There has been a fundamental shift in how Asset Managers approach and empower their work force. The pandemic has had an immense impact on work culture and ways of working which has forced leadership teams to react at breakneck speed.
Many individuals have gained a clearer idea of what they want from their work life/balance. Asset Managers have to be prepared to allow flexibility in the work place. Not taking this into consideration risks disillusionment amongst staff who may look for other opportunities.
If anything, the pandemic has taught us that talent and culture matters. Leaders within the industry need to be forward thinking and able to cultivate a positive environment whilst braving unknown working conditions. There is increasing correlation between those firms with a positive culture and revenue growth expectations. The pandemic continues to test leadership teams to provide a vision for the future and credible steps to achieve this. Hiring and retaining the right talent to achieve this has become of vital importance.
There are a number of key elements that firms need to get prioritise to attract top talent; a transparent communication strategy, addressing the firm’s vision and ambition, upskilling existing talent ready for potential change, succession planning and colleague resilience.
Carlyle has gleaned that a colleague and customer focused culture has become paramount during the pandemic. And whilst many firms have not implemented a long-term return to work policy they have instead employed a hybrid model. Businesses need to be flexible, need to take under consideration what this would mean from a cost perspective and from an employment satisfaction standpoint. Businesses that are achieving higher employee satisfaction scores are those offering choice in terms of flexible working strategies. Those that are mandating either work from home or return to the office are of less appeal. Communication and choice is key with whatever model is chosen.
2022 is likely to continue to test leadership teams. Talent needs to be carefully managed, continued to be upskilled in light of new ways of working and embracing technology to allow flexible working. They need to deliver a clear sense of purpose to maintain the right culture to ensure employee satisfaction is met.
The pandemic has encouraged leadership teams to drive the industry forward, with colleague and client engagement being a priority. Advancements in the use of technology has allowed efficiency in customer engagement like never before with further deployment of AI and robotisation expected to increase this. Investment teams are also using more data than ever and utilising this in a more efficient and precise manner. Ensuring implementation of this technology and the relevant teams will be vital. Technology teams already do and are set to continue to play a key role in how investment teams operate and analyse market data. Finally, how leadership teams understand new working patterns will be a continued task throughout 2022. Ensuring engagement with a business through clear communication and a values driven strategy will be paramount for engagement and retention in 2022.
George Windsor, Head of Asset Management, Carlyle