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DSM Employee Skills for the Digital Economy

Emerging Skills for Employees at Principal Financial in

June 23, 2017

Principal’s significant investment in renovating our campus demonstrates our commitment to have our global headquarters in Downtown Des Moines (DSM). And, we need digital skills to continue to be the successful company we have been.

Fundamental changes in businesses are driving companies like Principal to emphasize new workforce capabilities and skills. Much of that is being driven by the move to digital models built on technology-driven engagement of customers, salesforce, employees and digital partners.

As companies transform, we need employees who can thrive in agile practices, use data to constantly improve customer experience and build risk management (including cybersecurity) into everything they do.

Increasingly, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) knowledge is a requirement for all knowledge-based jobs — not just jobs that have been traditionally in those disciplines. That’s why the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council successes are so important to the future of all of our businesses, not just those with large percentages of IT or engineering professionals.

As Principal increasingly becomes a more digital company, and as we modernize our Downtown DSM campus, we are converting our office space to support the transformation. Agile, collaborative workspace is critical in positioning our employees to lead Principal’s digital transformation.  

In addition, we have identified emerging skills that we will be looking for in our future workforce. 

Essential Emerging Skills

  • Data: The ability to interpret data to create action plans.
  • Customer experience: Ensuring that all aspects of our customers’ experience is simple and engaging, no matter how they choose to interact with us.
  • Change agility: The ability to quickly respond to a constantly changing environment.
  • Risk management: The ability to acquire and apply rapidly evolving risk management techniques.
  • Digital partner management: Managing digital partners, including startups and other non-traditional partners, that are available to large enterprises through digital ecosystems.

While Principal expects there will be professional roles dedicated to these skills and disciplines, we will be increasingly looking for these skills in all leaders and professionals.


Learn more about working in Greater Des Moines (DSM), including finding a job, an internship, professional development and more.

Gary Scholten

Gary P. Scholten is the executive vice president, chief information officer and chief digital officer of Principal Financial GroupĀ®. He's responsible for overseeing the company's use of Information Technology and driving digital strategy into all aspects of the business. He also leads the company's offshore subsidiary and oversees supplier management.