Credit Suisse & Goldman Sachs | How these firms are tackling burnout culture

How these firms are tackling burnout culture

When disgruntled staff have shared their grievances with their employer, whether its regarding fair pay, better workplace facilities or allegations of sexual harassment, it then falls on the employer to monitor the situation and offer a solution.

And this is something that investment banks Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse have decided to do, following claims of unhappiness and working long hours among its workforce.

It was recently revealed that young workers at Goldman Sachs raised concerns over the hours they work each week and warned they could quit unless matters are improved. An internal survey among first year bankers discovered that they worked on average 95 hours a week and slept for five hours a night.

This sparked employees to ask for an 80-hour week cap, with no work on Saturday or after 9pm on Friday.

Following the reports, bosses at Goldman Sachs have sent sympathy snack boxes to overworked junior London Bankers, the Guardian reported. Filled with fruit and snacks, the one-off hampers are said to have been paid for my managing directors out of their own pockets.

A London banker from Goldman Sachs shared that the employer should be doing more to recognise the demands of staff, and that a gesture of snacks is not what employees need.

They said: “What we need is not a gesture from [managers], but from the firm.”

In a company-wide message sent to employees, David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs, explained that he took the complaints “very seriously”.

However, while some junior bankers have shared their gratitude for the gift, it may be considered lacking in comparison to what other investment banks have awarded their staff with.

For example, investment bankers at Credit Suisse have been awarded with a one-time bonus of £14,500 ($20,000) for dealing with an ‘unprecedented’ workload during the pandemic.

According to CNBC, the bonuses were labelled ‘one-time, cash lifestyle allowances’ and are for analysts, associates and vice presidents in the bank’s capital markets and advisory group.

But Credit Suisse isn’t the only bank to award its staff in this manner, as Jeffries recently told its analysts and associates that they could chose gifts including Apple products or Peloton exercise machines, worth almost £2,000.

Are rewards the answer?

While these organisations have offered compensation to staff for their work, whether that’s in the form of a bonus of gift, can this method of reward truly stamp out a toxic culture that encourages long working hours?

The long-term impact of gruelling work days may not be easily fixed with a short-term reward such as Goldman Sachs’ snack hamper. As the investment banker pointed out, more recognition needs to come from the firm itself for the work that they put in.

Therefore, the duty falls onto the employer to ensure it’s advocating healthy working hours that are manageable. To do so it is critical that managers check in with staff to ensure they are meeting the deadlines in time and are not having to put in extra hours.

In addition, actively encouraging staff to switch-off, particularly during the pandemic where work and home barriers has become blurred will help to ensure employees are not working over the weekend and during their evenings.

Lastly, putting in place wellbeing initiatives, as well as providing information on how staff can take care of themselves, will help to ensure they do not reach burnout.

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