Release date
24 January 2024
By Emilios Tannousis, Partner, Gravity Private Wealth and CIFA HR & Training Committee
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The Finance Industry in Full Transformation

The Finance Industry in Full Transformation

The finance industry has entered an era of revolution driven by data explosion and quantum jump in technology. What finance practitioners do and how they do it is changing exponentially. Automated and robotic processes, combined with higher levels of intelligent automation are shaping the future of the finance industry.

As an example, labour - intensive transaction processing and reconciliation tasks are going away in the manner of typists and file clerks who prepared and warehoused mountains of paper before computers. Increasing expectations for value-added financial information to support decision-making and oversight have significantly raised the bar.

The return on investment for developing, reskilling and training staff is massive. Staff who regularly attend training courses and reskilling themselves are given the opportunity to develop into more effective employees. They will perform better in their positions, gain a better understanding of their role and build confidence in their jobs.

Employee competence in an ever-changing industry landscape allows organisations to stay at the cutting edge of their industry. According to the Association of Talent Development (ATD), an effective training program can increase productivity by over 200%. This increased productivity in turn can increase profit margins by 24% against companies without a formalised training program. On the contrary, employees will leave a role if they feel they are not receiving the necessary training to succeed in the position.

The workforce for the 21st century must enable senior leaders and front-line managers to align staff skills with emerging mission needs. This will require more direct and agile management of the workforce, including reskilling and redeploying existing workers to keep pace with the current pace of change.

Learning management system platforms are critical components in modernizing an organizations’ learning and development strategy. This strategy and culture drive the organizational change and anchor all subsequent actions. On the job-training and mentoring programs are valuable components of sharing knowledge and wisdom not captured in the automated processes. The learning and development strategy combined with the technology platforms will best meet the workforce training needs.

A number of ways to implement a learning development and culture ecosystem are possible. These could be summarized around five key elements:

  • Develop an overall learning and development strategy
  • Create a baseline for current learning content against future needs and target the gaps
  • Establish strong governance
  • Communicate clearly, openly and often
  • Adopt an enterprise technology platform or cloud-based learning

Leading finance organizations leverage a range of already available communication channels, such as all-hands meetings and calls, webinars, open forums, and newsletters. Frequency, consistency and openness are critical to building understanding, trust and acceptance. Acceptance among employees in general with some level of resistance is a natural part of change management. One should not expect everyone to adopt change immediately.

The opopportunities for a dramatic transformation in the finance industry are at our doorstep. It is imperative that the finance community initiates support missions and operations with the right information, using the right reporting framework, organized in a logical, user-friendly way, geared to the right audience, at the right time. Leading organizations work to address the future rather than chase after it. It is essential to prepare to transform any enterprise by positioning it to where it will be” through continuous learning and seize the opportunity to score change.


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