Imagine being in the early stages of a strategic talent transformation when the Covid19 emergency strikes. That’s the reality faced by Sandra Dawson, Group Head of Talent Acquisition at Quintet Private Bank. Sandra was already in the early months of a journey to evolve talent acquisition across a European-wide wealth management network when the scale of the Covid challenge became apparent.
Here’s what happened – and the lessons learned – as the story unfolded…
“Millions of words have already been written about the changes in European working life caused by the pandemic. My own experience certainly suggests that we’re living through a time of extraordinary change. Prior to Covid-19, some organisations may have lacked the momentum to change and adapt. Today, it’s evidently both an imperative and an opportunity for every company to review working practices afresh and become more attractive to talent looking to join a progressive business with strong ethics and a real purpose.
It may seem slightly strange to be taking positives from the last 12 weeks, but given that we were already at an early stage of a transformation programme being driven by Donna Burns’s leadership of our Group HR function, we’ve been able to ensure that our “house” is fit for purpose from the start of the emergency.
THE ESSENTIAL DRIVE TO ENGAGE WITH OUR EMPLOYEES AND GIVE THEM THE PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY THEY ALL NEED.
We were already implementing a range of new people initiatives and work practices to keep employees engaged and provide ongoing opportunities for regular two-way dialogue, including structured feedback – so the essential drive to engage with our employees and give them the psychological safety that all of us need was already in place. We’ve been conscious to engage inclusively through a very wide range of channels, conducting regular pulse surveys to ensure we’re supporting everyone, and the results continue to be positive – so we’re obviously pleased and reassured to see that our people feel connected and cared for in these times.
PROVIDING A VERY VISIBLE LEADERSHIP HAS BEEN CRITICAL THROUGHOUT ALL OF THIS.
Providing a very visible leadership has been critical throughout all of this. We introduced a series of weekly videos from members of our leadership team, who film themselves at home to connect with the whole employee population. These are fun and authentic videos that circulate every Friday – providing personal, empathetic messaging around keeping healthy and safe, as well as staying connected with the financial wellbeing of our clients.
An emergency such as this is a moment of truth for any organisation and we’re fortunate that our values are deeply embedded right across our network, from Amsterdam, Brussels, and London, to Luxembourg, Madrid, Munich and Zurich. Wherever we are, our purpose is to be the most trusted fiduciary of family wealth, doing the right thing for our clients in a way that makes a meaningful impact on their lives. We live by that ethos internally and our Group CEO, Jakob Stott, has been interacting with teams and colleagues, using all the technology available, to connect with everyone and continuously highlight our purpose.
VALUES, PRINCIPLES AND CULTURE ARE AT THE HEART OF ANY CHANGE.
The biggest lesson learned over the past few months? It’s not just about the numbers. Values, principles and culture are at the heart of any change. At Quintet, prior to Covid-19, our Leadership Development programme was already underway and we were reviewing many of our people programmes, including our EVP and talent strategy and how that will best serve our people and, ultimately, our clients. Covid has, if anything, reinforced our conviction to continue this transformation, giving us a further incentive to create a joined-up people strategy as part of our business vision.”
Sandra Dawson, Group Head of Talent Acquisition, Quintet Private Bank.
Thank you Sandra for those valuable insights into responding to the current challenges. If you would like to enhance your skills and expertise to meet your own organisational challenges, find out more about our Managing, Leading and Landing Change, Leadership Development, Talent Development and Proposition Development workshops.