FIRST-HALF earnings reports are out for banking industry players, and the top 10 banks have posted net income growth of 30- to 80-plus percent. More consumers and businesses are availing of loans, investing in securities and transacting with banks.
The industry is enjoying the fruits of accelerated digital transformation investments. The two-year pandemic-induced hiatus compelled the sector to innovate its offerings and digitalize operations and interactions with customers, allowing it to transition from being a laggard cutting-edge tech adopter to a flag bearer of all things digital.
It has not come without challenges. For one, many financial services companies are struggling to keep organizational cultures up to speed. For digital transformation to be successful, employees need to have an innovative mindset, access to the right tech and tools, and a customer-centric approach, all of which calls for upskilling and reskilling as technology gets more infused in the workflow.
In addition, transitioning to hybrid work has presented new challenges in the areas of recruitment, retention, engagement, performance management and ensuring productivity. This is why the human resources (HR) function has taken center stage alongside digital transformation in the banking sector’s continued growth.
As the last few years have shown, HR digitalization goes beyond investing in a human capital management (HCM) platform and moving documents and processes online. For the shift to be truly effective, HR leaders and practitioners must first understand what they want out of it. They must be prepared for comprehensive adoption — one that involves a broader adjustment of organizational direction.
Along with leveraging the HR tech system’s technological capabilities to contribute to business priorities, they must have a sound approach to change management. This includes alignment of the company’s culture with transformation initiatives by developing a strong shared sense of purpose, freedom to experiment, distributed decision-making, agility and innovation among employees.
From an infrastructure standpoint, HR needs to provide employees — wherever they may be working from — the resources for them to perform their jobs with autonomy, maintain positive mental health, participate in e-learning, develop strong bonds at work and achieve work-life enhancement. Along with this, ensuring that performance management is aligned with new key performance indicators centered on agility, innovation, and customer-centricity is equally critical to maintaining employee engagement and morale.
“The role of HR has never been more important [in the financial services industry],” said Julia Lamm, workforce strategy partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, in a March 2021 article posted on the Society for Human Resource Management website. “HR needs to upskill itself on digital tools to be able to better serve its customers,” she added.
To unpack what HCM excellence means today and how HR leaders can extract the best out of HR tech platforms, Darwinbox — Asia’s fastest-growing HR tech platform trusted by JG Summit, Shakey’s, Robinson’s Bank and other leading enterprises and conglomerates in the region — is organizing a roundtable for chief human resources officers from the banking industry. The by-invitation-only roundtable with Nic Lim and the Darwinbox leadership team will be conducted on September 14 at The Gallery by Chef Chelle in Bonifacio Global City.
The author is the founder and CEO of Hungry Workhorse, a digital and culture transformation consulting firm. He is a fellow at the US-based Institute for Digital Transformation and teaches strategic management in the MBA Program of De La Salle University. The author may be emailed at [email protected]