After ushering in the new decade on somewhat strong footing, the global asset management industry has witnessed a transformation rife with uncertainty and volatility on the heels of the Covid-19 pandemic. As a leading industry association with members across the global landscape—all possessing diverse and unique talents, experience and perspectives—Nicsa is committed to promoting best practices and connecting all facets of the community so that we can be stronger together. Over the past months, we have heard invaluable insights from our members on adapting to our new reality. We’ve compiled some of those insights into the following (and certainly growing!) list of best practices, which we hope will help our members become stronger leaders as individuals, as organizations, and as an industry.
Understand what your firm’s most critical functions are and prioritize them
If you did not know this before or still do not know what this is, you need to learn this now. This is one of the keys to surviving and even thriving during difficult times. Knowing what your firm urgently needs to get completed will help you shift the appropriate resources to the most critical areas at the right time as well as make the firm more capable of efficiently responding to events as they unfold.
Explore the full range of your employees’ abilities and skills
Evaluate which essential areas and divisions are the most stressed, have the highest workloads, and need the most assistance. Are there employees within your organization that you can possibly redeploy to these key functions? Leaders should reevaluate employee skill sets, as well as their potential to quickly adapt to different tasks, and loosen any fixations on current roles and titles. This is not only beneficial to the firm, but also provides an opportunity for employees to further develop their skills or acquire new ones and grow within the firm.
Recognize, understand, and adapt to your employees’ unique work situations
Recognize that parents are now juggling educating and caring for their children in between business video meetings and company conference calls. Understand that others have the responsibility of being caretakers of senior parents, grandparents or other elderly relatives or neighbors. Be aware that some are alone and isolated. Whatever the case, employees are dealing with the increased stress of balancing work life with personal responsibilities and situations. Corporate responsiveness and the provision of necessary tools can go a long way toward adapting to this extended period of virtual work life. Leaders should be asking questions often: What do they need to carry out their jobs? Do they need any additional technical tools or resources to be efficient?
Manage with wellness in mind
It is important for leaders to encourage employees to set work boundaries in order to address physical and mental well-being. Companies should also be providing as many resources as possible to help ease stress for their employees. This may include helpful tips for working from home, easy-to-use tech guides on the company’s online tools and platforms, as well as information around personal well-being such as exercise and other related health resources.
Lead with Inclusivity
Leading with inclusivity centers around respecting the diverse talents and skills of employees. Team leaders should be sincere and compassionate while encouraging increased collaboration. They should be proactively reaching out and frequently connecting with employees on all levels—really taking a pause to be sure all voices in their firm are being heard and ensuring that everyone feels valued.
Clear communication—with employees, clients and partners—is key
At the core of these practices is this: maintaining clear communication across an organization—with employees and external stakeholders—is essential to success. Open discussions about the flexibility and capability of your teams, the major issues stakeholders are facing, the risks that are emerging, as well as the regulatory and governmental restraints and relief actions are in place are crucial to supporting a responsive and robust infrastructure and operating model.
For more insights about best practices in the current global pandemic environment, please see the following resources:
Trading, Valuation, and Liquidity Challenges
Battling Fraudsters and Bad Actors
Regulatory Climate and Update
Achieving Success with Remote Workforces
Inclusion and Well Being
Other COVID-19 Resources