In this series, we have looked at some of the powerful forces disrupting the practice of HR at financial services institutions.  The need for people with new skills – including the ability to adapt and change – is changing the direction of HR and making it a more central element of business success.  Using digital tools such as analytics, social media, collaborative technologies and gamification, HR teams at financial services firms can play a much stronger role in helping their organizations improve their overall performance.

The key priorities for top management and for HR leadership include

  • Recognizing the need for agility. The organization has to find and attract people who are readily adaptable and can work together in teams focused on particular projects.  It is also important to recognize the importance of external as well and internal talent and to do more to integrate both into cohesive units.
  • Individualizing the employee experience. Financial services firms should be looking at their employees the way they look at their customers – as individuals with specific needs rather than as mass consumers of a product or service.  By gathering data and using sophisticated analytics, HR can help deliver a tailored employee experience that differentiates the firm from other organizations inside and outside the industry.
  • Rebuilding critical competencies for the digital age. Leadership and HR need to emphasize the need for effective, ongoing competency development, not just in specific technical skills but more on behavioural training on problem solving, creativity and people management.  To reskill, retrain and reinvent talent at scale, the organization should look at how technology can be leveraged to drive the ongoing learning.

Once top management and HR leadership are in alignment on these priorities, HR’s role will change from a specialized support function to a core discipline at the heart of every successful financial institution.  Leading HR teams should start now to identify the skills and technologies needed for the transformation to a liquid, digital workforce.

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