​We are in a time of significant change. Since early 2020, the way we live and work has been radically transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of life has moved online, whether it's communicating, banking, education/schooling, shopping or working.

We have never been more reliant on technology in our daily lives, and this shift isn't going to go away even when the dust has settled in a post-COVID world. 

I'll share how we think about our talent strategy to not just align with our business strategy but address some of the key trends that are happening around us. 

Today, we're living through what some people refer to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) – the ongoing automation using modern, smart technology. Industrial transitions fundamentally change the way we work, trade, communicate, consume, our living standards, our settlement patterns, and even our health. 

In this 4IR world that we are in, the speed of change is faster than ever, and it has accelerated even more on the back of the pandemic. This only means we must adapt quickly to constantly meet and exceed customer experience as their expectations have heightened with technology adoption. To effectively do so, we would need to embrace disruptive emerging technologies. And with longer life expectancy and improved health on the back on new technologies, employees are retiring later, and companies need to adapt their management styles to cater to a multi-generational workforce. 

I will touch on these key themes: 

​1. Service on their terms


The needs of customers have evolved over time. The modern world customer wants personalized and often instant customer service that is tailored for them. In short, they won't stick with any business or brand if they don't deliver, especially when they have so many more choices out there. 

Exceeding customer expectations and being client-centric will improve customer satisfaction and help create repeat customers. It also sets companies and brands apart in a competitive market and goes a long way toward brand loyalty. 

For this reason, qualities such as active listening, empathy and problem-solving are essential no matter what your role is in the company. Therefore, communication and interpersonal skills will continue to be a priority for hiring organizations.  

​2. Embracing disruptive emerging technologies 

Beyond people skills, digital capabilities are key to meeting and exceeding customer expectations and that’s why we need to embrace emerging technologies.

In banking, emerging technologies are being used in a myriad of ways, whether it is to enhance customer service offerings, or reshape payments processing and simplify trade processes. It’s also being used for fraud detection and surveillance among others.   

There are many disruptive technologies today that allow us to consume and analyse large quantities of data, apply reasoning in real time and engage customers through natural language and digital interfaces.

These technologies require skills in Data Science, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Engineering, Cloud Computing and Product Development, which are in-demand not just in banking but across all sectors.

​3. Harnessing the power of a multi-generational and diverse workforce  

The third change that impacts our workforce is demographics. 

Today, we’re seeing four generations in the workplace – Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z. At Citi, we have employees ranging in age from their late teens to their 70s. 

With labour shortages, we must encourage diverse talent of different ages to work well together, be inclusive and learn from one another. At Citi, this is critical as we serve diverse clients. We believe that in order for us to better understand our customers, the diversity in our workforce must mirror the diversity of our clients. 

Technology has made the world borderless. For this reason, talent who thrive in diverse and inclusive environments, in every sense of the word, will be increasingly in demand. 

​The Road Ahead

Changing consumer needs, technology and demographics have integrated to create a significant transition that requires us to be agile, adapt and learn faster.

We must foster lifelong learning and continuously strive to be relevant and approach the world with a beginner’s mind in an environment where nothing stays the same.  

Article written by:

Stacey N. Lacy
Citi Asia Pacific Chief Information Officer and Operations and Technology Head

IBF Fellow

By Stacey N. Lacy