RPA Robotic process automation innovation technology concept on virtual screen. Source: Adobe Stock

The current labor market has left many companies across all industries critically understaffed. Much of the reaction to the labor shortages has centered around service industries, where shortages are most apparent and their effects are most obvious, but financial services have also taken a hit from the tight labor market. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the finance and insurance industries experienced 141,000 separations – people leaving their jobs for any reason – in March 2022, constituting 2% of total employment. Now, qualified knowledge workers are harder than ever to come by, and those still employed are taxed with more work.

This creates a vicious cycle where knowledge workers are saddled with massive amounts of repetitive manual work, which becomes overwhelming and causes workers to leave. The remaining workers must then manage even more work, causing more people to leave, and on and on it goes. A study published in Frontiers in Psychology analyzed factors related to work-related stress in the banking industry. The study reviewed the relevant literature and listed both overloaded and underutilized workers as a major factor in leading to stress and burnout. Additionally, a 2021 Gallup study cited disengaged workers as a major factor in turnover, defining engagement as “the involvement and enthusiasm of employees in their work and workplace.” Gallup stated that turnover rates in teams with low engagement are 18% to 43% higher than in teams with high engagement.

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