Phy-gital Roundtable: Breakfast Roundup from Germany and Netherlands

02 May '15 | Debjyoti Paul

German Shoppers: Meet Them in the Fast Lane to Phy-gital

15 January '15 | Ralf Reich

Shoppers Will Share Personal Information (But They Don’t Want to be “Friends”)

15 January '15 | Anil Venkat

Modernize or Perish: Property and Casualty Insurers and IT Solutions

14 January '15 | Manesh Rajendran

Benelux Reaches the Phy-gital Tipping Point: Omnichannel Readiness is Crucial

13 January '15 | Anil Gandharve

The New Omnichannel Dynamic: Finding Core Principles Across Industries

13 January '15 | Debjyoti Paul

Technology does not disrupt business – CIO day 2014 Roundup

02 December '14 | Anshuman Singh

Apple Pay – The Best Is Yet To Come

02 December '14 | Indy Sawhney

Digital transformation is a business transformation enabled by technology

01 December '14 | Amit Varma

3 Stages of FATCA Testing and Quality Assurance

06 October '14 | Raman Suprajarama

3 Reasons why Apple Pay could dominate the payments space

18 September '14 | Gaurav Johri

Beacon of Hope: Serving Growth and Customer Satisfaction

05 August '14 | Debjyoti Paul

The Dos and Don’ts of Emerging Technologies Like iBeacon

30 July '14 | Debjyoti Paul

What You Sold Us On – eCommerce Award Finalist Selections

17 July '14 | Anshuman Singh

3 Steps to Getting Started with Microsoft Azure Cloud Services

04 June '14 | Koushik Ramani

8 Steps to Building a Successful Self Service Portal

03 June '14 | Giridhar LV

Innovation outsourced – a myth or a mirage or a truth staring at us?

13 January '14 | Ramesh Hosahalli

What does a mobile user want?

03 January '14 | Gopikrishna Aravindan

Developing new workforce skills in the age of automation

Posted on: 18 July '16

My last of a 3-part series on automation in banking and financial services covers refocusing and training workers for the critical skills needed in a digital, customer-centric world. Like the first two, this blog stems from the panel discussion “The human vs. the automated: understanding where each adds value,” at the recent Future of Digital Banking conference in London.

As part of any enterprise-wide initiative to adopt automation and digital processes, finance executives with their human resource staff need to be proactive about identifying new categories of jobs and the traits and skills required to fill those positions. These jobs should complement and take advantage of artificial intelligence and automation and, equally important, align with the company’s strategic goals. For example, employees who had been involved in a basic transaction operation can be trained and redeployed to become process experts on an entire line of operations. Data entry specialists can be trained to become data insight experts.

With more reliance on automation, it’s also important to remember that systems will fail or break down due to a variety of reasons. Technology pioneers such as airlines who already run on automated systems have built in disaster recovery and contingency planning to cope with system breakdowns. Banks and investment firms should take note and ensure that workers are trained to monitor system operations, keep an eye out for trouble and intervene or step in with manual processes when computers fail. It won’t be a matter of if, but a matter of when that training will save the day. Customer-facing employees can be retrained to interact and serve social media outlets as well as traditional customer contact channels. Initial plans and implementations can be continually influenced and shaped by ongoing customer and staff feedback and real-world operational experiences.

As I stressed in my last blog, companies will primarily need to retrain and refocus more of their workforce to successfully handle person-to-person interactions and develop a better sense of customer empathy. Humans are at their best ferreting out and understanding the complete picture involved in complex or emotion-laden customer issues—and taking the initiative to solve problems. This vital work can only be done by skilled, trained staff.

We all need to recognize that new skills will be needed in this customer-centric digital world. Recognizing that reality means taking the time and effort to create clear, comprehensive job descriptions and define the attributes and talents these jobs require. It means taking the time to think about how to successfully recruit people with the latest digital skills. It also means encouraging the professional growth of existing employees by providing them with the time and resources to take on new responsibilities and enhance their skills and knowledge.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my thoughts on the impact of automation in financial services and would be very interested in hearing about your experiences and opinions.

Anil Gandharve

Anil is the head of Retail, CPG and Manufacturing Industry Group with global P&L responsibility. Anil has overall strategic and operational responsibility, including setting the vision, creating and implementing strategy, and driving growth for this Industry Group. He has over 17 years of experience in business development, operations and consulting. He joined Mindtree in 2010 and has been instrumental in growing Mindtree’s European business since then. Anil is passionate about Retail, CPG and Manufacturing Industry and is often quoted in top tier publications such as Forbes, Retail Systems, Computer Weekly Information Age and many more. He strongly believes in creating authentic and mutually significant long term relationships with customers.

  • Dharmendra gangwar

    very thoughtful !