Maximum Management & Frazer Jones hosted their HR in Finance breakfast at the Michelin starred restaurant, Ai Fiori, on Wednesday in New York. Eleven HR leaders were in attendance, bringing a diversity of perspectives from an industry cross-section including Hedge Funds, Private Equity, Investment Banking and Fintech firms. Participants drove the dialogue, with a focus on the changing regulatory landscape, development and retention and gender diversity.
At the top of the agenda was the imminent legislative change regarding compensation history which is set to come into effect next month; the group shared their strategies on internal policies, revamped procedures and training to ensure legal compliance both internally and with external providers. Although many firms have begun to implement these changes, there was a common theme of uncertainty as to how best to approach the legislation in the longer term once the official guidelines are completely released. Maximum Management & Frazer Jones has partnered with a leading law firm to produce a summary document of these guidelines which we look forward to releasing in early October.
Retention and development of early career staff continue to be hot topics for many organizations within the Financial Services sphere, particularly given the competition to attract and keep the most sought after talent. Participants shared their successes around a dichotomy of approaches, from assisting the employee to acclimate to the reality of working in Financial Services (resiliency training for new employees) to driving change in the business environment (such as introducing flexible work schedules or increasing philanthropic opportunities to foster greater engagement).
The wider question regarding retention most touched upon was turnover rate. It seems a shift in thinking has occurred wherein firms are recognizing that extending length of service is the top priority, valuing this goal above driving down pure turnover rates. Especially with regard to their entry-level populations, strategies which increase the length of tenure, even by just a few months, had measurable impact on their return on investment. Strategies discussed to achieve this included incentive structures and enhanced training and engagement initiatives.
For smaller firms, perception and communication management were vital in retaining employees. There was wide acknowledgement that employees value both visibility and exposure to new work/projects, yet while formal role expansion and promotions are valuable, poor positioning and communication in the organization could result in these losing their engagement impact.
Participants shared thoughts on gender diversity in the workplace. Leaders cited that they are seeing more success in gender inclusion at the associate level across the board, however they continue to encounter challenges in retaining women at the more senior and executive levels.
On the whole, the participants were motivated to understand and share opportunities for HR to influence the employee experience in meaningful ways that support engagement and development, whether within the organization or beyond.
Thank you to those that attended. If you are a Group or Regional HR leader for a Financial Services organization and would like to be involved in future events, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.