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

Three financial-services predictions for 2019

In this Financial IT article, Stuart Rye, Director of Business Development for Fujitsu, shares three predictions for what to expect from the financial services industry in the new year. 1. Getting industrial with automation. Rye believes that it’s time for banks and insurers to take experimentation with automation to the next level. “We’ll likely begin to see more and more conversation around automation versus intelligent automation, with emphasis on the ‘intelligent’ aspect,” he says. 2. Cashing in on the multi-cloud challenge. “The popularity of multi-cloud platforms will increase next year as more IT leaders find it enables them to deploy applications and workloads in the environment that best suit their individual requirements for compliance, flexibility and simplicity,” Rye says. 3. Increased spending on cybersecurity. Rye argues that the trust customers place in financial services institutions is dependent on their belief that the organization is capable of managing and keeping their assets safe, which will put pressure on firms to increase spending on cybersecurity.

The link between Brexit and gender balance

The United Kingdom’s looming skills shortage may be eased by increasing the gender balance in the workforce, argues Avivah Wittenberg-Cox. “If companies want to lessen the pressure of losing European employees, they may want to let their gaze wander to the other side of the kitchen table,” she writes in Forbes. “Women remain an under-utilized and under-supported resource in the UK. Brexit will raise the stakes – and the cost – of mismanaging half the country’s potential labor force.” The UK’s female employment rate is at 71 percent, compared to 80 percent for men. Wittenberg-Cox points out that increasing female employment levels to that of Sweden’s (75 percent) could boost the country’s GDP by 9 percent (£170 billion). “May 2019 be a gender-balanced year for your company, tempering the storms of Brexit with a sea of balanced talent,” she concludes.

L&D key to retaining young talent

According to Ryan Jenkins, the most comprehensive strategy to improve millennial and generation Z recruitment, engagement and retention is improved learning and development (L&D). In this Inc. blog post, he claims that the entrance of generation Z into the workplace and millennials taking leadership positions are exposing the weaknesses of training programs at many organizations. “Long, antiquated, and non-transformative training harms the recruitment, engagement, and retention of millennial and generation Z employees,” Jenkins writes. He believes training for the younger members of the workforce has to deliver cutting-edge content to help them overcome the workplace challenges they face. Jenkins also believes millennials and generation Z learn differently. “Training must be reimagined to ensure they use, apply and enjoy it,” he writes.

How to improve workplace diversity

In an interview by David Gelles for The New York Times, Accenture North America CEO Julie Sweet talked about working on creating true gender equality at the office. “I don’t think it is rocket science,” she told Gelles. “You first have to decide if diversity is a business priority. If it is, then you need to treat it like a business priority.” Sweet outlined the four steps for diversity in the workforce: set goals, have accountable leaders, measure progress and have an action plan. “Forty percent of companies don’t even have a plan to advance leadership. Less than 40 percent look at attrition between men and women. They’re not collecting data,” she said. “You can look at that with disappointment, or you can say there’s a huge opportunity here. By putting in place pretty basic things, you should be able to make progress.”

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