The fintech industry has revolutionised the world of finance, introducing rapid and disruptive solutions. The pace of innovation and the reliance on emerging technologies like big data, smart algorithms, facial recognition and artificial intelligence have made continuous learning key to remain relevant in this space. Fintech companies must be nimble and adapt to stay competitive in a challenging economic climate. This creates an ongoing need to build new skills within the workforce.
The pace at which job-related skill sets changed from 2015 to 2023 is expected to double by 2027. This explains why a recent PwC report says that the biggest obstacle to digital innovation in the finance sector isn't technology but the lack of skilled teams. Investing in technology can bring the desired results only when employees have the skills to leverage it. In fact, 54% of CEOs of financial firms globally say that skill shortages hinder their company’s ability to innovate.
A culture of self-learning
A culture of continuous skill enhancement can be developed by promoting self-learning and self-evaluation right from the time a new hire is onboarded. This enables fintechs to:
- Stay updated on the latest industry trends: Staying abreast of new regulations, business models and competitors can enable a business to anticipate changes and adapt quickly.
- Adopt the latest tools: With rapid technological advancements, new tools become available for fintechs to innovate their offerings and stay ahead of the curve.
- Build transferable skills: A diverse, cross-functional skill set can prove invaluable, both for an individual's career development and the organisation to leverage internal talent to quickly respond to opportunities.
A culture of self-learning and self-evaluation empowers employees and promotes internal mobility. It helps build dynamic teams and allows individuals to seamlessly perform new roles within the firm. Internal mobility also plays a vital role in employee retention, according to an EY report.
Nurturing a growth mindset
Cultivating a growth mindset drives teams to learn faster, accept challenges, and see failure as an opportunity to improve. This can be achieved by building a high level of autonomy within the organisation. This gives employees the freedom and responsibility to make decisions and take action. It also enhances their sense of ownership and encourages them to explore, experiment, research, take on greater challenges, share ideas, and continue learning. Once such a mindset has been cultivated, organisations can switch employees between tasks and even departments for cross functional learning. This practise further empowers employees to acquire and let go of certain skills through the process of learning and unlearning.
Here are some steps to embrace a culture of self-learning and self-evaluation :
- Set quantifiable learning objectives: The first step is to identify areas of improvement and set SMART (measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) goals for learning.
- Capitalise on online resources: Joining online discussions is an excellent way to learn from peers. Blogs, podcasts, and webinars also provide a wealth of knowledge. Even certification courses are available through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
- Learn from experts: Following industry leaders on social media, reading their articles, and attending their webinars, podcasts, and talks are key to gaining new insights and staying updated on best practices.
- Attend in-person events: Conferences and workshops provide an avenue to build a professional network and stay informed of the latest trends.
- Evaluate progress: Regular assessment of learning progress helps keep track of upskilling efforts and make timely adjustments to achieve the desired outcomes.
Fintech firms can make learning materials and in-person or virtual master classes available for self-directed growth. When a firm invests in curiosity, it empowers the organisation to build resilience, agility and a competitive edge.