By Juliane Sterzl, SVP EMEA at CoachHub
Many of our lives are beginning to stabilise following an intense period of uncertainty during the pandemic. This makes 2022 an opportunity for lasting change, as we embark on a new year, full of endless possibilities for what can be achieved. In the financial services industry, less than 5% of learning and development professionals expect reduced growth this year – indicating that expansion for many firms is on the horizon. With this growth comes the need to focus on training and development opportunities for employees as they seek to deal with vast amounts of change in their organisations.
Research from CoachHub revealed some interesting truths. 93% of HR leaders in financial services will be working with increased training and development budgets this year. However, a larger budget does not immediately result in an improved training offering. Employers need to work diligently to understand the complex needs of their workforce amid this period of change and provide a learning and development programme that is tailored to their unique needs, or risk becoming less competitive in a rapidly moving industry.
A modern approach to learning and development
The current approach to learning and development in many finance firms has been deemed insufficient by those working in the field. 63% of professionals in charge of learning and development in their financial services firms believe that employee training and development is sufficiently discussed in the company. However, employees disagree. Over three-quarters (77%) of learning and development leaders in the industry have been told by employees that they do not receive enough training and development opportunities to keep up with a fast-paced industry.
These statistics show a clear disconnect between the quality of learning and development programmes as seen by those who implement them, and what is experienced by workers. As a result, training initiatives are unlikely to be fulfilling the needs of staff. In an industry that is characterised by burnout resulting from long hours, motivating employees to do their best work, as well as prioritising their training needs is critical for improving employee wellbeing.
Only 39% of learning and development professionals provided extra training on how to deal with burnout, and only 14% for handling feelings of uncertainty. These figures indicate that both the amount of training and its quality are not on par with what employees expect. Employers must be certain of the needs of their workforce and make an effort to offer training that aligns with them, or risk losing employees.
Setting our sights on positive change
As we move into the new year, we must shift our thinking to individual employees and what they need to thrive. Designing and implementing a programme that suits everyone can seem like a daunting task, especially in large corporations with a large number of employees who hold diverse skillsets and varying job responsibilities. But taking the time to focus on this will certainly pay off in the long run and might not be as complicated as you would expect.
While impossible to hold one-to-ones with each individual employee, setting a sole point of contact for them to discuss issues of personal and professional development will go a long way towards fighting burnout, and motivating them to reach their objectives. 9 out of 10 people find increased meaning in their work after a coaching session, which makes them more productive and able to focus on their personal wellbeing through boosting their self-confidence.
In the new year, financial leaders should take advantage of the opportunity to energise their workforce by incorporating individualised approaches to training and development, such as workplace coaching, in their organisations. Following a challenging two years, a renewed focus on personalised learning will bring a much-needed boost to productivity and employee wellbeing, permitting organisations to set their sights on reaching new objectives during this period of immense growth.