In any industry, employees are among the most valuable assets any business has. Investing in the development of your financial team means investing in the growth of your company.
This is particularly true in today’s rapidly evolving world. According to many experts, 2023 is the “year of upskilling”. Organisations are adapting to new work modalities, transformative technology, and changing marketplaces. To stay ahead of the curve, business leaders need to ensure their staff have the guidance and support they need to thrive.
In the financial industry, the right development plans are crucial for a range of reasons.
Not only will investing in employee training help your company to grow with more skilled, efficient, and productive staff, but it also ensures you can stay compliant with evolving industry standards.
What’s more, in a skills-short environment, a proactive approach to career progression and skill development can help financial brands attract and retain the talent they desperately need.
So, how exactly do business leaders design and implement development plans guaranteed to drive results? Here’s your complete guide to empowering and upskilling your finance team.
Step 1: Assess Individual Skills and Goals
The first step in developing an effective strategy for employee training and upskilling is evaluating your current team. The skills financial employees need to grow in their role have evolved significantly in the last few years, spurred by digital transformation and regulatory changes.
Conducting a comprehensive assessment of each team member’s current skill set will allow business leaders to define the strengths and weaknesses in their talent pool.
Once you can identify the gaps in your employees’ capabilities, you can implement training programs that prepare your staff to contribute to wider business goals more effectively.
Crucially, while it’s important to build your development plan based on the targets of your business, it’s also essential to take the personal and professional goals of each team member into account.
Employees who feel their business leaders are helping them to achieve their purpose and move towards their career aspirations are more likely to show higher loyalty, productivity, and engagement.
Arrange conversations with each employee where you can discuss both the needs of the business and their short and long-term career goals.
Step 2: Identify Opportunities for Development
There are numerous ways for companies to invest in the growth of their financial employees today. While 74% of workers say they’re willing to learn new skills and retrain to improve their performance, different team members may benefit from different forms of development.
It’s worth exploring a range of options and asking for employee input on the types of training they find most effective. Some common options include:
- Training programs and workshops: Training programs, workshops, and other traditional educational tools like seminars are often excellent for enhancing technical skills. They can be used to educate teams on things like financial analysis, risk management, and reporting.
- Certifications and qualifications: Investing in opportunities for your employees to pursue industry-specific certifications can deliver a number of benefits. Not only does it improve the performance of your teams, but it also demonstrates your commitment to ensuring your employee can thrive in their future career.
- Cross-functional exposure: Collaborative learning opportunities are incredibly popular in the financial landscape. Providing opportunities for team members to learn from other departments and interact with team members from different roles can help them build a broader understanding of your business.
Step 3: Establish Mentoring and Coaching Programs
Speaking of collaborative learning, one of the best ways to encourage knowledge sharing and rapid development among team members is with coaching and mentoring programs. According to studies, around 76% of people believe mentors are important to their growth, but only 37% have access to an internal mentoring program.
Pairing experienced financial professionals with junior team members as part of a comprehensive onboarding process opens the door to collaborative knowledge sharing. While mentees develop new skills by learning from their mentors, mentors have the opportunity to build their leadership abilities and find more purpose in their work.
Mentoring and coaching programs don’t have to be situated entirely in-house, either. Partnering with external coaches or mentors who specialize in finance can offer team members access to a broader range of perspectives. This can help to boost creativity and productivity in the workplace.
Step 4: Encourage Continuous Learning
One of the best ways to enhance the development strategy in your business is to create a culture that supports continuous, life-long learning. Today’s employees, including younger generations like millennials and Gen Z, want to be able to constantly expand their skill sets without waiting for formal training programs and opportunities to appear.
Giving your team members the opportunity to take control of their own development, with access to learning resources, ensures they can continue to grow at their own pace. Experiment with:
- Access to challenging projects: Give employees an opportunity to put their skills to the test with stretch assignments and rotational assignments from different areas of the finance landscape. This will allow them to develop more interdisciplinary skills.
- Learning resources: Offer consistent access to online courses, eBooks, industry publications, and research papers that employees can access on their own time. Give staff the freedom to choose which areas they want to focus on based on their strengths and weaknesses.
- Networking: Internal and external networking is essential to development Organise regular group activities and knowledge-sharing sessions where finance professionals can collaborate with other team members. Provide access to industry events and conferences where team members can connect with external experts and learn from their peers.
Step 5: Invest in Performance Feedback and Evaluation
Consistent, informative feedback is essential to ensuring the success of any development plan. By offering feedback, business leaders can help employees determine where they need to invest further in their education and where they’re already thriving.
Performance reviews can also be a fantastic way to assess a team member’s progress and determine how effective each learning strategy is for the company overall. During performance reviews, business leaders can assess the performance metrics of their team and monitor how far they’ve come since starting a training program.
Additionally, these reviews give employees an excellent way to share their own feedback. Listening to employee comments about the relevance and value of different training programs can show business leaders which strategies they should invest in going forward.
Don’t Underestimate Employee Development
Investing in employee development is something no company can afford to overlook in today’s world. While working with the right financial recruitment team can help you to attract candidates with the skills you need to grow your business, it’s important to keep enhancing those skillsets.
As the financial landscape continues to evolve, upskilling, reskilling, and developing employees will be crucial for any business striving to stay ahead of the competition. What’s more, the right development plan, and learning-driven company culture, will help you to attract and retain the staff you need to thrive in the years ahead.
About Rebus Financial Recruitment
Rebus Financial Recruitment provides a specialist and focused recruitment service to its customers, ranging from various organisations, including SMEs, to large PLCs.
We strive to offer both the client and candidate a seamless recruitment experience. Using our expertise, we get to the heart of employer and employee needs, and, in doing so, we match the two perfectly.
To learn more, contact one of our team today, or call us on 01282 930930.