Invest in talent

This article is an excerpt from a white paper co-authored by Peter Alkema and Dr Jeff Yu-Chen from Gibs University.

As stated in the previous section, employees can make profound contributions towards a company’s innovativeness.

In fact, none of the above-stated recommendations can be realized without a new breed of talents – those who are equipped with the right skills and the right mindset for the era of digital disruption.

Across all industries, talent continues to be a dominant theme for doing business in emerging markets.

Increasingly, banks are becoming creative in their quest to attract and retain the right personnel.

IT skills in banking are particularly scarce and their highly marketable skills are easily exported.

The banking sector must strive to be the employer of choice for young entrepreneurial skills – people who are willing and able to disrupt from the inside, as well as bring the fresh thinking and crucial skills into the organisation.

Most main banks in South Africa offer innovation rewards programmes; FNB’s innovators programme has run since 2004 and has paid out over R42-million in incentive rewards to staff for developing and implementing the best ideas.

Market-related salaries are also important to retain skills, but intrinsic rewards philosophies are also playing an increasingly important role in the choice of company for experienced IT professionals.

A recent Accenture research highlighted that 61 percent of digital leaders cited skills shortages as one of the top business challenges and are concerned about how they can attract and retain top digital talent.

It is increasingly harder for banks to pre-empt how it should reshape their workforce in the era of digital disruption.

Matching labour supply and demand in the era of digital disruption thus requires a holistic but innovative approach.

As online recruitment platforms make it easier to headhunt, and more difficult to retain top talent, progressive institutions that offer self-directed learning may win the digital battle for employee retention, while allowing continual up-skilling of their talent.

Institutions that create an in-house platform for learning, sharing of ideas and peer-approval can not only monitor the progress of their personnel but encourage growth in their areas of strength.

Investing in talents is not merely about implementing innovative training solutions, leveraging the latest human resource management technologies and/or introducing incentives.

It is also about how leaders can institute the appropriate practices that actively raise employee engagement, strengthen creativity, inspire positivity and reduce bureaucratic culture.

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