But Lisa Winnard, Human Resources Director is challenging this perception of HR. Lisa argues that HR is about more than just form-filling and box-ticking, it can help lay the foundations of a successful financial services business.
“The landscape of financial services is changing rapidly” Lisa observed “Keeping-up with the pace of change is presenting a very real challenge for firms.”
From the way technology is influencing the way employees work, to regulatory changes imposed by the FCA, for Lisa, “It is crucial that firms find a way to manage these changes effectively to produce positive outcomes.”
One of the major challenges Lisa anticipates that firms will face in the next decade is the introduction of a younger workforce. By 2025, Deloitte estimates that 75% of UK workers
will be millennials, which she speculates will lead to a crucial shift in workplace dynamics for financial services firms.
“As our employees get younger, even the most traditional firms will have to re-think their approach to staff recruitment and retention,” Lisa predicts. “Firms will need to consider how they communicate with their people, what access they can provide to remote and flexible working, and how their employees want to be trained and developed, without making older generations feel left behind.”
So how can firms embrace these changes and future-proof themselves against any unforeseen impact?
“No matter what business you run,” says Lisa, “your business is built on strategy, systems and processes. These are part of the ‘hard’ approach we take to ensure success. But something else many businesses fail to realise is the very core need to focus on the ‘soft’ approach.”
According to Lisa, businesses are not always so quick to engage with the soft approach because it is more difficult to measure the bang you get for your buck. But, she insists, “From the your firm’s leadership style and corporate values to the way your employees are trained, developed and communicate, investing in your business’s soft approach is what will, ultimately, give you the tools you need to successfully navigate industry-wide change.”
The People Department
For Lisa, this journey begins by laying the foundations of a structured, compliant HR department. “It’s important to be prepared,” she said. “Having all the forms and procedures you may ever need at your disposal means you have everything in place to allow you to take a proactive approach to people management, rather than a passive one, to develop into a truly exceptional business.”
Committed to helping financial services firms deliver exceptional human resource support to their employees, Lisa has spearheaded the foundation of The People Department, the human resources support and advice service tailored to financial services firms.
The HR Toolkit developed by The People Department is designed to help financial services firms feel secure that their people-management processes are compliant with the standards set by the FCA. But as well as this, The People Department’s consultancy services focus on helping your firm engage with your employees and increase performance.
“Human Resources is an essential component for any firm that wants to be exceptional,” Lisa said fervently. “When done right, it connects your employees to the goals of your business and encourage them to work to their fullest potential.”
To find out more about how The People Department can help your business become exceptional, contact [email protected]
or 0161 884 1888.