Successive waves of innovation have dramatically changed the workplace and the workforce. For financial services (FS) firms the biggest changes are still to come—analytics, cloud, social media, mobile, the Internet of Things, blockchain, machine learning, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), and the continuous evolution of employee expectations, are all altering the way work is organised and performed. HR needs new skills and tools to shape and manage this transformation.

Workforce changes are already in motion across Financial Services(FS). Automation, analytics, AI, even drones are impacting processes, decision-making, collaboration and workforce composition and performance. Many FS HR functions are struggling to understand, let alone facilitate this change. To do so, they need new skills and capabilities, tools, and ways of working—they must transform.

So how is digital impacting work and the workforce?

  • Digital further diversifies the workforce—it now includes employees, contractors, third parties and machines.
  • Digital changes how work is organised—it introduces multi-disciplinary distributed teams, new operating models, requires new leadership skills, and emphasises collaboration.
  • Digital changes what work is performed—intelligent automation presents an opportunity to re-focus employees from repetitive tasks to more challenging, customer-oriented activities, while AI can augment and add value to human outputs.

HR’s natural role should be to shape the agenda to support businesses through this change. How can HR transform itself to fulfil this role?

HR must become more tech savvy. Technology in the form of cloud, data, analytics, collaboration tools, social and mobile apps, and more, are being used to drive innovation and operational excellence, deepen employee engagement, improve service delivery, inform planning and strategy development, and increase business performance. HR must overcome it’s fear and improve its grasp of available and emerging technologies to:

  • Identify and apply the opportunities provided through digital HR to embrace and deliver more innovative and better services and experiences to the business and employees;
  • Enable employees to engage and collaborate with each other and use the tools and services available to facilitate the experience the workforce demands;
  • Refine and focus talent management interventions—from identifying, sourcing, moving, retaining and developing the internal and external talent needed by the business, to ensuring employees, and HR, are equipped to maximise their performance in an evolving world
  • Access and leverage data to strengthen the insight needed to guide HR planning and support business strategy and decision making; and
  • Effectively deliver HR services to employees anytime, anywhere.

HR must become even more people savvy. It is ultimately people that drive business success. The employee experience (EX) lies at the heart of workforce engagement, productivity and performance. HR needs to leverage both the power of digital and the concept of human-centricity to:

  • Prioritise the ‘moments that matter’, leveraging technology and data insights to optimise people’s experience at the points that are most significant to them
  • Form a digital ecosystem that can anticipate what people want—and may need—to pre-empt issues, manage information, collaborate and perform activities;
  • Recognise that one size doesn’t fit all, and establish channels and end-to-end services that are tailored accordingly
  • Align resources, data, learning and development opportunities to an individual’s professional and personal goals and preferences.

Join me over the next two weeks as I explore digital HR: how it can be harnessed within FS to make a truly strategic contribution to the business and lead the industry into the new world of the agile enterprise and “living” businesses.

In the meantime, for more insight on HR for FS in a digital era, click through to:

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