1. Tailor the upskilling journey
As they work to improve back-office operating efficiency by automating manual and mundane activities and enhance the front office through digitizing customer interactions, banks need to consider how their employees’ roles and responsibilities will change. This requires each area of the business to take a tailored approach to digital upskilling.
For example, with retail advisors working in the branch network, leading banks are focusing on building the foundational digital skills to help employees take advantage of new technology and teach new ways of interacting with clients. They’re also building empathy-based skills to better understand customer needs and goals.
2. Empower employees through citizen-led innovation
A citizen-led approach relies on employees to increase their technological capabilities while empowering them to develop small-scale business solutions in their day-to-day roles. This approach can also motivate and inspire employees to embrace new ways of working and free up their time to contribute to higher-value activities. It has been particularly effective in areas such as operations, finance, risk management and compliance functions. Banks are beginning to see successes from this strategy.
3. Take an ecosystem approach to upskilling
An ecosystem approach develops the right mix of skills that suit the needs of individual employees and different groups. This ecosystem consists of various upskilling elements, including digital learning assets, immersive training programs, gamification and change agents and coaches with technical expertise.
These elements combine to create synergies and momentum to develop critical skills and help employees immediately apply what they learn. For example, banks can offer foundational learning that’s available to everyone to create an inclusive journey so no employee feels left behind. This could include apps offering short, bite-sized learnings on important digital topics or immersive and gamified experiences that give them the skills to adapt to new ways of working.
For a subset of employees, banks can offer more in-depth learning that moves beyond awareness of key digital concepts to develop knowledge and skills in areas essential to achieving results.
4. Embrace new leadership styles and skills for the digital age
As they take people through ambiguous times and transition them to new ways of working, leaders play a critical role in upskilling. They’re essential to establishing a continuous learning culture by setting expectations, giving their teams time and space for learning and experimenting, recognizing and rewarding the right behaviours and creating environments where it’s safe for people to learn from experience and make mistakes.
The ability to have honest but positive conversations about the future so people understand how the business and their role may evolve and what they can aspire to is also key.
5. Rethink jobs and career paths
As new technologies and automation continue to transform roles, banks will need to consider job design and progression to create meaningful career paths that support skills development within employees’ day-to-day experiences.
Take, for example, the trend toward creating financial crimes fusion centres that aim to generate efficiencies and improve effectiveness by integrating cybersecurity, internal and external fraud, anti-money laundering and physical security activities. We see an opportunity to create career paths in this area that would focus on developing talent to cross-train in anti-money laundering, fraud and cybersecurity practices.