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

Investing in talent and leadership development

Financial services firms with a budget surplus would be smart to consider putting that money back into their workforces, argues Lynn Heckler in this CU Insight blog post. “Employees are demanding a similar experience in their workplaces as they are experiencing as consumers,” she writes. “This means employers should focus on and invest in things that will improve the employee experience.” Heckler says leadership development will also be crucial to credit unions and others in financial services and advises them to skill up leaders and invest in them to remain competitive. She also believes in investing in digital-savvy talent before it becomes an emergency. “The reality is that you probably need it already, even if you do not realize it yet,” Heckler writes. “It is crucial for credit unions to have team members in place who really understand the digital transformation and the digitization of financial services.”

Six ways to build the workforce of the future

In this HRD Australia blog post, Tom Brown, chairman at Gooroo, recommends six steps to prepare the existing workforce for the challenges of the future. 1. Reskill and retrain. “While some employees within an organization are working in roles which may no longer be required, those individuals’ skills, mindset and attitude could well make them a great asset to the company,” he argues. 2. Work towards a common goal. Ensure you have a clear mission and vision for your business and communicate these effectively within the whole team. Working towards a common objective both motivates and focuses them on the future. 3. Understand your employees. This means going beyond just the skills they have; it takes “understanding the culture required to succeed.” 4. Create autonomy. Give team members the authority to make decisions and the accountability for the outcomes. 5. Praise and reward. Financial reward isn’t the biggest incentive for the majority of employees. Engage employees in their development with regular feedback and recognition of a job well done. 6. Plan for the future. “Ensure you have a succession plan by building and maintaining a talent pipeline to ensure your team can continue to grow if the unexpected happens,” he notes.

Millennials crave instant feedback in the workplace

Millennials, also known as generation Y, have created a demand for immediacy in the workplace, writes Rebecca Lundin in this blog post. “The generation Y is the most educated generation in history,” she argues. “They are used to the idea that most information should be available to almost anyone. Transparency, now!” She cites a recent Gallup report titled “How Millennials Want to Work and Live,” which revealed millennials are having difficulty finding good jobs that engage them. Immediate feedback contributes to a happier work environment for these younger workers and helps their retention within firms. Lundin cites another study, which found that generation Z is more than twice as likely to drop a brand for poor features or responsiveness on social media. “How responsive are you the needs of your employees? Are you future-proof staffing your organization?” she asks.

Creating agile leaders the right way

“Agile leaders need to have a diverse array of both technical and soft skills, but leadership development programs are often stuck in old ideologies and methodologies,” writes Rick Lepsinger in this B2C post. In order to create leaders who can thrive in a modern setting, he suggests leadership development programs feature these key characteristics: Experiential learning; multiple types of learning content; content aligned to development needs; senior leaders who model effective leadership behaviors; faculty with a variety of skills, viewpoints and experiences; and portable lesson content that can be accessed anywhere. “To meet the demands of customers, it is imperative to have agile leaders who can balance people, processes, and innovation to keep the organization moving forward,” Lepsinger writes. “Developing leaders in your organization is a crucial part of ensuring continued success. Having strong leaders who can balance people, execution, and innovation can help people at all levels of your organization to succeed.”

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