Article: The key to building a future-ready workforce

Skilling

The key to building a future-ready workforce

Organizations need to go the extra mile to prepare employees for the future. This involves facing the fundamental challenges of motivating employees, investing in them, and making such programs scalable, says Dean Tong, Managing Director, Head of Group HR, UOB, at TechHR 2020.
The key to building a future-ready workforce

The banking industry just like any other industry is also facing disruption amid this COVID-19 crisis. According to a report by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), one in three jobs will be disrupted in the next three to five years in the financial services sector, says  Dean Tong, Managing Director, Head of Group HR, UOB at TechHR 2020. The disruption will span across multiple roles including retail banking, corporate banking, asset management, compliance and surveillance, and insurance. Dean adds. Technologies such as artificial intelligence will play a significant role in redefining the roles. 

As a result, today we are witnessing a transition from silo functions to agile teams and the boundaries between roles are beginning to converge across many organizations. Disruption is not something new; we have seen it in the past following the industrial revolutions from mechanical to electrical to computing to now digital. Each industrial revolution brought about huge disruption and advancement. With each revolution, more jobs were created across the world including in the Asia Pacific. Similarly, wages have also increased with each revolution.

In today’s time, especially amid the crisis, being adaptable in the evolving world is the key for businesses to come out stronger on the other side, Dean says. This makes it imperative to acquire new skills to be able to adapt to unknown world. One of the challenges with upskilling and reskilling is we don’t know much about how the world will evolve. Because there are lot of uncertainties, we need to  continue to learn. Dean suggest five skills that businesses should embrace to be adaptable. The first one is growth mindset without which you can’t learn new things. Critical problem solving is also critical in times like this. Being able to ask right set of questions mean you are half way toward solving your problem. The ability to break the problem statement into parts is also equally important. So people with problem solving skills will have more scope of career advancement in future. The other trend is digital awareness which requires you to be able to makes sense of new trends that impact your industry. And this does not necessarily mean knowing all technical nitty-gritty but about the larger picture of how tech is impacting your role and the industry you operate in.

The fourth skill is human centred design which is about thinking through the lens of employees and customers. Companies that can address the human needs are able to create better experiences not only for their customers but their employees leading to higher returns. And the last skill is data story telling.

Once you start collecting and combining all kinds of data, the next step is to extract value from the data pool. Your data may have huge amounts of potential value, but the value cannot be created unless insights are uncovered and translated into business outcomes.

So the ability to amass data, be able to understand it, process it, and extract value from it and to visualize it is going to be a hugely important skill in this digital age, adds Dean. Once you have all this skills you can create programs to implement at organizational level. 

So overall, organizations today need to go the extra mile to prepare employees for the future. This involves overcoming the fundamental challenges of motivating employees, investing in them, and making such programs scalable and this is what we follow at UOB, says Dean.

‘’Our latest engagement survey finds an increase by 20 percent and the key driver is our new skilling initiative,’’ concludes Dean.

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Topics: Skilling, #TechHRSG

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