In previous articles we’ve talked about the importance of organisational culture within traditional financial institutions as they undergo a transformation which enables open banking, digitalisation and artificial intelligence. By paying attention to communication, change management and education, a bank can nurture its workforce to support the new direction it’s moving in. However, encouraging the employees to share its vision and adapt to new work processes is just the first step in any technological roll-out. Although a high level of tech savviness might not be required, there are a few reasons why banks might want to develop technical skillsets amongst their team members in addition to the mindset change.
Firstly, the more that employees understand any new technological concepts which underpin the company’s advancement and it’s place in the competitive landscape, the more agile they will be to future change. Secondly, these additional competencies will help them to see problems within new products and services and to come up with solutions to them. Thirdly, tech savvy individuals are more likely to volunteer for roles which don’t normally fall under their remit, such as a cross-departmental task force on digital marketing. In essence, reactivity is replaced by proactivity as employees feel that they are a key part of the transformation rather than an inevitable side effect of it. Motivated teams go beyond their key performance indicators, give constant feedback, monitor market trends and work better together.
There are a number of ways this tech savviness can be achieved but it should not be forced or made obligatory. For those who want to learn more it’s a good idea to start with a general evaluation of their basic technological skills. How adept are they at building websites with templates? How extensively do they use the features of social media platforms? How advanced are their spreadsheet formulae? How sophisticated are their presentations? Once a company has a good idea of the level each of their team members is at, they can make efforts to train them further. This might be through formal offline or online courses, in-house mentoring programmes or informal lunch groups.
The idea is to immerse the employees at a pace which is suitable for them and to make learning a part of their everyday work life. Gamification is making headway as a viable training method and is something that works well in the technological sphere. It makes learning fun and sticky. Ultimately, there are a lot of resources at a company’s disposal, starting with their internal talent. Some employees may be naturally tech savvy because of their age, others may have learnt a lot from previous employers and some may have hobbies which are tech-oriented. This is the time to utilise all this know-how and create a vibrant, collaborative learning environment. With technology changing constantly and competitors springing up all over the world, banks don’t just need employees they need ambassadors. Tech savviness shouldn’t be confined to Millennials and Generation Z and learning shouldn’t be restricted to occasional training courses. The bank employee of the future is adaptable to change, aware of their strengths and weaknesses and knowledgeable about the environment they operate in.