Importance Of Nurturing Leadership Skills To Work In The Dynamic Sector Of Financial Services

For professionals working in the BFSI sector, there is always an imminent fear of losing jobs to automation and machines


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Historically, one of the fastest-growing sectors and also one of the most glamorous ones for professionals, the financial services sector is set to contribute more than 1.5 million jobs in just a couple of more years. The BFSI sector is a dynamic space where there’s always news of restructuring, amalgamations and new ventures. 

While financial organizations have long looked for a strong background of technical skills, there are some essential soft skills required to achieve excellence in a financial career. In an increasingly stressful work environment given the ever-changing scenario of the industry, it is important to develop well rounded professional skillsets that can help professionals to not only sustain but also thrive in this demanding sector. 

For professionals working in the BFSI sector, there is always an imminent fear of losing jobs to automation and machines. A lot of basic and core finance tasks are now being automated to save costs and eliminate human errors. In the face of this rapid change, organizations are set to look for more than just domain knowledge in employees in the recent future. Besides, banking and finance professionals often have customer-facing jobs that require them to have a whole new gamut of skills like communication, negotiation and emotional intelligence too. 

Given the unique nature of their job and the need to adapt to a work environment that is changing more rapidly than that in most other sectors, organizations are looking for customised training solutions to help their employees stay current and agile. A learning program that focusses on upskilling the workforce along with engaging employees at their workplace and preparing them for the future will provide the ideal intervention for companies in this sector.

That communication skills are important in the industry is a given. Conveying core-financial concepts in a simplified manner to clients with limited financial knowledge is just one of the reasons why communication skills are important in this job. To sell complicated products to people from all social and financial backgrounds needs excellent interpersonal communication skills. 

Leadership skills, although often overlooked, are essential at all levels to help people take command of not just their own responsibilities but also influence others in the team to do so. Banks operate at a massive scale in terms of geographical coverage and number of employees. Building a strong leadership bench strength should be a focus for companies so that the organizational goals and values are integrated at all levels. First Time managers in the BFSI sector often find themselves leading big teams of varied people. Developing their leadership potential is a definite way towards inspiring excellence in their team members. 

Instead of providing isolated , need-based training to employees, organizations must integrate a constant process of upskilling by providing a learning journey to employees. This learning journey should cover programs that cover crucial skills like negotiation skills, customer service, effective leadership, communication skills and emotional intelligence. A learning journey will give the workforce the resilience and agility to adapt to a changing work environment.

The BFSI sector has always been one of the fastest growing sectors. Traditionally the banking industry has employed highly skilled people with specialized education qualifications for most of its functions. However, over the last few years there has been an increasing trend to outsource some of the activities through DSAs or Direct Selling Agents. This outsourcing has resulted in creation of employment opportunities for minimally educated people which were not earlier part of the banking system in the form of customer care support and tele- marketing / tele-sales persons.

These people are expected to possess good communication (spoken, written) skills, high level of perseverance, high energy level, emotional intelligence, and aptitude for repetitive work, integrity and managing customer‘s expectations. The training needs of the sector are going to keep increasing given this trend and organizations are fast investing in upskilling even their temporary and contractual workforce to make sure that these employees are aligned with the core values and brand philosophy. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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