How TD is helping Canadians prepare for the changing nature of work

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The workforce is changing, and TD is investing in innovation so Canadians can be confident in the future

The nature of work is rapidly being redefined. Advances in technology are being felt across industries and borders, and with developments such as artificial intelligence and machine learning — which are increasingly disrupting the traditional work force — many Canadians are wondering if they have the right skills to fill evolving roles, says Theresa McLaughlin, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Marketing, Citizenship and Customer Experience Officer, TD Bank Group.

“We’re in a time of tremendous change,” McLaughlin adds. “In fact, a survey of Canadians revealed that 79% do not feel confident about their financial future. At TD, we believe we have an opportunity – and an obligation – to help.”

In recent years TD has invested in programs that promote upskilling — the ongoing process of learning new skills in order to participate in the workforce of today and in the future. The goal? To help more people participate in the changing world of work. “Everything we do at TD, all starts with what’s happening with our customers – and colleagues – today,” she adds.

In 2018, TD established the TD Ready Challenge, an initiative that provides 10 grants of $1 million (CAD) each to forward-thinking organizations creating innovative and scalable solutions aimed at building a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow. McLaughlin describes the Challenge as “a very competitive process that helps promote innovative thinking and new ways to solve big challenges.” In its inaugural year, the winners presented scalable ideas focused on financial security and increasing income stability, to help improve financial confidence by preparing people with the skills they will need for the economy of the future.

The winning solutions ranged from providing microloans to skilled immigrants who need certification to work in Canada, to breaking down barriers for women to land higher-wage jobs in information technology. McLaughlin explains that the TD Ready Challenge helps unlock the power of collaboration between the private sector and those public sectors that are closely working on potential solutions in four areas critical to building an inclusive tomorrow – Financial Security, a more Vibrant Planet, Connected Communities and Better Health.

The TD Ready Challenge is part of the TD Ready Commitment, which was launched two years ago and targets $1 billion by 2030 towards promoting change, aiding progress, and making the world a better, more inclusive place. “The TD Ready Commitment is focused on linking our business, philanthropy and people, so we can succeed in our commitment to help enrich the lives of our customers, colleagues and communities,” explains McLaughlin, who was also a judge for the TD Ready Challenge.

To illustrate the impact of the changing nature of work, TD created A Tall Tale, a short video. Over the course of two minutes, the video brings to life the kind of real-world change the TD Ready Commitment is designed to help spur. The ad tells the story of a tall woman who becomes unemployed after the bookshop she works for closes. However, with the help of an organization that TD funds through the TD Ready Commitment, she takes her side interest in fashion design and develops the skills she needs to launch her own clothing line for tall women.

Photo of Theresa McLaughlin, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Marketing, Citizenship and Customer Experience Officer, TD Bank Group.

“We support community programs that help real people develop the skills they need to succeed in this changing world,” says McLaughlin.

“In addition to the television campaign, we’re also leveraging digital channels,” she adds, noting TD is a leading digital bank in the marketplace, and it boasts more than 13 million active online and mobile customers as of October 2019.

The CMO also emphasizes the importance of taking these steps towards progress now. “Four in 10 Canadians surveyed experience moderate-to-high levels of income volatility,” says McLaughlin, citing the results of a survey conducted on behalf of TD. The emergent trend isn’t expected to ease in the future with the gig economy and other developments reshaping how business is done — and that makes learning new skills even more important to remain competitive. In fact, a global PricewaterhouseCoopers survey finds that more than half of all workers believe automation in particular will either make their job obsolete or change significantly within a decade.

While TD’s efforts involve raising public awareness, the bank also remains focused inwardly on its own operations – from working with employees to create robust career development plans, to investing in learning opportunities ranging from building digital skills to improving financial expertise. “Our colleagues are able to say, ‘I am growing,’ ‘I am doing something different,’ ‘I am learning’,” says McLaughlin. “It’s extremely rewarding to know that so many of our employees are able to embrace change and grow their careers at the bank. It enables us to attract and retain the talent we need for our continued success,” says McLaughlin.

McLaughlin suggests that the workforce is eager to upskill and keen to equip themselves with the skills they need for the future. McLaughlin adds some words of encouragement that are at the heart of the TD Ready Commitment: “If you believe in yourself and leverage programs and mentors to aid in your journey — it can actually be a great opportunity.”

In terms of what’s in store for the TD Ready Commitment moving ahead, the TD Ready Challenge will return this year with a new focus. “As far as helping to support opportunities for the future, we will continue to do that,” says McLaughlin. “We’re just getting started.”

Watch A Tall Tale below:

TD was recently named the Most Valuable Canadian Brand according to the 2020 Brand Finance Top 100 Canadian Brands report.