CATALYST Issue 1 - Page 26

Talent Centric we don’t start to think differently and do things differently we will not survive,” she states bluntly. “Look at Blockbusters and HMV; certain organisations don’t exist today because they didn’t see the signs and carried on doing what they’d always done.” A multi-generational workforce For the finance sector, disruptors are multi- faceted and certainly include technological change. Santander is looking at its digital processes around assessment and how to make it more accessible in a mobile age. Automation is clearly a trend that needs careful consideration from a people perspective, but Bakhshi sees it as an opportunity rather than a threat: “There are certain spaces where tech will eradicate roles; but there are areas where it is augmenting them, and spaces where it’s creating brand new roles we hadn’t thought about,” she argues. “I think technology is just one part of it,” she adds. “Another aspect is the way people work; the nature of your office; the way people are working together – the shift in cultural mindset. Today, 52% of our workforce is already made up of millennials, but we actually have 26 five generations within it. So yes, the millennial population, coupled with technology, is having an impact on how we operate, but it’s important to recognise the dynamic of a multi- generational workforce; that’s at the heart of the future of work.” Creating a diverse and inclusive workplace, that accommodates the skills and needs of these different generations, is core to future proofing, argues Bakhshi. However, she places the emphasis squarely on inclusion. “I think if I were to take a future lens and look at diversity, I would question whether our traditional approach would be as impactful in the future,” she says. “How we view diversity today is rooted in legacy issues. “Don’t get me wrong, I think there is absolutely disparity in some areas,” she continues. “But I think the approach will be different, and the focus, looking forward, should be more about inclusion. There’s a piece around the economic background of individuals and making opportunities fair and equal: social mobility.” One practical move in this direction has involved Santander embracing the apprenticeship agenda, with an initial apprenticeship scheme launched in 2016. “We’ve typically focused on graduate hires, but we’ve shifted our thinking, it’s definitely growing,” says Bakhshi. D&I is a proven factor in staff engagement and therefore a tool in attracting and retaining talent. Engagement cannot assume too much importance in a competitive marketplace. “I think there will always be a battle for the best people, especially as we move into a more digital space,” says Bakhshi. “We’re competing for a skill-set we haven’t had to look for before. We’re hiring into roles we haven’t hired before. That’s the nature of a changing industry. It’s important to think about how you attract that talent. No matter how tech shifts that recruitment space, you’re still engaging with the person. That personal element is really important.” Keeping things ‘human’ includes engendering trust in your organisation and ensuring authenticity: “When you look at it from an HR perspective, the important part is being clear about what your organisation stands for; people want to be clear about this, whether it’s who they bank with or the company they work for. “For Santander, what has resonated is making sure everything we do is ‘simple, personal, fair’. This principle was initially centred around one of our products and the way we bank, but that “If I were to take a future lens and look at diversity, I would question whether our traditional approach would be as impactful in the future”