The war for talent has never been as complex and important as it is today. To build a future workforce and workplace ecosystem fit for the digital world, financial services (FS) leaders are leveraging digital platforms, automation and analytics. Here’s how.

To maintain customer relevance and sustain growth, FS organisations need to adapt at speed and scale. I work closely with insurance companies every day on their talent and organisation strategies, and the single biggest challenge they face is building a workforce capable of executing digital strategies. It has become a strategic priority. Here’s how they are addressing it.

The C-suite and the HR organisation are taking the lead in reshaping the enterprise and its culture for a digital world. They are approaching this task from multiple workforce dimensions:

  • Reconnaissance: Continuously surveying the business and workforce to understand which talent and skills to buy, build or borrow – and where to automate.
  • Recruitment: Tapping into new sources of skills, such as digital talent marketplaces, as work changes.
  • Retention: Leveraging big data, AI and advanced analytics to move from mass management of HR to a personalised employee experience that will help retain top performers.
  • Reskilling: Equipping the workforce with digital-age skills and redeploying workers as automation handles an increasing portion of the workload.
  • Release: Managing the social impact of new modes of work. For example, preparing the organisation and the workforce for a world where many of today’s jobs no longer exist.

To execute, these organisations are investing in new approaches, supported by emerging technologies. These include predictive intelligence, analytics, digital platforms, reskilling the workforce, and augmenting talent with AI and automation.

Predictive intelligence

To support sustainable and agile growth, C-suite executives must be able to predict their future workforce needs. Predictive intelligence is the first step. It not only provides an understanding of future workforce requirements, it also guides strategic workforce planning up to 18 months out. These insights provide a valuable map for enterprise transformation.

Machine capital

Insurers are keenly aware of the potential of AI and intelligent automation as part of the workforce—many of the projects I work on in the insurance sector focus on this one issue. Our Future Workforce survey found that 76 percent of FS organisations plan to use AI to automate tasks to a large or very large extent in the next three years. However, it is going to be important for HR to work together with technology and operations teams to help define how technologies such as robotics, automation and AI can support an adaptive workforce. In particular, HR will need to look at how it can harness talent strategy, reskilling, leadership development, and process redesign to help the organisation drive optimal results from investment in AI.

New approaches to talent, skills and work structures

New approaches to talent and work are emerging as the make-up of work and the workforce changes.

As and talent and skills gaps grow, and large FS firms compete with more entrepreneurial competitors for skills, organisations are tapping into a rising number of on-demand workforce marketplaces and looking beyond traditional organisational constructs to a more boundary-less workforce that includes freelancers.

New-skilling and a more fluid way of managing talent are also emerging.

In future, the term ‘employee’ will encompass internal and external,
and human and machine resources, short-term gigs and full-time work.

As more automation occurs, FS workers will focus on higher-value-added work, augmented with intelligent technologies. As demand grows for insurance workers that are more entrepreneurial, adaptable and innovative in outlook, carriers need to be thinking about which skills and roles they need to sustain a competitive edge, and how they can prepare their people.

Work structures will need to change as job descriptions evolve and work becomes more project-based and reliant on collaborative, cross-functional teams. In fact, as the ‘one role, one worker’ approach gives way to more fluid and task-based ways of approaching work, the term ‘employee’ will encompass a broad spectrum spanning internal to external, human to machine, and short-term gigs to full-time work.

Join me next week as I create a C-suite checklist for building an adaptive workforce.

Meanwhile, for more insight on building an adaptive workforce, read Shaping the adaptive financial services organization of the future.

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