fiduciary company.

What challenges do the process optimizations pose for your trust company?

The shock and anger phase is usually followed by acceptance. The opportunities and possibilities of the changes move into the center. It is a matter of sounding out the advantages and disadvantages. Communicate clearly what opportunities the process optimizations open up for your fiduciary company. Also address potential risks and challenges and develop a plan with the team on how you will deal with them. Define process improvement milestones and reward steps that move your team closer to the new vision. In the case of the skeptics:inside, acknowledge even small steps. Allow enough time for the implementation of the process optimizations. Leave room for mistakes and teething problems but find ways to learn from mistakes as a team.

How dedicated employees can help colleagues who are resistant to change

The final transformation phase is commitment. The majority of employees are now behind the change and are committed to the process optimization. However, keep in mind that you are working with people and individuals do not always behave exactly according to a theoretical model. This is not a problem in itself – except when team members don’t seem to reach the commitment stage. What can you do in such a situation? Depending on the team dynamics, it can be helpful to use employees who are already in the engagement phase as opinion leaders. Consider who on your team could support change-resistant employees.