Modern Workplace Learning in Financial Services

Comprised of banks, security and commodities, insurance, and real estate firms, the financial services (FS) world is undergoing its own whirlwind of change, enduring a perfect storm of industry and workplace upheaval while still struggling to rebuild its reputation with customers and prospective young hires following the 2008 economic collapse.

The key external challenges are many. From the rise of mobile banking to the emergence of blockchain technology and new disruptive fintech and small challenger bank business models, rapidly advancing technology is driving significant disruption in the industry. Digital transformation is seeing new demands and unprecedented expectations from a younger, increasingly tech-savvy clientele who are skeptical of traditional organizations and keen to change the way they interact with them. These consumers prefer an online, on-demand, self-service experience to the more traditional, hands-on, white-glove approach of the past.

According to the 2014 Millennial Disruption Index, a three-year study looking at millennial industry disruption in the US, 73% would prefer to address their FS needs through Google, Amazon, Apple, PayPal or Square. These new customer preferences, coupled with an increasing number of upstart fintech businesses popping up to service them (it’s risen more than 50% since 2011), have created a pressing need for traditional FS organizations to invest more in developing technical and specialized hybrid skill sets.

The obstacles facing FS organizations aren’t just external. Internally, they’re contending with new employee mindsets and growing knowledge and leadership gaps resulting from retiring baby boomers, which have made attracting, training, and retaining the right talent another significant challenge. Younger workers, while boasting high aptitudes for tech, are notoriously fickle when it comes to employment. According to 2017 LinkedIn data based on US job switching activity in 2016, millennials are 50% more likely to relocate and 16% more likely to switch industries for a new job than non-millennials.

Plus, while they’re eager to learn (87% say development is important in a job) the flexible workplace learning culture millennials desire—which includes informal learning opportunities with video, social learning, mentoring and coaching, microlearning, and personalized learning—runs counter to the FS business model, which doesn’t lend itself well to the open, flexible, collaborative work environment they’re seeking out.

"Ultimately, the future workforce will see human and machine working side-by- side, which calls for a whole new way of thinking, operating and collaborating. Fostering the innovation and closer customer engagement needed to compete within this fast-changing landscape demands people with fresh ideas and a broad array of experiences and capabilities.”
- Jon Terry, PwC's Global FS HR Consulting Leader

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