The July edition of the Chief Investment Officer Allocator Insights webinar series presented some best practices CIOs can use when looking to attract and retain talent for their investment team—and how they can foster a culture conducive to retention and growth.
The panelists also discussed how to measure and recognize team success and how to incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives into the culture-building process. They also talked about the best ways to build an effective reporting hierarchy to meet changing organizational needs. (You can register here to watch a recording of the webinar.)
“When you think about building an investment business team, one of the huge opportunities unlocked by the pandemic is remote and hybrid working – and after more than two years, the trend is becoming permanent,” said George Wilbanks, founding partner of Wilbanks Partners. “Remote working has provided a huge efficiency boost for many tasks, including less distraction and a reduced commute.”
One thing Shifat Hasan, head of investment performance and compliance at CalSTRS, said the pandemic has taught her is to reexamine even her most strongly held beliefs about what the workplace should be when it comes to decision-making , which have an impact on the employee’s work experience. She has learned to be open and flexible in situations that may require quick action, she noted.
When it comes to maintaining a positive culture, Hassan said there are two areas she focuses on the most, and those are “well-being” and “opportunities.”
“When I talk about well-being, we want a safe and open platform or culture for people to share ideas and thoughts,” she said.
Traditionally, Hassan said, that effort has been all about “specific workplace well-being,” but that has changed.
“After the pandemic, what I’ve learned is that wellness can transcend workplace issues,” she said. “It can be about improving the individual and family life experiences of team members. Prosperity has greatly expanded.”
When thinking about how best to offer opportunities to the team, Hassan said, it’s important to recognize that opportunity can mean different things to different people—which means it has to find a way to bridge those gaps.
“I think a key component is building human connections,” Hassan said. “If I run them in person with my team members and learn what makes them work, what gets them going in the morning, I can better understand what the opportunities mean to them.”
For some, this may allow them to do something they have never done before, while other employees may want to take a course to develop new skills, help from Hassan. Opportunities for many employees may not always be related to a promotion or salary increase. Sometimes employees appreciate a leader who can keep them engaged and provide a good work experience within their current role.
It’s important for leaders to set the culture and expectations for the work experience, said Angela Rodel, president of the Pacific Retirement and Investment Institute. This includes having diverse voices to learn from at the table.
“It’s not about having people so we can check a box saying we have diverse voices,” Rodel said. “It’s about actually learning from these different voices and making us better investors. With diversity, we perform better and therefore can deliver to our shareholders and stakeholders what they expect from us as an organization.”
Tags: Angela Rodel , CalSTRS , employee retention , George Wilbanks , Pacific Retirement and Investment Institute , recruiting , Shifat Hasan , Wilbanks Partners