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

Why banks must be bold on talent

With the disruption of traditional business models and rapid technology shifts, the financial services industry needs to adapt by revitalizing the system from within, and seizing new ways to drive innovation, productivity and performance, argues Mona Malone. “Banks must be bold on talent, creating the conditions for human and machine partnerships, and building a culture that encourages learning, growth, creativity and innovation,” she writes in an op-ed piece in American Banker. “One of the most powerful ways to do this is to think of skills as a ‘new currency’ for the new world and focus on developing the employees we already have through upskilling, reskilling and broad experimentation.” Malone suggests using a multipronged approach that combines implementation of dynamic learning streams, provision of meaningful work experiences and targeted upskilling, and increased support for employees.  “Targeted reskilling is about managing the supply and demand of talent by effectively identifying, developing and moving employees,” she writes. “This is especially critical for employees in roles that are vulnerable to automation, from existing jobs into future opportunities.”

Employee loyalty and younger workers

The concept of employee loyalty in the traditional sense is steadily dying out and a new social contract is required to keep younger people attached to organizations, claims Dr. Ali Fenwick, a behavioral scientist at the Nyonrode Business University in the Netherlands. “Younger generations, such as gen Y and gen Z, have entered the workforce with different values, beliefs, and expectations about work than the older generations: gen X and the baby boomers,” he says in an interview with Authority Magazine. “Younger generations were brought up believing that lifetime employment doesn’t exist anymore. Rather, they believe in lifetime employability.” Fenwick claims that younger generations tend to move from one company to another because existing HR policies don’t facilitate lateral or diagonal movements. “A millennial might want to work in sales for two years and then move into a digital marketing or business analytics position, to improve his/her chances of employment in today’s digitized workplace,” he says. “If organizations don’t have internal mobility policies in place that satisfy these needs, these people will leave to go somewhere else.”

The UK launches retraining program

The UK is launching a national retraining program for workers at risk of losing jobs to automation and artificial intelligence (AI). “The plans come in response to new research that predicted around 1.5 million jobs in England could be automated or partly automated in the future,” writes Rachel Muller-Heyndyk in HR Magazine. “The service will offer details of jobs available and potentially better jobs, identify local training opportunities and provide participants with an advisor.” Initial rollout of the program will begin in Liverpool and will be available to workers aged 24 and older who do have a higher education qualification and are paid below a certain wage threshold. “Technologies like AI and automation are transforming the way we live and work and bringing huge benefits to our economy. But it also means that jobs are evolving and some roles will soon become a thing of the past,” Education Secretary Damian Hind said. “The National Retraining Scheme will be pivotal in helping adults across the country, whose jobs are at risk of changing, to gain new skills and get on the path to a new, more rewarding career. This is a big and complex challenge, which is why we are starting small, learning as we go, and releasing each part of the scheme only when it’s ready to benefit its users.”

Five ways to encourage curiosity in the workplace

Developing innovative cultures that embrace learning agility and exploration requires organizations to focus on and enable curiosity in employees, claims Diane Hamilton. In this Forbes blog post, she outlines five steps HR professionals and leaders can take to develop curiosity within their organizations: 1. Determine the inhibitors such as fear, assumptions, technology and environment. “Fear can hold people back if they worry about looking incompetent or unprepared,” she writes. “Many people have a monologue in their head that sometimes talks them out of doing things because they sound boring or too hard.” 2. Develop a SMART—specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely—plan. 3. Teach your team curiosity exercises that focus on problems that leadership faces within the organization. 4. Present the feedback from employees to leadership anonymously. 5. Reward curious employees who demonstrate a desire to learn, explore and provide suggestions that could lead to innovative discoveries. “In a time of increased technological changes, it has never been more critical to move away from status-quo thinking and recognize the value of curiosity-based exploration,” Hamilton concludes.

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