Here are the top news stories in talent & organization from this week.

Banks at a talent-management crossroads

The banking industry sits at a crossroads when it comes to talent management, argues Jack Milligan in this Bank Director article. “Demographically, many banks are layered like a parfait, with as many as four distinct generations working in the organization, each with its own set of personality traits, likes and dislikes,” he writes. This dramatic generational shift is forcing banks to become more proactive in how they manage their talent.” Bank Director surveyed more than 300 industry professionals at the 2018 Bank Compensation and Talent Conference about their talent management challenges and strategies. Forty-five percent of the survey respondents said it has become both more difficult and costly to attract and retain talented staff; 61 percent said their bank is actively and intentionally recruiting millennials and generation Z; and more than 70 percent said their bank has expanded its internal training programs to develop younger leaders within the organization. As baby boomers approach retirement and generation X moves up in the management hierarchy, Milligan points out that generation X is the smallest of the four demographic groups at 20 percent. “The banking industry will be forced to rely disproportionately on millennials as this generational shift occurs. This is why training programs that focus on talented younger employees in the organization are so important,” he writes.

Financial services needs to improve training for frontline employees

A new study finds that most frontline employees in financial services are unsatisfied with their training and that’s why customers leave. Chief Learning Officer reports that a survey of 400 frontline bank employees and insurance advisers and 1,300 customers in the U.S. and Canada revealed only 13 percent of employees feel equipped to answer questions from customers and 60 percent indicated they are not completely satisfied with the training they receive. On the customer satisfaction side, the survey, conducted by Axonify and PMG Intelligence, found two out of five customers switch their primary financial institution and a majority (51 percent) do so because they received poor customer service or didn’t feel valued. “Frontline workers now must be trained in a way that ensures they can keep pace with change and deliver superior customer service in the face of much more informed clients,” Axonify CEO Carol Leaman told CLO.

Managers are key to making learning initiatives work

What makes training stick? This HR Dive article emphasizes the importance of supervisors and team leaders being active in learning and development (L&D) initiatives. “It is absolutely critical that L&D buy-in doesn’t stop at the executive level,” Karen Hebert-Maccaro, chief learning experience officer at O’Reilly, told HR Dive. “While executive support sets the tone, it takes managers and leaders across the organization to turn it into action.” Hebert-Maccaro recommends that frontline managers demonstrate a commitment to open dissent and debate, debrief mistakes and failures and model the importance of learning. The article also notes that leaders are critical to designing training and setting the agenda. “It takes a little more effort but matching interests to opportunities is likely to make your team member feel that you are focused on their development and that is likely to increase retention, loyalty and engagement,” Hebert-Maccaro says.

Top three HR trends to watch for future workforce

According to a new report from the OrgDev Institute, there are three important trends that HR needs to focus on in the future of work: the increased importance of soft skills, purposeful work in the gig economy and the role of artificial intelligence (AI). Soft skills will become crucial as automation will allow robots to perform routine technical tasks, the report claims. HR departments will become increasingly reliant on employees who are capable of critical thinking and dealing with complex problems. Finding a purpose in the daily roles of employees will be another trend that HR needs to embrace in order to maintain a positive employer brand. The report also underscores the role of AI in planning workforce strategies. “HR leaders can no longer ignore the trends or play a ‘wait and see’ game. AI is now a real-world force, which is playing an ever-expanding and dynamic role in all of our daily lives,” said John Belchamber, chief development officer for the OrgDev Institute.

For more news on AI in the workforce, see our page here.

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