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Importance of skilling and reskilling for Financial Advisors in BFSI sector | Agnelo Joseph

In the financial world,  which is fiercely being challenged today having undergone a 360 shift post pandemic, it would be imperative to know how we keep ourselves abreast of the future skill demand as professionals or organizational workforce skill up. As a highly skilled professional or organization having a skilled workforce with technology being your engagement engine with AI analytics built in to give you time based solutions how we drive that advantage to benefit career & business.

‘Importance of skilling and reskilling for financial advisors in BFSI sector’ By: Mr. Agnelo Joseph, 

Co founder – Tattva Academy and Business Consulting   “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do”- Pablo Picasso.

How true is it when we see ourselves in the light of the above thought?  As a professional the only road to success is by investing in ourselves learning by un learning that is by reviewing what we can do better of what we have done and that leads to continuous improvement.

The question is do we ask ourselves “what value I bring to the Table daily?”

In the financial world,  which is fiercely being challenged today having undergone a 360 shift post pandemic, it would be imperative to know how we keep ourselves abreast of the future skill demand as professionals or organizational workforce skill up.  As highly skilled professional or organization having skilled workforce with technology being your engagement engine with AI analytics built in to give you time based solutions how we drive that advantage to benefit career & business.

India’s Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) sector is expected to provide jobs to an additional 1.6 million skilled workers by 2022. This means plenty of Banking Jobs and a host of others in insurance and financial services. While most of the opportunities will involve customer interface, skilling for customer satisfaction and service is imperative.

A National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) report reveals that the sector will need an infusion of manpower in several departments, including corporate banking, retail banking, treasury, finance, technology and HR to meet future challenges.

Clearly, the time’s right to contemplate your career move ether starting or already existing as financial advisor in BFSI sector … Do you have the right core skills or talented skilled workforce? Are your ready for the challenges ahead.

 How the challenge of skilling or re skilling is unfolding?

I list down some of the challenges what organizations will for see coming due to this skill gap disparity.

Emotional Engagement through intelligence: While majority of financial advisors are very rational and analytical in decision making and suggesting about financial investment to clients, customers take decisions based on emotions. The financial advisors have to engage with customers at an emotional level for understanding the need & purpose for investment and accordingly suggest the best solution. Hence, this makes it all the more necessary for financial advisors to be Emotionally Intelligent and know ways to manage different emotion based on scenarios.

Rising demand for Skilled workforce : The rising demand for technologically competent professionals, companies in the BFSI sector need to recruit highly skilled Financial Advisors, unfortunately, with skilling and reskilling not being given the due importance, the skills gap widening  meeting customer demand will be a challenge.

A closer look at the skill gap

The digital skills gap is most apparent in new tech-driven roles, as BFSI companies struggle to fill the void in specialties like UX design, data analytics, AI, and cybersecurity. The adoption of digital technologies in the BFSI sector needs to be met with an equally enthusiastic approach at the educational level. With technology based skilling not being foreseen strongly this will create a high skill gap issue.

Hiring for Long term v/s short term view:

Hiring of workforce is more of jobs entrenched than skill resource. Need for proper hiring analytics with stronger assessment of skill based tools that will narrow the skill for job v/s readiness required will be the need of the hour. Long term investment of talent skilling will have to be worked out to keep workforce sharper than just hiring for job. It can’t be interventionist approach but more institutional approach as a culture of business skill learning driving should be the norm.

Performance v/s skill analytics:

Managers or leaders will need to see productivity more closely with ability of smarter execution so if managers are not equipped well then this could also create more competence issues. Your overhead or turnover will become a challenge for growth. High attrition will be the norm with scarce talent mobility or availability with turn around time.

A research work by Wiley Education Services and Future Workplace revealed that around 40% organizations prefer investing in AI rather than in upskilling their workforce. Without training existing employees to take on new tech-based roles, BFSI companies face the possibility of suffering from a shortage of mid-career professionals who’re competent enough to work alongside AI.

How this gap could be bridged?

The need of the hour is organizations looking at their skilling & re skilling agenda that’s equipped to train fresh-faced graduates and existing workforce in order to prepare them for new-age jobs in the BFSI sector post the pandemic changes we are seeing in business working culture with. Banking, financial services, and insurance companies.

Organizations will have to invest in re-skilling their employees by partnering with partners in re shaping their skilling agenda  which are committed to bridging the gap between the skills in demand and the skills actually possessed by the new incoming workforce and existing employees.

The thought earlier expressed as to “What value I Bring to the table “needs to be seen through the following lenses if we are to making Skilling & Re Skilling a TOP cultural shift within our organizations. Learning and Skilling agenda if we are expected to keep our customers happy and wealthy.

Here is a simple thought that I see would be the focus we need to bring in your skilling agenda for your workforce:

Financial advisors help people manage their money while sorting through their financial matters. – So are you skilling them to well to understand what a financial advisors “CONSULTATIVE ADVISORY” role is. Don’t equip but assess at the right time, from hiring to life cycle of the employees association to keep a balance of current and future skill up

Finding clients and building a customer base is crucial to experiencing success as a financial planner.- Sales skills are not for sales only, sales is cross functional role. My support for enabling sales is also a sales role is your enabling the CROSS BUSINESS SKILL approach in your businesses. Create that path for every employee to learn.

RISK MANAGEMENT SKILLS: Skilling is about making employees understand the difference between selling & risk. If they understand this aspect of business they will think thru strongly when engaging with customers giving them a right financial road map. It is not about front line functions but all including support that everyone must understand the larger picture especially now with changing economic scenarios post covid.

If you’re comfortable with sales, great with people, have excellent ANALYTICAL and COMMUNICATION SKILLS, and can work independently then you have truly built a strong workforce of highly skilled professionals. Investing in these core skills may scale business, it must more auto than managed

TECHNOLOGY SKILLLING as enabler for financial solutions must be the crucible skilling agenda. So investing in right technology and training employees on it with AI based interface to gauge the skilling gap will help quickly close any skill deficiency gap.

CONCLUSION:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall employment of financial   advisors is expected to increase by 7% between 2018 and 2028, faster than the average for all occupations or professions. This is a result of the increased investment by businesses and individuals, the rising number of self-directed retirement plans and the growing number of seniors globally.

Personal financial advisors will benefit even more than financial analysts as baby boomers (Gen Z) save for retirement and as a better-educated & wealthier population requires investment advice. In addition, people are living longer and must plan to finance more years of retirement.

Unlike the earlier years, where professionals entered the workforce fully aware of the skill requirements and expectations of the assigned role, the speed of new technologies   being adopted has put the onus on a new generation of professionals to drive the next phase of global disruptions. The COVID-19 pandemic has bought in e-commerce companies, social media & video sharing platforms everyone within reach cutting across all boundaries.

Organizations investing in the above thought are bound to gain with the positive growth story unfolding. Pandemic has created a stronger thought towards embracing technology & AI, for sharper financial solution and engagement with customers. The need is to build on this positive disruption to benefit business opportunities if we only invest in skilling our workforce to be ready for the opportunities.

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