The velocity of technology change is surpassing the potential productivity boosts it should be creating. On the workforce side of the organization, most companies have some catching up to do. The good news is that human ingenuity and technology are making it possible.

Across this series of blog posts, I’ve looked at the definition and components of an adaptive workforce, as well as the challenges FS firms face in preparing their people and organizations for the future. I’ll wrap up by offering a roadmap to build your company’s path to greater productivity and innovation via talent:

  1. Take stock of change gaps and use technology to predict tomorrow.

Look at your business objectives. Then, use predictive intelligence to understand your skills needs now and over time. Some factors to consider include:

  • New skills and roles such as data scientists
  • Mixed talent pools, underpinned by labor-as-a-service platforms and an understanding of internal, freelance and on-demand workers’ skillsets and availability
  • Intelligent automation (bots and robo-advisors) to augment people and processes
  • Design thinking to re-imagine products and services continuously through the lens of the customer

From the traits and behaviors that make for a successful leader at your company, to how to tap into a growing freelance pool, leadership teams must consider how to address the new normal. FS companies which have not already done so should invest in a common global data model, shared global jobs and strategic workforce software tools. This will put them in a stronger position to leverage predictive analytics.

  1. Align the business vision with the workforce/talent strategy.

Organizations should reskill their people continuously to create a sustainable workforce. In the process, they will emphasize human strengths in the collaborative relationship between people and machines.

  1. Realign the organizational culture and behaviors with the new workforce and talent strategy.

FS employers must be clear on the behaviors that they need their staff and leadership to adopt as they foster new ways of working. The agile workforce consists of both internal employees and external contractors; but both form part of the same workforce and need to be treated as equals. FS leaders must ensure that there is no ‘us against them’ mentality in their organizations, but rather foster a mindset of ‘one team, one workforce—without labels’.

  1. Expand the concept of a workforce.

Creative sourcing of talent must now include digital platforms, as well as creative engagement with talent ecosystems. Savvy organizations will create physical and virtual networks to facilitate community building, deliver access to valuable skills training, generate feedback and create access to potential new roles and projects.

  1. Extend the employee experience beyond traditional boundaries.

Your future workforce is a combination of full- and part-time employees, freelance talent and ecosystem partners. Organizations need an approach for integrating all types of new talent, expanding collaboration and integration, and creating a consistent experience.

  1. Cultivate development and reskilling as currency.

Today, in-demand skills rotate with more frequency, while the advent of talent marketplaces has the individual poised to interact with more companies than ever before. To that end, training, mentoring, coaching and reskilling will become a currency—as critical as providing a paycheck—and employers will be differentiated by their ability to deliver against that demand.

  1. Build a strong risk and governance foundation.

The adaptive workforce should be built on robust risk and governance measures that establish executive sponsorship and decision-making forums; define the rules of the adaptive workforce model; ensure accountability; measure and manage performance; and ensure that regulatory requirements are met.

The leading FS firms of the future will not simply assume that their workforce will keep pace with rapidly transforming technological advancements. They will purposefully design their adaptive workforce to keep pace with these changes. They will use data to predict and model what the future will look like so that they can prepare their workforce.

Technology plays an important role, but the real key to workforce agility lies in a strategy that puts people and culture first, enabled by technology—to amplify workers everywhere.

FS organizations must focus on the adaptive workforce across multiple dimensions:

  • Reconnaissance: FS organizations should constantly survey their business and workforce to understand which talent and skills they should build, buy or automate. They should turn predictive workforce planning into a core competence.
  • Recruitment: Tapping new sources of skills such as digital talent marketplaces or pooling talent with ecosystem partners.
  • Retention: Leveraging big data, AI and advanced analytics to shift from mass management of HR to personalized workforce experiences with the aim of elevating engagement and retaining top performers.
  • Reskilling: Equipping the workforce with the skills they need in a digital age and redeploying employees as automation handles an increasing portion of the workload.
  • Release: Managing the social impact of new modes of work, for example, preparing the organization and the workforce for a world where many of today’s jobs no longer exist.

I hope you’ve found this blog series useful, and get in touch to discuss more ways to build an adaptive workforce. To learn more, download the full reports: Shaping the Adaptive Financial Services Organization of the Future and Shaping the Agile Workforce.

For more discussions on the adaptive workforce or to join us at the Change Directors Forum and People Innovation Forum in London, please contact me here or on Twitter @knott_nic.

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