Innovating Talent: the swiss-army-workforce of the future

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There are some important trends in the world of work that have us very curious. Outsourcing, automation, and quickly changing markets and technologies mean that the job market and the skills required to succeed are evolving quickly.

In our mission to become more than a bank, we are thinking about the jobs of the future, the types of employees that will lead in the future of work, and how ATB can be a place where those types of people can thrive.

Banking as we know it is on the brink of change. At ATB, we are building our capabilities and skill sets to be prepared for a new fast-paced world. And we’re taking inspiration from individuals who are set for success with diverse knowledge and skills and the ability to quickly adapt when jobs are automated or required skill sets change.

We’ve all heard of ‘unicorn’ employees. Those magical creatures who seem to be capable of doing anything thrown at them, and doing it well. They are called unicorns because we’ve heard stories of them, but often only second-hand—do they really exist? It is our prediction that these ‘unicorns’ will become the norm: more of a swiss-army-workforce.

The swiss-army-workforce knows how to acquire the tools required for whatever needs to be accomplished. Later in their careers, swiss-army-knife employees have extremely broad experience and skills—and they know how to draw on their broad knowledge, even in completely new roles or sectors. These team members are extremely compelling as an employer—what if you could have three people with the broad skill set of 10, or team members who can quickly acquire the skills to take on a new role. People who can adapt, switch, and be fluid between roles to bring things to life.

We still need the experts who have deep domain expertise—but equally important are people who are able to switch directions. What about all those jobs that will be replaced with automation? A swiss-army-workforce can be fearless in the face of change.

In the quest to be ready for the future of banking, we are exploring our innovative mindset, as an organization and at the individual level. We have some great examples internally at ATB of the natural born innovators and those who have nurtured themselves into an innovative mindset.

So what makes ATB a place where unicorns and a swiss-army-workforce can thrive?

Well, to start, we are fully bought into innovation and internal disruption: from the executive team to our risk and fraud departments—everyone is in. That means we are able to overcome barriers to do things like breaking into markets outside of traditional banking and constantly changing how we work internally.

Another huge factor is the team. Innovation in banking won’t come from the ideas of one individual—we’re intentional about building a team full of diverse thinkers and different backgrounds. People who are bought into the the mission and values of continuous disruption and building a future of banking for the happiness of Albertans. We have great people, and trust in our team. That means that team members have autonomy to explore new ideas and are empowered to be bold.

Just like disruption in the job market from technological change, banking is at high risk of major upheaval. We are striving to figure out our place in that future, which means we have to think beyond what we are and towards what we could become. As an organization, we need the same characteristics of individuals who are building the skills and capabilities to quickly adapt. Want to be part of a team building intentionally for the future? Check out our open positions.