Above all, HR’s role is to ensure the business has the right people and skills in place at the right time to drive operations and meet strategic business goals. To meet these demands, HR needs to be on top of the “how, what and who” of the new financial services (FS) workplace.

HR needs to know:

  • How work should be organized. The new FS workplace has distributed multi-disciplinary teams, new leadership styles, open operating models and an emphasis on collaboration.
  • What work should be performed. Intelligent automation now augments human workers and diverts resources from repetitive tasks to more challenging, customer-oriented activities.
  • Who should perform the work. Digital is democratizing and diversifying the workforce, mixing employees, contractors, machines and partner companies.

This creates a lot of diversity—when people and teams are more self-led, AI and automation are doing some of the work, and there’s a bigger pool of human and machine workers to select from, it can be difficult to make optimal decisions for talent management, staffing and work allocation. To deal with this diversity, HR needs new tools and new approaches.

A future focus

Data and analytics can provide HR with insight into workforce trends, gaps and risks, helping it drive effective talent strategies, planning and work allocation. Analytics can also turn the traditional backward-looking approach on its head, helping HR focus on the future and adopt a personalized approach to people interventions.

For example, analytics can be used to track an employee’s readiness for promotion as he or she moves along a career path. It can predict attrition with a high degree of accuracy—making it easier for HR to pre-empt resignations and anticipate hiring needs. It can also indicate when an employee might benefit from specific learning offerings. In addition, identification of factors such as recruitment sources and competency characteristics can help companies develop effective prediction models.

From implementing to building

Redesigning work, workforces and the workplace are new to HR and require skills not usually seen within the function. This lack of skills and experience will push HR to team with partners who can help it build the needed capability and define the best approach and supporting solutions for the organization. The challenge for HR is to go beyond simply implementing change—it needs to begin building solutions.

Today, with access to insight, HR is well equipped to approach leadership with business suggestions.

In the new digitally driven FS workplace, HR needs to respond increasingly rapidly and plan ahead. It needs to consider multiple solution dimensions—e.g., how it can deliver on operational or strategic requirements through organizational design, partner ecosystems and the use of new technology. To do so, HR must get closer to the market and the business. It must engage at senior levels to understand the requirements and provide more strategic responses.

In the past, for example, leadership may simply have made decisions on expanding operations and asked HR to provide the necessary resources. Today, with insight into the volume of business being conducted and the potential opportunity that expanding operations could offer, HR is well equipped to approach leadership with suggestions for business expansion.

Join me next week as I look at the human element of digital transformation and why it’s critical to success.

For more on HR transformation in FS, take a look at Accenture’s recent report, Reimaging HR in Financial Services.

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