Caring for our human capital

Gérard OHRESSER and Judith BALLESTER

Recruiting and retaining talent is one of the many challenges facing the Monegasque financial centre. Gérard OHRESSER, Managing Director of Edmond de Rothschild Monaco, and Judith BALLESTER, Head of Human Resources, engage in an open dialogue on the solutions put in place, focusing on the “S” in ESG. – An interview by Monaco for Finance.

Gérard OHRESSER
The Monaco financial centre is facing tough competition when it comes to attracting talent. Since the first lockdown, the younger generations place more value on the meaning of their work and on their work/life balance than on their remuneration. How should an employer adapt to this situation? This is the Human Resources project that we launched at the beginning of the year: “Caring for our human capital”.

Monaco remains attractive…

Judith BALLESTER
Indeed, but the Principality, though still attractive, sometimes offers fewer benefits than France: Plan d’Épargne Salarial (employee savings scheme), 35-hour week, etc. Living in or around the Principality is not always easy, and the difficult commute to Monaco at peak hours remains an impediment. We sometimes recruit students at the end of their studies as interns and see them progress over six months, which allows us to detect young talents. But we must find solutions to enhance our attractiveness, and we focus on well-being at work.

Our first initiative was to take stock of the current situation, through an open questionnaire that we sent, via the staff delegates, to employees. Essentially, we asked them how the bank could improve, what it could offer to make them feel even better.

Gérard OHRESSER
We were surprised, because not only did most of our employees respond, but the spectrum of the proposed solutions was very broad…

Were you able to apply them?

Gérard OHRESSER and Judith BALLESTER
Gérard OHRESSER and Judith BALLESTER © Monaco for Finance

Judith BALLESTER
We have classified these solutions by theme, and by objective. Some suggestions were implemented almost immediately, others are planned for the medium term. Training in the banking professions, for example, ranked very high, and very quickly, we launched internal training sessions: the trainers are employees of the bank, whether or not in supervisory positions. They present their line of work to the other teams and their way of practising it. This prevents the silo mentality.

Gérard OHRESSER
I would point out that this initiative was so successful that we named it Edmond de Rothschild University. The positive impact is threefold: the trainees are very satisfied, the trainers learn to transmit and sometimes discover other facets of their job, and lastly, managers feel that their teams are gaining expertise.

Judith BALLESTER
Absolutely. We were able to motivate our trainers at Edmond de Rothschild University to give their time to support others to grow, on a voluntary basis. This is proof of a great commitment. The training started in May/June, and we keep the pace of two sessions per week. Forty training themes will be developed over a year. The high level of participation in the Edmond de Rothschild University also strengthens our cohesion; employees feel included.

And what about working hours?

Gérard OHRESSER
We have implemented Flexitime and Teleworking, to support the work/life balance. The number of hours per week is mandatory and some slots are fixed, but managers allocate these hours based on trust in their teams. And we offer one day of teleworking per week. In addition, in terms of career development, we prioritise internal mobility: 26 since the beginning of the year, compared to 16 last year at the same time.

Judith BALLESTER
We will also offer employees a protocol for monitoring and supporting Occupational Health, mainly preventive health. On a lighter note, there is an increasing number of internal events. Every quarter, a very friendly evening is organised for employees. Though Edmond de Rothschild Monaco has grown and now has 230 employees, we remain a human-sized bank and work in a family-like atmosphere.

If we were to summarise, for Edmond de Rothschild Monaco “Caring for the human capital” means…

Judith BALLESTER
A healthy, pleasant and soothing environment conducive to efficiency. Valuing work on a daily basis to give meaning to what we do. Flexible office hours. Team spirit fostered by company-wide events.

Source: Monaco for Finance

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