Deepika Banerjee, Head of Human Capital Management, Goldman Sachs Services India talks about the organisation’s approach to employee well-being and development during the pandemic and beyond.
What were the Covid-led challenges that your company faced?
At Goldman Sachs in India, we have continued to enhance our employee value proposition to support our workforce`s evolving needs and expectations due to the pandemic. Prioritising the health and well-being of our people remained a critical priority. With a distinct apprenticeship and collaborative culture built over 150 years at the firm, integrating our new employees into our culture and maintaining the same connectivity and engagement among our people in a hybrid work environment were among our key challenges and focus areas.
What are the three ways you rebuilt your organisation to overcome those challenges?
The pandemic highlighted the importance of increased transparency in an organisation and its people. We established robust health and safety protocols, onsite vaccination and booster programs and offered comprehensive wellness offerings including ten days of COVID family care leaves, learning and resilience resources, and expanded bereavement leaves.
We invested in the capability building of our managers, elevating their ability to lead hybrid teams with empathy.
In 2021, we established an employee listening framework– ‘GS People Pulse,’ a bi-annual survey which helps the leadership and managers stay actively connected with their teams and prioritise solutions to enhance the employee experience.
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As our employees returned to the office, we strived to offer them a differentiated work-from-office experience. We continued to evolve our approach basis their feedback, making their return easier and safe. A vibrant campus with enhanced avenues to connect and collaborate became a key enabler.
We embedded several initiatives, such as in-person new hire orientation programs, senior leadership connects, diversity-focused programs, and community engagements, that further bonded our people with the firm’s collective purpose. Our efforts are strongly reflected in the feedback we continue to receive from employees across channels.
In 2021, we established an employee listening framework- ‘GS People Pulse,’ a bi-annual survey which helps the leadership and managers stay actively connected with their teams and prioritise solutions to enhance the employee experience.
In 2022, what are the key HR changes your company experimented with and their impact?
Across our offices in Bengaluru and Hyderabad, we remain committed to offering increased growth and advancement opportunities to our people through avenues for continuous learning and internal mobility.
To engage with the diverse learning needs of our people, we have enabled self-paced learning through over 8,000+ modules across a wide variety of subjects, in addition to external tie-ups with digital libraries.
We are transforming our approach to internal mobility by offering a transparent view of opportunities across our businesses and making it even easier for individuals to express their interests. We are also leveraging new tools and technology to help our people identify roles that best match their skill sets and long-term professional goals.
Over 1,000+ employees have benefited from our internal mobility program in the last two years.
We also enhanced our vacation program, helping people take time off to rest, recharge, and focus on their mental, physical, and financial health.
What would be your predictions for the talent landscape in 2023?
The talent landscape will continue to be shaped by critical shifts in employee attitudes and preferences towards work and aspirations.
- Employees increasingly want to work for organisations that engage them holistically, provide a strong sense of community, and lead purposefully. A differentiated employee experience aligned with what matters to employees the most will remain critical to attracting, engaging and retaining world-class talent.
- As organisations respond to the evolving macro environment and reassess their strategic priorities, there will be an enhanced focus on upskilling and mobility to engage top performers and gain talent velocity.
- Accelerated by digitisation, tech advances will continue to impact the workplace profoundly, and a technology-oriented skillset will become significantly valuable.
Also read: How Work Culture Shift Helped Tilaknagar Industries Beat Financial Stress?
Integrating our new employees into our culture and maintaining the same connectivity and engagement among our people in a hybrid work environment were among our key challenges and focus areas.
What according to you are the top aspects candidates should keep in mind in 2023 to land their dream job?
Candidates should continue strengthening their functional expertise through intentional investments in their learning and development.
Staying current with the macro trends and shifts that impact the industrial landscape of their target companies will help candidates navigate the dynamic talent market.
Finally, candidates should define their career objectives and understand how a potential role and organisation will help them achieve them through sustained personal and professional growth.
How should companies and candidates prepare for business hiring cycles and slowdowns in 2023?
Companies should adopt a transformed approach to internal mobility and talent management to mitigate the impact of business cycles.
They should invest in engaging and retaining their top talent with increased growth and upskilling opportunities. This drives talent fungibility by creating an internal talent marketplace and advances organisational resilience.
Candidates should continue to invest in deepening their functional capabilities. This will help them stay ahead of the curve and compete in an ever-changing talent landscape.
About the Author: Deepika Banerjee is head of Human Capital Management at Goldman Sachs in India. She has 20+ years of experience in various human capital functions and holds a Master’s degree in Business Management and Psychology. She joined Goldman Sachs in 2015 and was promoted to Managing Director in 2021.
Goldman Sachs Services Pvt Ltd, India
Year of Incorporation: The Goldman Sachs Group was founded in 1869. Goldman Sachs Services Pvt Limited opened an office in Bengaluru, India, in 2004. In 2021, we opened an office in Hyderabad.
Number of Employees: Goldman Sachs Services Pvt Ltd has over 8,000 employees in India
-Gunjan Samtani, head of Goldman Sachs Services in India
-Ravi Krishnan, Chief Administrative Officer, Goldman Sachs Services in India
Business Description: The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global financial institution that delivers a broad range of financial services across investment banking, securities, investment management, and consumer banking to a large and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments, and individuals.
Key HR Factors:
Our unique benefits include –
– Minimum Expected Vacation: Enhancements to our vacation programme include a minimum expected vacation of 18 days in India for all employees. Unlimited vacation is available to all Managing Directors and Partner level employees, which allows them to take time as needed. There is no maximum number of vacation days
– Gender Affirmation Coverage: Applicable for both employee and eligible dependents, including expenses for cosmetic procedures involved in the affirmation process
– Pathways to Parenthood stipends: The firm offers stipends to employees to assist with the expenses associated with adoption, egg retrieval, egg donation and surrogacy
–Women Possibilities Summit: Started in 2015, our flagship campus diversity program is aimed to encourage women students in India to pursue a career in finance and help us build a diverse talent pipeline. In its eighth edition in 2022, we engaged with more than 5,000 students in over 24 undergraduate, engineering and business schools
–Annual Career Pivot Series Program: The program for experienced professionals who are in their career transition process, to help strengthen their résumé development, networking and overall skill alignment. Starting in 2019, the program has allowed us to identify experienced individuals and engage them for potential roles at Goldman Sachs. In 2023, we had over 1300 participants with nearly 40 percent being women
–Mpowered and Women’s Career Strategies Initiative: The program is aimed to help women talent at the firm grow to leadership roles. The programs are aimed at VP and Associate level women talent to evolve their leadership style, construct their career vision and deepen their firm-wide connections
–Self-ID: We continue to enhance the self-identification process to better understand the diversity of our people, further improve our recruiting and development programs, and measure progress with respect to the representation and diversity of our people. The self-identification questions allow our people to confidentially share their diversity.
–Sensitization Programs (Disability and LGBTQ+): An array of sensitization workshops are conducted, including Pride Carnival, to build employee awareness and to champion inclusion at the workplace