It’s easy for business leaders to talk about upskilling their employees to support digital transformation. But the days of merely talking about upskilling — or worse, truly half-hearted education efforts — are limited. To be adaptive, companies must quickly and seriously address knowledge and skill gaps that impede their strategic goals. To truly develop its in-house tech expertise, a global wealth management firm approached EPAM Continuum for help in creating practical learning pathways for success. Using EPAM’s industry-recognized talent ecosystem, agile project management practices, and a collaborative team of learning and industry experts, the company now has an efficient, integrated approach to finding, developing and retaining high-quality IT leaders and teams.
Using an Integrated Talent Ecosystem to Support Capability Building
This particular client sought to develop an integrated learning ecosystem for four personas that would establish and support a culture where learning is acknowledged, prioritized and rewarded. Through the partnership with EPAM Continuum, the client wanted to make measurable progress on its learning strategy and — via new ecosystem resources and train-the-trainer activities — prepare to continue the learning journey on its own in the future. The engagement brought together three teams — integrated consulting, Client Learning & Talent Enablement, and technical delivery subject matter experts — to achieve these goals.
During the first phase of the engagement, EPAM Continuum spoke with over 60 people in a wide variety of roles at the company. One thing quickly became clear: The relationships within this organization are key to its success. Employees reported relying heavily on professional relationships and the connections of others to solve problems, add value and grow into new roles. For newer team members who had not yet established these relationships, this posed challenges. Without clear guidelines and a single source of truth for growth and career planning, newer employees struggled in several areas.
Making it Real
Upon completing discovery, EPAM Continuum determined that many of these situations could be solved with clear communication, defined skills, growth planning and knowledge management practices. The team tailored its proprietary learning and talent management resources to the client’s specific needs and contexts.
The first step was to develop and communicate clear skill expectations for job roles. Competency matrices are the foundation of the talent ecosystem. They make growth goals and promotion criteria transparent, which in turn directs and motivates learners. Creating competency matrices that outlined the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to succeed would provide team members guidance on areas needed for growth and the opportunities available to them.
The Path Forward
Today’s Integrated Talent Ecosystem
Over 125 employees participated in various pilots providing feedback, testing tools and engaging in workshops, katas and panel discussions. Their insights directly contributed to the learning pathways, practice activities and content that practitioners now use every day. Feedback from employees also guides the continuing development of activities and communities across the organization. Using these insights to drive learning experiences ensures the company can develop and retain engineers and employees with not just technical proficiency but also vital business knowledge, such as a common taxonomy and shared understanding of financial services and investment acumen.
Today, this wealth management leader has integrated the training content into its existing systems and leverages the talent ecosystem to generate targeted growth plans for employees, side-by-side with other training and compliance materials. This fully integrated, business-driven talent ecosystem supercharges organizational transformation, supports a culture of continuous learning, and helps the company develop and improve the capabilities it needs to thrive and excel in the future.