GetFive Insights

Reskilling and Continuous Learning at Mastercard

October 9, 2019
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Business People Working in The Office

We at GetFive recently held our 81st HR network breakfast seminar, and it was a stunner. The topic was “The ROI and Reality of Reskilling,” and we assembled a killer panel that shared some important insights. At the table that day:

  • Michael Leadbetter, CEO of Pivot Factory, an innovation consulting company that helps organizations deal with disruption.
  • Kelly Joscelyne, chief talent officer at Mastercard.
  • Jake Schwartz, the founder and CEO of General Assembly, the world leader in upskilling and reskilling programs.
  • Carla Arellano, a partner at McKinsey and Company, the global management consulting firm.

We thought what this prestigious group had to say about the reality of reskilling was too good not to capture. This is the fourth in a series of blogs about this seminar. Think of it as your chance to be a fly on the wall if you were unable to make it.

At Mastercard, reskilling is all about continuous learning, immersion in that learning, and building talent pipelines within the organization.

“I think the clue is in the title, really, in terms of the return on investment of reskilling,” said Kelly Joscelyne, chief talent officer at Mastercard. “Super important. This is about thinking about how you grow and compete in the market that you’re in, and in order to grow, compete, [and] ensure shareholder value, you need to be reskilling.”

Why? Things are changing constantly because the customer base is changing constantly as well. From a “winning in the marketplace perspective” Joscelyne thinks reskilling is a no-brainer.

“What we know is that organizations that have a continuous learning culture will win,” she said. “I think sometimes we have a tendency to just want to recruit to solve. So it’s: Let’s go get those skills. Even within our organization we have that, ‘We’ve just won a new client, have we got the skills we need? Get the recruitment function on it.’”

But the issue then becomes how do you actually keep those people? Retention is becoming more and more prolific. Think about how many jobs your grandfather had in his lifetime. One, right? How many have you had? How many will your children have?

She explained from the Mastercard perspective, they take three specific angles on continuous learning and reskilling.

  1. Making sure their learning platforms will enable continuous learning, digital fluency. How do you bring real-time learning to people anywhere, anytime, anyhow? Rather than the more traditional classroom-based static training, learning platforms will take center stage.
  2. Immersion. People learn through experience, so it’s much more of a “teach, don’t tell” culture that we need to foster. “Merger and acquisitions are a massive part of Mastercard’s strategy right now,” Joscelyne explained. “That means that we’re bringing on board new, different skills to our existing workforce as well. So how do we create immersions where we can bring new populations together with our core? And that’s actually really exciting for us.”
  3. Building talent pipelines within the organization. It’s also about looking at market trends externally and being very selective and targeted. 

Another thing to note, she said, is reskilling is not just about technical skills, but about the ability to harness and grow professional skills or soft skills. If an employee is a genius at IT but can’t communicate those technical concepts to a client, you’re in trouble. 

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