Equipment leasing and finance, like much of the financial services industry, is traditionally a white, male workplace with limited use for new technologies. Yet, as industry executives know, the future of work is unlikely to look like the present.
Current popular wisdom does not necessarily help. Terms like ‘gig economy’ and ‘digital natives,’ and the charge to “hire more millennials!” are offered everywhere as examples of trends and as advice. But they offer enough specific insight to take steps now to ensure that the right talent will be in place in 2030 and beyond. The equipment leasing and finance industry faces a challenge: How can industry leaders best make sure they will be attractive to the workforce and customers in the next five to ten years, when so much is changing?
Recognizing this need, the Industry Future Council of the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation decided to do a deep dive into how demographics will change the future of work in financial services.
Their goal was to focus on the people side of the equation. Most explorations of the future ask, “How will technology affect people in the future?”
This workshop asked, “How will people affect technology?” This helped participants focus on the ultimate drivers of change: human behavior.
Prescient partnered with After the Millennials, a firm focused on generational change. .The 2018 meeting brought together 16 industry executives a 2 day session.
The customized, hands-on sessions helped executives explore how different generations and types of people may interact in the workplace of the future, and resulted in a report distributed to all of ELFF’s members for further discussion and strategic planning. In their two days together, ELFF members gathered knowledge, insights and questions to inform their future planning. Prescient and After the Millennials, a firm focused on the impact of generations on change, partnered to help participants explore possible futures of work.
Meeting the Challenge
Over the two days, participants gained:
- New knowledge about the impact of generations on the workplace.
After the Millennials CEO Anne Boysen provided a wealth of information about how different generations are affected by the post recession economy and digital transformation.
- A better understanding of the current workforce. Participants had the chance to ‘play,’ using markers and stickers to draw current day employee profiles on ease-sizedl worksheets. We asked some serious questions in the margins of the page too, about what today’s industry professionals believe about technology, environmental issues and changing work environments. Participants gained valuable insights about the challenges that the values of today’s executives and their successors may differ, and need to be addressed.
- An opportunity to explore the conditions shaping the future of work In this interactive section, participants evaluated current trends and decided which are most important to the equipment finance and leasing industry. By the end of the session, they had fleshed out three different scenarios: Accelerating Transformation, The Bank Brain Drain and Financing Amid Chaos.
Projected Future Workforce Needs
Knowing that some of today’s workforce will be present in 10-15 years, and armed with a fuller vision of potential future environments, participants returned to the focal point of the workshop: What will the workforce needs of the future be? They discarded roles and invented new ones.
The mission was to raise awareness of the critical role of people in bottom line success. Bank executives, finance specialists and industry leaders left their two days with plans to re-evaluate their people strategies when they returned home.
ELFF produced a report distributed throughout the industry, Preparing for Radical Customer and Employee Change Between Now and 2030. It has been received with interest and used prompt further industry wide discussion about the future of work.