Positive Thinking and Skills Training: A Winning Combination for the Financial Sector
There’s an atmosphere of uncertainty about the economy both internationally and locally due to rising global interest rates. In an April report, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) maintained its forecast for the country’s slower GDP growth of up to just 2.5% this year, compared to 3.6% in 2022. According to the EY CEO Outlook Pulse Q1 2023 report, Singapore-based CEOs fear monetary policy changes and increasing capital costs will hamper growth this year.
However, about a third of these CEOs see a silver lining. They believe that investments in talent, well-being, and skills training are good ways to mitigate business risks.
Business leaders who remain upbeat about training and developing their workforce are better prepared for the changes ahead. Here’s why.
The role of positive thinking to move forward
Surely, it takes more than optimism to overcome any business challenge, especially in an economy fraught with uncertainty, but reallocating company resources toward professional growth is a reasonable investment in managing disruptions, risk, and change.
According to Human Resources Online, there are three major trends shaping Singapore’s banking and financial sector in 2023.
- Tighter regulations on cryptocurrency
- The growth of digital banking
- The popularity of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) in certain niches
In addition, Randstad Singapore projects increased demand for front office, middle office, venture capital, and fintech roles. These include roles in wealth management, credit risk, investor relations, software development, and others.
Amid the uncertainty, technology and relationship-building in the banking and financial sector are becoming more important than ever. Those who don’t train for these changes will likely get left behind.
Lifelong training and development
“It is paramount that Singapore’s financial services executives excel in AI, blockchain applications, and big data analytics. And because these technologies are constantly changing, such education has to be lifelong,” says Director of IMD World Competitiveness Centre Switzerland Arturo Bris.
Bris believes that financial and banking professionals need more than functional training such as credit risk, compliance, and regulation. Both industry executives and rank-and-file employees need new skills in technology, change management, and sustainability to strategize successfully around any disruptions in the industry.
Given the ever-evolving nature of technology in the workplace, training and developing people for these changes is a never-ending, future-oriented process. As new ways of doing things emerge, new problems may arise, and new solutions will be needed. Organizations need to develop crucial soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, creativity, and collaboration to stay competitive.
More importantly, organizations need to bridge the gap between these hard skills and soft skills to truly succeed in the future of work. Internal auditors don’t just learn compliance; they need to communicate their assessments effectively. Fintech engineers don’t just dabble in big data; they need to spot problems before they become any bigger.
It takes experiential learning—or learning by doing—to understand that these seemingly unrelated sets of skills are indeed a cohesive whole that every leader and employee should develop to thrive in the industry, with or without economic uncertainty.