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Building tomorrow’s banking workforce

Conduct and consequences Print

If banks are going to rebuild a viable industry in the face of digital disruption, transforming their people will be as important as transforming their products and processes.

Digital disruption will make tomorrow’s banking workforce unrecognizable from the one we see today. Banks must respond by building a culture that nurtures diversity of thought, and provides an environment for bankers to develop the new skills they need to succeed.

The EY Global banking outlook 2016 report explores how the human resources lifecycle must be overhauled to build a bright future of talented bankers.

As technology revolutionizes the banking workforce – eliminating, changing and creating roles across the business − banks must evolve as rapidly as technology itself. At the same time, a new generation of employees is bringing new expectations.

Millennial influence

By 2025, millennials will make up almost three-quarters of the global workforce and their aspirations and attitudes will shape the workplaces of the future. If banks are to prosper, they must retain leading talent and encourage a culture of ‘intrapreneurism’ by nurturing diversity of thought.

A stronger, better banking world won’t be made up of the best individuals but the best combination of diverse talent. Banks can maximize performance and productivity by transforming the ways they recruit, progress employees through their careers and foster collaboration between employees with different skill sets.

In the future, HR functions will not support resource management but mobilize intelligence. In delivering this change, bank leaders must recognize that although success may not be achieved swiftly, re-engineering the workforce is potentially more important than next quarter’s earnings and an important aspect of their legacy.

Shifting mindsets

But banking transformation needs to be about more than just processes and products. It needs to shift mind-sets and cultural values – and it needs to be about people. Leading financial performance may be accompanied by unacceptable behaviour, so it’s important for employers to emphasize to their workforce that sustainable performance requires not only improved financial results but better behaviour, too.

Our report also suggests that codifying the traits of high performers will enable banks to drive change across the rest of the organization.

Faced with such challenges in relation to their workforce, we recommend four specific actions that banks can take to confirm their employees have the aptitude to deliver success in tomorrow’s world:

1. Assess technology’s dramatic disruption of the banking workforce.

2. Understand the expectations of a new generation of bankers.

3. Change culture to encourage diversity of thought.

4. Nurture and empower a collaborative workforce.