47% still haven’t done any training!

In the 2 months and 5 days since lock down was announced by Boris Johnson, statistically almost half of all Financial Services firms have provided their employees with no training whatsoever on adjusting to working from home and/or the differing risks associated with carrying out their duties.

On May 28th, 2020, Elephants don’t forget co-hosted with Worksmart, another one of our popular webinars, this time entitled “Covid 19, the litmus test for SM&CR”. It was attended by more than 100 compliance and risk professionals, the vast majority, inevitably drawn from financial services firms.

We asked the audience,

“Since Covid-19 emerged and home working soared, has your employer provided employees with specific training to help them adjust to working from home, communicating differently and adapting to new types of risk presented by different working conditions?”

47% of attendees admitted that their employer had provided zero training in this regard. If our webinar attendees are representative of the wider FinServ marketplace then, about half of the 60,000 firms have undertaken no training. I hope this is not the case.

Let me give you an example. In the pre-C-19 era most firms banned personal mobile phones from employees desks, especially those serving consumers and accessing account information. Today, you can almost guarantee that every WFH employee will have their mobile phone on their desk/tabletop next to their screen!

What about confidentiality of information in a flat share situation? What about a cheeky selfie of me and my flat mate or errant child/partner ….with Mr Harvey’s account information glowing on the screen in the background?

Mobilising the workforce to technically WFH is to be applauded, but forgetting to train employees to deal with the unique confidentiality and security risks that WFH presents, is a conduct breach waiting to happen!

The FCA Senior Manager’s Conduct Rule number 1 states:

“You must take reasonable steps to ensure that the business of the firm for which you are responsible is controlled effectively.”

Of course, training employees is all very well, but how do you ensure that they have actually learned this training, understood it, and in the event of the Mr Harvey Facebook scenario, demonstrate to the regulator that you took reasonable steps to protect Mr Harvey’s data and confidentiality?

As a Senior Manager, taking reasonable steps in your area of responsibility is about providing appropriate learning for your home working staff to ensure present and potential risks are controlled. Do that, and you can show the regulator if they come knocking, a clean pair of heels. Don’t do that and you run the risk of not being able to evidence that reasonable steps have been taken.

Some firms have already deployed our Artificial Intelligence to augment the performance of their employees, regardless of where they operate. For these firms, genuinely covering off the risks and evidencing reasonable steps was, if you forgive the pun, a walk in the park.

If you are one of possibly c.30k firms who have done no training in relation to WFH risks and/or you would like to know how our AI could help your people adapt and overcome more quickly, for less than £10 per person per month please drop me a line at adrian@elephantsdontforget.com