In my previous post, I discussed how HR is no longer only an administrative, compliance and policing function. It has become increasingly important and is serving a vital role in the digital transformation of financial services organizations.


The workforce now encompasses not just full-time employees, but also part-time and contract employees. An increasing number of them are working in tandem with new technologies. Because of this, the HR environment is significantly different today than it was in the past. With the new ‘liquid’ workforce having a dynamic, non-traditional composition, talent management is more important than ever––and as the workplace moves toward an increasingly digital design, three key focuses can help financial services organizations navigate change effectively.

Accenture calls these the ‘how, what and who’ of HR:

  1. HOW: This means understanding how work should be organized—with multi-disciplinary, distributed teams, new leadership styles, open operating models and an emphasis on collaboration.
  2. WHAT: Knowing what work should be performed. As digital processes supplement the human worker, people are being diverted from repetitive tasks to more challenging, customer-oriented activities.
  3. WHO: Understanding which employees should perform the work on which projects. As digital technology democratizes and diversifies the workforce, effectively mixing employees, contractors, machines and partner companies is of vital importance.

HR’s job should be to identify the kinds of talent needed and to make sure the work environment is appealing and attractive to the best people. Employee expectations have shifted and HR must help create experiences that address that shift.

To accomplish this, HR professionals need to draw on the data-driven insights derived from the digital tools that are driving change. Not only do these insights allow HR to attract and retain highly skilled talent, they also provide a valuable, forward-looking view that enables the business to market its job opportunities similarly to the way it markets its products and services to its customers.

In Accenture’s Reimagining HR in Financial Services Report, 59 percent of UK business leaders said they plan to create individualized employee experiences that are comparable to customer experiences.

If done right, financial services organizations can position themselves as attractive workplace opportunities for the new talent that will help drive innovation and move the organization forward into the future. By focusing on the ‘how, what and who’ of digital transformation through the lens of HR, organizations will be better able to adjust and succeed in the digital workplace.

In my next post, I will discuss how it is people, not technology, that drives change––and how HR is positioned to set the course for this digital transformation.

In the meantime, if you’d like to further explore this fascinating subject, I encourage you to take a look at a previous series of mine titled, “Skills Development and Employee Engagement: A New Currency for Contractors and Freelancers”. In it, I’ve outlined how tapping into an extended workforce can help financial services organizations improve agility, gain access to the talent they need and enhance efficiency.

If you’d like to reach out with comments or questions, please contact me: here.

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