Addressing the skills gap is not just about recruiting new talent—the focus should also be on improving the skill set of existing staff. But how to do this? Schwenderman describes the complexities in developing current teams. “As our business model becomes more integrated, our people need to be more integrated too,” says Schwenderman. “But how do you evolve someone’s collaboration skills, their analytics and insight skills, when they’ve grown up doing rotations around general ledger accounting, tax, and treasury? How do you get them to be collaborative partners and not order-takers, stewards, or technicians?”
The fast pace of change can also make it challenging to get existing staff up to speed with new technologies. “You have a number of folks that know their organizations well but that didn’t grow up in a digital native age,” says Schwenderman. “They are used to having more time to learn new tools and technologies and apply them than the pace of innovation is allowing today.”
One solution is to provide better training and development opportunities in order to build the necessary skills. Over half of the respondents to the “Finance Redefined” survey identified “a training curriculum that focuses on digital and advanced analytical skills” as a priority over the coming three years, indicating the importance for skilling up teams to meet the demands of new technologies.
Another approach is to rotate staff into different parts of the organization, such as operations or sales, so that they gain greater knowledge of the business and have an opportunity to build relationships.
For the full research findings behind the “Finance Redefined” global study, read the report here.