Modern HR leaders are driving innovation in finance

February 16, 2023 | 3 minute read
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By: Ondrej Holub, Pierre POLYCARPE

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the way that banking employees work has changed forever. Despite C-suite concerns that remote working could damage productivity, 87% of employees[1] in financial services agreed that their output has either increased or stayed the same since embracing hybrid working.

The pandemic created an environment where workforce and business strategies became intrinsically linked. However, in this period workers’ trust in leaders waned, with only 43%[2] of banking employees trusting leaders to act in their best interests. When frontline workers lack confidence in their C-suite to provide what they need to do their job, and do it well, it falls to human resources (HR) business partners to pick up the pieces.

The approach of a modern HR leader

Traditional HR operating models are no longer fit for purpose. Modern HR teams are seeking new ways to connect people results with business results, reassessing and reorganising their structure. Employees want to feel heard, be reassured their leaders will act on their feedback, and be given the right tools to do their job successfully. For instance, banking employees with tech-enabled flexible working are more than twice as likely[3] to feel fulfilled in their role.

These people teams are fundamentally different to their predecessors. They prioritise capabilities that drive innovation and growth and enable more creative ways of working through new technology. Designing digital workplaces around how people work and driving adoption is key to success, with a focus on two key areas – fostering new skills and facilitating collaboration.

Closing the finance skills gap

Modern HR leaders have a continuous learning mindset and recognise that new skills will support the future of work. HR platforms allow leaders to model skills gaps from the demand side, creating a blueprint of what is needed in the short and long term.

Armed with these insights, people teams can reskill employees in areas that are lacking and look to hire from conventional and new talent pools to fill the gaps. Digital talent marketplaces will help to join the dots between departments, with HR leaders even able to redeploy staff to areas that better suit their skillsets or where they can add value.

Communication and collaboration breeds empowerment

When employees feel heard, they feel empowered. Opening a two-way channel of communication is vital, listening to what employees need at all levels, and backing this up with real-time data. This helps leaders to identify trends on the front line and turn this data into insights, giving those closest to the work the ability to make more informed decisions.

In this new digital workplace, modern HR leaders work to support better collaboration and virtual teaming. Working across the organisation and removing boundaries, they are advocates for tech-enabled agile practices and active listening. 72% of the banking workforce[4] are comfortable engaging in shared decision making with their peers and superiors, so HR leaders need to provide the tools to make this a reality.

Learn more in this conversation between Oracle’s Executive Director, HR Transformation Sarah Horne and Yazad Dalal, Oracle HCM Europe Lead at Accenture.

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[1] “To boost performance, take care of people: Five ways to do it”, Accenture,

[2] “Gartner HR Research Identifies New Framework for Organizations to Succeed in Today’s Fragmented Workplace”, Gartner, October 24, 2022,

[3] “To boost performance, take care of people: Five ways to do it”, Accenture,

[4] “To boost performance, take care of people: Five ways to do it”, Accenture,

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