Create a broader environment to drive innovation, says CIB's Anré Klopper-Stroh


“Our role within Human Capital is to be the custodians of culture and strategically partner the people agenda that enables our business strategy,” says Anré Klopper-Stroh, Human Capital Head for the Corporate & Investment Bank (CIB) within the Standard Bank Group. “The role of the Human Capital team within CIB is to partner our people in, for and across Africa to realise their ambitions, thus enabling our clients and the communities in which we operate to achieve their objectives. Furthermore, we need to position ourselves for what the future holds by understanding the mindsets, skillsets, and toolsets required for our people to stay relevant and contribute to the ambitions of the business into the future.”

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What trends are you seeing in your area of expertise that finance leaders should be aware of?
"As a Human Capital team, we are addressing key trends pertaining to culture; equipping people for change and building resilience; talent acquisition; diversity and inclusion; and technology. I'll take each one in turn."
"Culture: this is a key focus area for us as business leaders responsible for the organisational health of the bank. We need to enable our businesses to build a culture that supports the bank in achieving its business objectives. This is so much broader than traditional employee satisfaction. While enabling engaged and motivated employees is important, this is also about creating a broader environment that drives innovation and excellence by aligning our own business goals with our client's aspirations."

"Within Human Capital we are challenging ourselves to focus less on the now, concentrating instead on building systems and culture for an ever-changing future. This means listening to employees and then using these insights to leverage opportunities to deliver our goals."

"A key focus area includes aligning our people with the bank's broader vision to drive Africa's growth. We are not just bankers but people who are passionate and energised by our vision to improve lives among all the communities in which we operate."
"Equipping people for change and building resilience: we are focusing not only on equipping people for change but on equipping people to respond to change at an accelerated pace. A key competence in meeting and leveraging the change and opportunity which lies ahead is a resilient, flexible and innovative culture."
"Talent acquisition: as jobs and required skills sets change at a rapid pace, sourcing, attracting and recruiting the right people into the right roles at the right time is fundamental to our success. This impacts how we source talent and, importantly, how we attract people whose ambitions align to our purpose of driving Africa's growth. Within Human Capital we are privileged to play a pivotal role in finding those people who possess those special characteristics which makes them a Standard Banker - people who are inspired and passionate about driving the African continent forward."
"Diversity and inclusion: a global focus area is ensuring that we drive an engaged, diverse and inclusive workplace so we can leverage the full potential of people from varied backgrounds and with different levels of experiences and expertise. This enhances our ability to continuously challenge ourselves to deliver the best solutions to our clients and to provide service excellence.

"Our role within Human Capital is to create an exceptional employee experience for our people so to deliver to our clients. We aspire to remove barriers for our employees to enable us all to bring our true selves to work so to flourish, so that we exceed not only our clients' expectations but also our personal and organisational aspirations."

"Technology: a noteworthy trend is the significant advancement in technology - technology has changed and will continue to impact how we live and how we work. Our role as Human Capital practitioners is to support people to continue to grow, develop and engage with new technologies, as consumers within the organisation. "
"Exponential technologies have heralded driverless cars, mechanisation and automation, for example. These technologies are transforming the workplace. We need to focus on utilising and leveraging technology to provide solutions to our challenges so that our people can focus on improving the client experience."

"As the organisation becomes digital, Human Capital must support the business in leading these changes. This means going beyond digitising Human Capital platforms to developing digital workplaces and workforces which change how people work and the way in which we deliver to clients."

"Technological advances will continue to impact how we live, how we work, and how organisations evolve. From a Human Capital perspective, our role is to equip and inspire our workforce to support and benefit from the very real advantages of operating effectively in a digitised world."

How are you helping your clients with these challenges?
"Standard Bank has developed and implemented various technologies aimed at enabling client's digital capability. Shyft, for example, is enhancing clients' digital payments and foreign exchange ability. This is just one example of our internet and mobile banking offering. The digital era is here and we will continue to improve the service to our clients using technology."

"As we focus on listening to our employees, we also prioritise listening to our clients, making improvements which they want to see by engaging and partnering with clients on their own change journeys. This means that we never stay in the same place but continuously seek to enhance our offerings and grow our people to consistently deliver on our client commitments."

"We equip our people to proactively respond to clients across our diverse and unique footprint. We are both proud of - and humbled by - our ability to connect our clients to the right opportunities and solutions through our knowledgeable people on the ground across the continent."

What should CFOs expect over the next 12 to 18 months?"Constant change in technology and innovation, with new demands from our clients as well as current and our future employees. CFOs should be aware of challenges in identifying and attracting talent - as well as how we focus on finding people with the desire, passion and energy to grow Africa, their clients, their teams and themselves."

"Additionally, CFOs can look forward to a fundamental change in what leadership expects from them. While in the past technical skills were paramount, today it is only the minimum requirement. Equally important is leadership that inspires, can lead teams into the future and who have the stamina and energy to guide and innovate with passion and enthusiasm."

"Our opportunity lies in truly knowing our clients and our people by listening to and learning from them to ensure that we provide fit-for-purpose solutions and support, in the moments that matter to them."

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