There are three key elements of Mastercard’s “triple crown” of talent acquisition and retention which help to drive a range of outcomes within the multinational financial services firm, according to its chief talent officer Kelly Joscelyne.
Mastercard invests in its current and future workforce by providing employees with opportunities to develop skills that will help them succeed, not just in their current job, but throughout their career, Joscelyne explained.
“It’s our responsibility to support people’s transition between the skills required to succeed today and the ones they’ll need to thrive tomorrow,” she said.
“We cultivate a culture of continuous learning to provide employees a variety of experiences to develop current capabilities and acquire new skills to sustain their marketability.
“For us in talent development and management, this is the triple crown for acquisition and retention of top talent: job satisfaction, social purpose and increase of skills.”
Some of the elements of Mastercard’s talent management strategy include:
1. Fostering an environment of flexibility and learning: Mastercard provides employees flexible work options, comprehensive benefits and support programs to help make best use of their time and get answers and assistance for common work/life/family concerns.
“We’re focusing on development as a critical part of employee-manager relations,” said Joscelyne.
“We also have a culture of learning, where each employee has a development card that isn’t about ratings or results but about a path to a fulfilling and productive career at the company.”
The firm offers progressive workplace programs, benefits and services to support working parents and their families throughout life’s journey – regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
“We’re focusing on development as a critical part of employee-manager relations”
Benefits reinforce the firm’s commitment to balance, inclusion and equity, and it is moving to equal parental leave for men and women to set expectations that family care is a shared responsibility
2. Future-ready: Joscelyne said that Mastercard believes in a future where people are still relevant – and will still be the difference-maker in the success of most organisations.
“As a tech innovator, we think about the skillsets needed to power the digital economy – now and in the future,” she said.
“In our technology-enabled world, where every company has a digital and data focus, talent management is being redefined by the rapid changes and maturation of emerging technologies.”
For example, Mastercard built an AI Garage engine that helped analyse the development needs of more than 17,000 employees and this information will now be used to inform learning and development investments for 2020.
“AI has significantly enhanced our capability in this regard,” said Joscelyne.
The firm has also invested in “learning lounges” in major office locations across the world. These lounges are digital environments where technology connects employees across geographies in real-time, and serve as multi-purpose collaborative environments which offer an informal and intimate experience.
“These foster our vision of creating the most enviable learning environment possible and also support our culture of decency by sharing experiences and innovative ideas among our diverse employee population,” said Joscelyne.
“As a tech innovator, we think about the skillsets needed to power the digital economy – now and in the future”
3. Community engagement: Employees’ efforts create social impact, according to Joscelyne, who explained that a recent internal survey about community engagement and skill-building found that 87 percent of employees equate volunteerism with their job satisfaction.
Mastercard also runs a program encouraging young women and girls to explore possibilities and careers in technology through its STEM education program Girls4Tech
Now in its fifth year, this program has reached more than 400,000 girls, with a goal of reaching 1 million girls by 2025.
The firm is also building a global talent philanthropy program to apply the skills and expertise of employees to giving back and creating social impact, Joscelyne added.
Improving leadership development
Joscelyne explained that it is important to set the vision and strategy for meeting any internal and external talent needs across the global organisation, from talent attraction, acquisition and leadership development, through to succession planning, employee engagement and change management.
Leadership development is strongly prioritised within different areas of the business and also across all levels in the organisation, she said.
“A few key aspects covered in our leadership programs are personal awareness: understanding ‘self’, future of leadership, being next generation leaders, ethical and moral leadership: leading with purpose; dilemma reconciliation, decision making in ambiguity and learning from failures, and the power of diverse teams,” said Joscelyne.
Mastercard also offers a Management Associate Program to develop leaders in the early to mid-stages of their careers.
This program is an 18-month rotational leadership development one for graduates with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree focused on building general management skills.
“We thrive on innovation so we can change the way the world pays and gets paid,” said Joscelyne.
“This commitment has allowed us to attract and retain employees who like to work in a creative, challenging environment [and] we believe strongly in learning and career development, by treating the workplace as a learning lab.”
Joscelyne also said it is important to ensure all employees receive ongoing feedback to make the most of their talents in order for them to succeed.
Mastercard also provides financial assistance to eligible employees who want to take their education and professional development to the next level.
“We thrive on innovation so we can change the way the world pays and gets paid”
Reskilling and upskilling existing talent
It is important to understand the revolution of reskilling and the importance of thriving in the future of work, Joscelyne said.
“We’re applying AI tools to help our operations & technology teams with skills assessment and skill-building to support their career development and goals,” she said.
“For the past year, we’ve been working with an on-demand learning content provider to help this highly technical organisation get a better understanding of their skills inventory and gaps and promote a continuous learning culture within their function.”
Using a variety of learning content (from web-based courses and videos to exercises developed by industry experts) an AI-scored knowledge assessment engine lets employees measure their proficiency in a particular skill, with an assessment algorithm benchmarking their skill level compared to other users.
As more users’ complete assessments, this provides insights into technical skillsets across the teams assist with and also assists with diagnosis of development areas and training needs.
This technology has helped support the “two hours per week” learning commitment that the operations & technology business unit set for its people.
“So human leadership still plays an important role – even with the tech supporting the transaction,” she said.
“Employees discovered the platform – and shared word of it with their colleagues taking over 750 skills IQ assessments, and logging over 17,000 total viewing hours.”
All of these results were achieved without the tool ever being formally announced or promoted internally.
The engagement grew from the initial exploration to a formal pilot (1,500 licences) in early 2018 and ultimately an enterprise engagement of 4,000 licences by mid-2019.
“Human leadership still plays an important role – even with the tech supporting the transaction”
“As more users complete skill IQ assessments over time, we’ll be able to gain better insights into the technical skills across teams and better diagnose organisational development areas and training needs,” said Joscelyne.
“We’re also working closely with the Pluralsight team to continue enhancing the platform based on our organisational needs.”
Results and outcomes
“The outcomes of our talent management program and efforts haven’t gone unnoticed,” said Joscelyne.
“We have set a standard and will continue to empower and take thoughtful action to hold ourselves accountable for delivering meaningful results.
“By supporting employees’ efforts to give back to their communities and providing opportunities for them to build skills though volunteering and assignments, we’ve seen a definite benefit in terms of engagement.”
Its most recent employee engagement survey found that 89 per cent of employees responded positively that the company supports their volunteer efforts.
Its Girls4Tech STEM education program for young girls also found that:
- 87 percent of employee participants learned something new about the foundational elements of the business
- 83 percent increased communication skills by delivering the curriculum in a simple, engaging manner
- And 73 percent felt more confident to use the skills and knowledge learned from G4T to be more effective in their job (particularly women)
“Organisations and influencers in the world at large have also recognised our efforts,” said Joscelyne.
“We’re a destination for some of the most highly sought after – and sometimes elusive – employee demographics.”
Mastercard has been acknowledged as a best workplace for diversity, for women, for technologists, innovators, working parents, LGBTQ equality and countless other distinctions, including Great Place to Work’s 2019 Best Multinational Workplaces in Asia.
“At the end of the day, the awards are nice, but it all stems from the world-class culture we’re committed to delivering and the kind of workplace experiences people have at Mastercard,” said Joscelyne.