Human Factors Integration (HFI) has been integral to aviation and other high-risk sectors such as oil & gas and healthcare for many years and is attracting interest in finance.
Human Factors examines the inter-relationships between three aspects of work:
- Individuals (skills, competence, knowledge)
- Task at hand (tools/equipment, workload, processes)
- Workplace itself (environment, culture, leadership)
It focuses on improving efficiency, creativity, productivity and morale, with the goal of minimising errors and improving business performance. Human Factors help ensure you are compliant, communicate well in teams and deliver the correct information to customers,regulators and other stakeholders. These tasks have become complicated as a result of the increasing complexity of financial services products and processes. Information overload, complicated systems and increased regulation are often cited as critical issues.
Identifying the underlying causes
The underlying causes of most errors relate to the miscommunication and actions of the people in the system. Human Factors research shows that what is important is the nature, not the number of tasks being attempted. For example, a bank advisor may be able to explain simple steps to a customer whilst doing them, but for a more complicated product will have to concentrate more and be less able to communicate and listen effectively. Ergonomic design can help produce processes and procedures which support the users and act as a safety net to prevent mistakes, or mitigate the consequences of them.
Benefits of Human Factors Integration
Taking a proactive approach to Human Factors will help:
- Improve compliance
- Boost employee morale
- Reduce the risk of expensive mistakes
- Improve customer service