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Maintaining connection and investment excellence in a work-from-home environment

21 September 2020 Joanne Meyer, Head of Talent Management at Prescient
Joanne Meyer, Head of Talent Management at Prescient

Joanne Meyer, Head of Talent Management at Prescient

A shared sense of culture is key to the alignment of any team, and specifically an investment team.

The team-based and systematic outcomes-based approach adopted by Prescient ensures strong team alignment, even as new people join the team. Through this systematic approach, it is easy for each team member to rally behind the cause they are working towards, understand the processes needed to fulfil their responsibilities and trust in the people around them.

At Prescient, our culture is the bedrock of all that we do. All our staff members subscribe to a set of values and beliefs that ensure we never forget what we stand for: giving our clients peace of mind and confidence in the future. Our culture inspires our staff to go above and beyond what they need to do, creates space for them to solve our clients’ problems and enables them to be innovative enough to remain relevant. It is a culture centred on authenticity, innovation and solution orientation.

So, the question for many as we navigate through this Covid-19 pandemic, is: how do you harness a cohesive culture in an environment where remote working has become the norm? How do you successfully onboard new talent remotely when culture may not be easily seen and felt? As we continue to work from home for more extended periods, we are also forced to question: will we still get the innovation, creativity and ideas required to excel? What happens to brainstorming and creativity in a world of long-term remote working conditions, and what impact will this have on our investment teams.

These are some very challenging questions that talent professionals and business leaders alike have to answer. We have focused on fostering connection to keep our culture alive during this period of work-from-home.

People are tribal beings. We need social interaction; we look for belonging. We seek out those with shared values and experiences, and by doing so, we create tribes we trust. It is vital, even during times where virtual connection replaces face-to-face interaction, that our people are encouraged to connect. We have been deliberate about creating opportunities for our staff to connect. We have seen the fantastic results from the resultant fresh thinking, great investment ideas and empowerment of our younger investment professionals.

Leadership development will need to take centre stage as we move forward in this new world of working, as more and more business models will rely on strong leadership to drive connection and culture within their organisations. I am proud of our remarkable leadership team at Prescient for their determination to keep the connection alive as we navigate this new normal.

I was asked if I see remote working lasting forever, and I am not convinced it will. While it certainly has many positives, including enabling parents to look after children who have not been able to return to school during the lockdown, there are also many benefits to working together as teams at the office.

I remain in awe of how resilient our team has been in making the sudden work-from-home transition. I don’t see it as the end of office-based workforces as we know it. Instead, there is a need for businesses to allow for flexibility and optionality around remote working. For instance, women who have taken maternity leave and want to enjoy the benefits of being present for their children for longer than the official maternity leave period, yet want to continue to meet their professional responsibilities.

Whatever the future holds with regards to remote working, the professionals who work at Prescient have shown their adaptability, authenticity and resilience, maintaining the strong, aligned culture that is at the heart of everything we do.

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Which of the following factors will make the biggest difference to the profitability of a short-term insurance brokerage over the next five years?

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Implementing tech-backed distribution platforms
Diversifying into specialist risk management & risk advisory services
Renewing focus on the broker-client relationships
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