CATALYST Issue 1 - Page 25

Talent Centric “F Hema Bakhshi Head of Future of Work, Santander UK Hema leads a small, autonomous team with a remit to proactively disrupt traditional processes and an aim to future proof the employee proposition at Santander UK. ortune favours the prepared mind”, so it comes as little surprise that businesses are attempting to predict the future of work, and to plan for it by developing robust resourcing strategies. But charting a direct route is challenging, when the waters are muddied by ongoing globalisation, an unstable economic climate and unprecedented technological change. Effective navigation requires strategic focus, which is why financial services provider Santander UK has gone so far as to appoint a Head of Future of Work to plot the path into the unknown from a people perspective. As job titles go, few are as wide-ranging or potentially intimidating, but Hema Bakhshi is undaunted. In her former role as the bank’s Head of Resourcing, Strategy and Innovation, Bakhshi pitched a paper, urging the need to “future- proof the employee proposition for the future workforce, through the lens of the employee experience”. Since January, she has led a small, autonomous team doing exactly that. “It’s the first time I’ve seen a finance organisation invest time, resources and energy into looking at the future, proactively disrupting how a bank traditionally manages its proposition,” she says. “I can’t find anyone else with a similar role to me. “It involves looking at our people proposition through the eyes of the employee, within the context of many changing factors, whether it’s technology, people behaviour, or the nature of work itself: so much is being disrupted. Many of our processes are built on traditional, baby boomer-type processes; my role is looking at how we can positively disrupt some of those.” Bakhshi brought the board with her by making a clear link between the organisation’s people proposition and its overall business strategy: “I looked very closely at how the bank operates, how it’s thinking about its changing position,” she says. “Digital is increasing, branches are being affected. People are aware of customer behaviour changing; our millennial customer base behaves differently. The challenges are the same; just as we are looking proactively at how the bank operates, we need to look proactively from a people perspective at how we disrupt what we’re doing.” Ultimately, she believes businesses have little choice but to embrace disruption and turn it to their advantage. “I absolutely think that if Issue 1 - 2017 25