4. Remote working is testing management styles and operations
The concept of management will change as the workforce makes wellness a greater priority.
Participants discussed key organizational challenges and concerns that have emerged as the impact of the pandemic continues to unfold.
Enhanced focus on wellness
Wellness has risen on board agendas as workforces grapple with the ongoing adjustments to their professional and personal lives. As one director said, “Every board call I’ve had since this began has had wellness as one of the first topics of conversation.” Employee wellness is also linked to operational resilience; as one participant noted, “The more burned out your people are, the more operational risk you might see.”
Some participants said their institutions have been regularly surveying employees to get feedback, monitor wellness, and promote transparency. One participant cautioned that the employees perhaps most at risk are not the ones working remotely in isolation, but rather those individuals working on the front lines and in branches.
Proactive management and preservation of company culture
Bank leaders are reconsidering management styles and the maintenance of culture in the short term and increasingly, the longer term, as remote working continues.
“I’m intrigued by the prospect of how we need to change the concept of management in a remote working world,” one director noted. “One of our lessons learned already has been around the need for more communication.”
Participants agree on the need for more proactive management, and as time goes on, erosion of culture may become a growing concern. A director explained that things have worked out well so far because banks had relationships prior to the crisis. “We still need ways and mechanisms in place to ensure that going forward, relationships are still being formed and reinforced. This is not only true for our workforce, but also relationships with customers and the trust that is established in those relationships by having interpersonal knowledge and interactions with one another.”