BofA taps ‘personas’ to ease employees into their roles

Bank of America launched Persona, a data-driven approach to provisioning the appropriate hardware and software to its workforce of 205,000.

Improving the customer experience has become a major point of emphasis for companies seeking success in the digital era. But some enterprises operate with the belief that empowering employees with a frictionless workplace is just as vital.

Bank of America (BofA) has created Persona, a framework that uses analytics to figure out what computers, phones and applications staff require to do their jobs. Over the past three years, Persona has saved the company more than $30 million in extraneous or misallocated technologies.

"In the same way that we want consumer technology to be frictionless when they call into a call center or deal with an employee, we want to ensure that employees find their use of technology to be frictionless,” says BofA CTO Howard Boville, who launched the Persona project, which earned a 2019 CIO 100 Award in IT Excellence, in 2018.

The project highlights the emphasis companies are placing on employee satisfaction. A Gartner survey of 843 human resources chiefs found that employee experience is the third-highest key initiative for 2019, with 51 percent saying it’s critical to achieving corporate objectives. Successful companies create employee personas and collect data on where employees work, who they work with, and when they work to understand their work day and experiences. Supporting what employees value, not just what they need, increases employee performance by 20 percent.

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