Philippe Gabulon, CEO for Societe Generale Global Solution Centre in Romania, Deputy CEO for SG GSC in India
- What are the trends related to technology that 2022 will bring or will continue in our industry? How will they impact us? What opportunities and challenges should we expect? How do you plan to use them in your favor and to be ahead of the others?
Digital transformation will be a key global trend in 2022. The need to simplify, digitize and automate activities, tasks and processes will be on an accelerated path, and IT will play an important role. We are looking at end-to-end transformation of a complete value chain as opposed to parts of it. New opportunities will arise, and the demand of next-gen tech expertise will increase (AI, Big Data, Machine Learning, VR, etc.). In an ever-changing business environment, we need to act fast and take the best possible decisions in a short period of time and with reliable and accurate data. What was only a ‘nice-to-have’ years ago becomes a pre-condition to work within this new era.
Even if we provide the client with an automated digital experience more and more often, human interactions will and should remain a priority for our industry and beyond. At the same time, internal efficiency is of the utmost importance, and this translates into better use of data to better serve clients and achieve business goals, use technologies such as AI or ML to automate internal processes, and last but not least, the efficient use of hardware resources to reduce the CO2 impact and contribute to a more sustainable environment. Every new technology that is being developed and everything existing that we shall continue to use, should go through a filter of social inclusion and of environmental sustainability.
We, as a Societe Generale Group solution provider, are already engaged in projects and transformation on all these priorities. The main challenge we anticipate is the talent shortage in Romania, so even if we talk about technology and digital trends, the focus will remain on our people – through engagement and motivation, learning and development, upskilling or reskilling, and internal mobility.
- The way of working, recruiting, onboarding and so on were probably the most affected by the pandemic. What do you think is here to stay and what new trends will emerge in 2022 when it comes to work? What challenges will companies face? How companies as well as employees will be affected? Does your company plan to implement new strategies for recruiting and retaining people? Do you intend to go back to the office? When? What changes should your employees expect to see there?
Indeed, the pandemic context has made us adapt to new ways of working for various activities. All staff within the business services industry have switched to a predominantly remote working model. Given that we have been in this situation for the last two years, 2022 should not bring too many changes and a hybrid working model between presence in the office and work-from-home will become a standard in the future for the global workforce.
An important challenge we see is finding the right balance between home and office, as people have become accustomed to managing their personal constraints differently by adapting their schedules. On the other hand, team engagement can be affected after a long period of remote work. In addition, creating a sense of belonging within the organization is very important especially for new joiners. These are major challenges for companies in a remote or even hybrid working environment and various actions need to be constantly implemented to maintain employee engagement and reduce turnover.
At Societe Generale Global Solution Centre, we review the entire employee journey to ensure that we meet current needs, while preparing our leadership team to manage a hybrid working model. As an example, we have completely re-engineered the new joiners onboarding framework and training: now with a mix between virtual meet & greet, self-training (very advance eLearning module facilities with 100+ eLearning), and regular connects with managers and teams via online meeting and digital solutions. The hybrid approach to work is here to stay and suit the different flexibility needs of our staff.
- Are there any trends in the customer experience area? Do you foresee any change in the way our industry delivers services? Is the customer satisfaction affected by the pandemic? What opportunities do you see for this year? Did your company find any new solutions to improve the customers’ experience?
One of the main expectations of our internal clients (or partners) was around the resilience and ability to continue to deliver production and projects in a context affected by the pandemic. As Societe Generale Group continues to pursue ambitious strategic goals in a challenging global environment, our onshore partners rely on service centers to support them in key projects and provide higher value-added services. We have moved from a standard execution delivery model to an operating model in which we look transversally at all our offshore capabilities to build end-to-end solutions to meet different business challenges and requirements.
There are many initiatives and projects launched to reshape processes or redesign tasks that will have a maximum positive impact on client processes. For example, we are working on Biometric KYC to provide our partners with contactless onboarding, and we are also experimenting with VR technology so that our partners have an immersive experience related to our services.
In the long run, the pandemic context was an opportunity for our industry to rethink the way we work and then the way we interact with our staff and partners or clients. This means more digitization and more mutualization between our teams or processes, all in line with our customers’ expectations. And it allows us to ensure a strong ability to maintain a high standard of deliverables.