Talent development lessons for all can be found in best-in-class finance functions. This was my big take-away after co-presenting a webinar for Business Finance Magazine on developing finance professionals. In the webinar, The New Rules for Finance Talent Development, my colleague Mary Driscoll and I talked about the shortage of soft skills (such as negotiation, persuasion, and team building) among finance workers and presented three best practices for building these skills within organizations today. While these talent development best practices emerged from a study of best-in-class finance organizations, I believe they are applicable beyond the finance function. Uncovered using an in-depth case study approach, the three best practices follow.
- Commit to talent development—Best-in-class finance organizations invest significant time and capital in developing and maintaining talent development programs that meet the needs of the organization and finance professionals. Planning sets these organizations apart, enabling them to keep talent development practices in line with business changes and providing them with enough lead time to leverage the full range of development methods.
- Offer a variety of learning opportunities—Another best practice for developing finance talent is to offer a wide variety of learning options. Best-in-class finance functions instruct in the classroom, keeping their courses up-to-date and, in some cases, using finance employees to develop and refresh the content. To complement classroom and online learning, best-in-class finance organizations demonstrate and coach on the job using job rotation and mentoring programs.
- Assess talent development progress—Finally, best-in-class finance functions assess the effectiveness of their talent development efforts at both the finance function level as well as at the level of the individual finance professional. By continually measuring outcomes and making improvements, they ensure work force capabilities keep up with ever-changing business needs.
Don’t miss out on this rich and practical content. Among many finance-specific findings are useful lessons for anyone concerned about skills shortages and talent development. Click here to access this research.