Long before the disruption of COVID-19, the financial services sector recognized the need to move outside of its traditional comfort zone. It knew it needed to adopt more digital solutions - both for its customers and its internal working practices. In turn, the sector needed to rethink the skills, behaviors and competencies its workforce needed.
We tapped into top banking industry knowledge in our series of fireside conversations and took the temperature of its thoughts and next steps regarding the workforce. The result was a collection of insights into how such firms are dealing with current challenges and how they are planning for the future. These are drawn together in our paper - Building a New Better in Banking.
One of the immediate challenges is to build an agile workforce. A workforce capable of adapting easily to new ways of working, new demands and new technology and, at the same time, a workforce comfortable with ambiguity and constant change.
The imperative of agility
- Talent leaders agree that this is a key challenge. Over 80% report that maximizing workforce agility and resilience to address future disruption is very or extremely important.
- We’ve talked before about building workforce resilience in a separate paper.
- Agility is reflected in how jobs are changing within the banking sector. In part, the sector needs talent which understands diverse cultures and has the ability to predict consumer patterns based on individual preferences and backgrounds. It requires its people to embrace the new ways of working and to form relationships with customers and co-workers in an agile environment.
- We believe agility is one of the core future competencies needed in an increasingly digital work environment.
Agility as part of future-proofing the workforce
Core competencies shift over time. The competencies which got the business to today may not be the competencies that will drive it forward.
We believe there are three essential competencies needed by all organizations for the future of work. Our research resulted in the development of the Digital Readiness Model built around three core competencies and eight sub-competencies.
These competencies are not concerned with specific abilities or behaviors, rather they draw on more fundamental capabilities that will shape an individual’s approach to change. These are the abilities to be flexible, to explore opportunities, to embrace change and to recognize the necessity to develop, grow and upskill.
We define the three core digital competencies as:
Measuring agility through objective assessment
If we accept that agility is a core competency to hire and develop in the workforce, how can organizations identify this in its candidates and employees?
This is a challenge for many. 61% of organizations do not know how to spot digital talent and only 18% assess current employees for agility and adaptability skills. The journey to building an agile workforce has, it seems, only just begun.
To help, we have developed a robust and validated assessment of digital readiness. It brings together Aon’s ADEPT-15® personality questionnaire with the cognitive ability test, gridChallenge™. The assessment provides a comprehensive overview of an individual’s digital readiness and a more detailed profile across the model's 11 competencies.
The assessment can be used both in pre- and post-hire scenarios to identify candidates with the more future-oriented behavioral set and also with current talent to spot suitability for roles and to inform competency development actions.
Contact us if you want to learn more about measuring agility in your workforce.
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