Successive waves of innovation have dramatically changed the workplace and the workforce. For financial services (FS) firms, however, the biggest changes are still to come. HR, at the intersection of technology, business and workforce change, has a critical new role to play.

In recent Accenture research, 74 percent of FS executives said the industry would be “completely transformed” by intelligent technologies. However, true transformation success for FS firms—and sustained competitive advantage—lies not in the technology, but how it’s applied. HR has an important role in achieving that. A role that’s bigger and more strategic than ever before.

Analytics, cloud, social media, mobile, the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, machine learning and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI) are all altering the way work is organized and performed. At the same time, the concept of the workforce is evolving to incorporate machines and partner ecosystems. And there’s a third dimension to this: the hyper-connected environment that intelligent digital technologies create is raising the expectations of everyone in the FS value chain—from employees to customers and ecosystem partners.

Against this backdrop of innovation and market change, we continue to see the evolution of the workforce. Expectations are rising. Employees want a worker experience to rival their consumer experience—they are demanding flexible, human services that put employee experience at the core, delivered at pace.

It’s a seismic shift. HR—positioned at the intersection of these changes—can orchestrate it to the advantage of the organization and its people.

To assume this more central and strategic role, HR must have a clear vision and demonstrate mastery of:

  • Applying a balanced blend of relevant technology;
  • Increasing organizational effectiveness;
  • Creating better experiences;
  • Deriving greater value from people and machines working together.

But to do so HR will need to transform itself—it needs to become more digital, more data-driven, and more human.

HR can support enterprise agility and help the organization make the shift to a digital environment, but to do so it must have the skills to redesign work, the workforce and the workplace.

Join me next week as I look at how the concept of HR in financial services is changing, and the change that a modern FS HR function needs to factor in.

For more on HR transformation in FS, take a look at Accenture’s recent report, Reimaging HR in Financial Services.

 

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