How a Global Financial Services Firm Leveraged Assessments to Build an Agile Workforce
A Leading Global Financial Services Firm
Financial services consumers have high expectations for products that can meet their needs in real time. Yet, this global financial firm needed additional agility in its workforce to be able to bring new products and services to market swiftly. To remain competitive, this global leader was looking to transition to a more agile, skilled, and responsive workforce built for today's fast-paced financial environment and demanding consumer.
With a traditional project management culture that's typical in the financial services industry, this firm struggled with the uncomfortable prospect of a more distributed decision-making process — one that would help them become more nimble and reduce time to bring new products to the market. unfortunately, its workforce was steeped in linear, waterfall product development, hindering its ability to act swiftly and deliver consumer value.
Despite this well-entrenched culture, the firm resolved to move toward new ways of working. It sought to build an environment where managers could make more impactful decisions and bring agility to its workplace and product pipeline through employee development. To achieve these breakthroughs, leadership sought a partner that would help the organization assess, coach, and transition its workforce into more agile capabilities and roles.
To achieve these breakthroughs, leadership sought a partner that would help the organization assess, coach, and transition its workforce into more agile capabilities and roles.
- Become more nimble
- Reduce time to bring new products to the market
- Transition to a more agile, skilled, and responsive workforce
Some unique understandings have already been revealed. For example, the firm discovered specific strengths and development needs based on:
- Employee tenure
- Business unit
- Functional alignment of employees
To gain insight into the firm's current workforce, Aon partnered with the organization to create a Development Center to find current employees that already possess the skills and qualities needed for the future state agile roles. Comprised of multiple layers, the Development Center, assesses for behavioral competencies, as well as agile knowledge. After completing the assessment, participants receive a custom development report showing their strengths and weaknesses, as well as follow-up courses to help develop their skillsets. The insights garnered through the assessments provided managers the knowledge they needed to have personalized coaching and ongoing developmental conversations with employees.
The Aon team also added strategic value by rolling the Development Center data into a macro-level dashboard. This intuitive dashboard allows the firm to easily see the density and prevalence of talent across their organization. With this knowledge, decision makers can now pinpoint their most acute development needs by employee group and quickly arrange the exact training and coaching to accelerate capabilities development for maximum impact. These unique data views can also be leveraged to target a group of employees as change agents, an efficient and cost-effective tactic.
Hundreds of employees have gone through the firm's new assessment process with outstanding initial results. The firm is using a methodical and phased approach that will ultimately scale to assess 8,000 employees. Some unique understandings have already been revealed. For example, the firm discovered specific strengths and development needs based on geography, employee tenure, business unit, and functional alignment of employees.
The initial impact of these assessments, the resulting data insights, and development coaching show that the firm has a clear-cut path to execute its overall talent strategy, which includes a much more agile, nimbler workforce that can grow and thrive in the rapidly-changing financial services marketplace.