Building Exceptional FinTech workplaces: Ten Strategies for Success

5 Minutes

There are various Using the “leading or bleeding strategies that fintech edge” technologies ...

There are various Using the “leading or bleeding strategies that fintech edge” technologies can be super companies use to exciting when working for a cultivate outstanding fintech. Frank Erickson and workplaces. Getting Thomas Dolan, the Founding this wrong can be a costly affair. In the US, every year, disengagement costs companies more than $500 billion annually. Research has shown that ‘unhappiness’ in the workplace can equate to a productivity loss of $7.8 trillion, almost 11% of global GDP. Fintech businesses are always looking to improve engagement while ensuring retention. The following 10 lessons came from discussions with forward-thinking fintech companies. Each shares their pursuit of brilliant working environments for their staff. Embracing Expertise and Continuous Learning People enjoy working alongside experts and take pride in becoming an expert themselves. Steve Hughes is the CEO of Quor Group, a global leader in Commodities Trading. Steve takes pride in the “depth of knowledge” the team has. He says, “Our understanding of Commodity Trading is truly exceptional.” Individuals develop into subject matter experts as part of their journey in the firm. The Quor team build a challenging yet supportive learning curve that stretches individuals. Skill Development and Great Technology Using the “leading or bleeding strategies that fintech edge” technologies can be super companies use to exciting when working for a cultivate outstanding fintech. Frank Erickson and workplaces. Getting Thomas Dolan, the Founding this wrong can be a costly affair. In Partners at 28Stone Consulting, Inc, take great pride in the technology solutions their team creates for clients. This means the business commits to training and upskilling. They build a system where people can clearly see opportunities for advancement. Thomas said, “Advancement can be along several different avenues.” This can include growth in leadership or pivots from tech to client- facing. Others choose to focus on the technology stack and the excellent opportunities for growth there. Kindness and Wellbeing Kind workplaces can bring out the best in people and enhance their ability to achieve. Tom Higgins is the Founder and CEO of Gold-i, a leader in trading technology. He stated that the business was founded with ‘kindness in mind,’ which has always been their philosophy. Kindness in dealing with one another and clients leads to a better business partnership. Gold-i prioritises treating staff well, resulting in better work. Tom advocates for this and sets the standards with clients and partners. He says kindness is key to all interactions, whether external or internal and that “Our staff will always come first.” Fostering Idea Meritocracy Taskize is a financial services post-trade issue resolution platform. In talks with their Head of Product Kishan Bharwad, he explained that the business created an ‘idea meritocracy.’ The aim is to build a sense of safety around new ideas and voicing them. He believes in the value of sharing perspectives and experiences, saying that “Every idea is valid and valuable.” This philosophy extends to external partners, too where they established a "product use advisory group." They foster close collaboration across people, products, and technology to enhance the working environment. Collaboration and Agility SeigeFX is a capital markets fintech operating a ‘lean and collaborative’ model to boost workplace success. Paul Alves is their Head of Distribution for US, and he celebrates their collaborative culture. He says, “no one is stuck in one role, and you can wear many hats.” Everyone learns from one another and can take on more responsibilities. Mathijs Peeters, Head of Distribution for Europe, describes the level of collaboration as a game-changer for the industry. The team grows through their agile approaches to work. He describes this as a ‘broken silo’ approach. This has everyone involved in every aspect of the business so that the technology team collaborate with sales and vice versa. From product to investment, they can strategise together and make improvements happen. Effective and Supportive Management Catch is a payments business that prides itself on having great managers who care about employee wellbeing. Denia Ebersole, the COO encourages people to “set your own working style.” She acknowledges that everyone will thrive in different setups. She says their business model is “focused on creating mutually beneficial relationships between merchants and consumers.” They see this reflected in their internal culture. They have created an environment that fosters personal and professional growth whilst nurturing career aspirations. They boast fair compensation, transparent pay bands and benchmarking, generous parental leave and flexible work approach. Abbey Kanesmith, the People and Talent Lead, highlights the learning and development programmes they invest in. These include career development courses, certifications and mentorship coaches. The managers are well-trained to bring out the best in their staff. They use department-wide competency maps to outline the expectations and skills required for each role and level. This enables employees to understand their expectations and what's needed for development. Living Company Values Values are important within positive working environments, and companies can bring their values to life differently. Janine Garn is the Global Head of Talent Acquisition at nCino. They are a worldwide leader in cloud banking and encourage employees to 'Live the Six'. This refers to nCino's six core values that build the foundation of its unique culture. nCino employees strive to "Bring Their A-Game, Do The Right Thing, Respect Each Other, Make Someone's Day, Have Fun, and Be a Winner", to help each other feel supported, respected and empowered. An example is when they showcase career progression within the business in line with their values. The values are represented at every stage in a person's career journey and as a measurement of their success. Janine says, “Success is probably one of the most transferable skills you can have.” If you've been successful in a particular arena in your life, Janine and her team believe you can be successful in your career, too. Having a foundation of a ‘success mindset’ allows the business to focus on values and diversify talent acquisition. Policies, Programmes, and Inclusivity Metro Bank, known as the "People to People Bank" in the UK, strives to create a workplace that fosters excellence. Khushboo Patel, the Head of Engagement and Inclusion, develops policies that allow their colleagues to thrive. She has designed various programmes to achieve their people-first policies. These policies are implemented as part of their day-to-day procedures. She focuses on the constant improvement process and believes the “phenomenal programmes will be even better next year.” The policies and programmes are designed to comprehend the barriers that people face and work towards eliminating them while also supporting individuals during their struggles. Examples of this kind of support include additional carer's leave, guidance on separation and divorce, and improved parental pay, all with the aim of creating a better work environment. Enabling Success and Career Progression Seismic is a global leader in enablement software, and its workplace culture is focused on ‘enabling’ its staff to be successful. According to Rachel Rowe, their regional VP, in their biannual employee survey, they found that “85% of employees believe they are in a position to succeed.” The business has committed to building ‘nine communities of belonging’ dedicated to “making everybody feel comfortable and at home.” These groups help drive connection and satisfaction. This is bolstered by mentoring, coaching leadership programmes, growth paths and recharge weeks. Each step is shared and celebrated when people do well and progress. Data-Driven Decision-Making and Information Clarity Kasia Kowalska leads the HR department at Keyrock, a digital assets market maker that prioritises technology and service. She emphasises the importance of data in their business. Their algorithmic trading business is built on and relies heavily on underlying market data accuracy and processing. Also, the business decision-making processes embody the spirit of skillful balancing, strong instinct, and intelligently relying on data. By “regularly publishing internal reports and sharing company- wide the key metrics,” Keyrock ensures everyone is informed and engaged in achieving company goals. Gary Kitanoski, the Talent Acquisition Lead, notes that investing in human capital sets Keyrock's culture apart. He believes that “every employee raises the bar with their intellectual prowess” and that Keyrock helps them build their knowledge, careers, and the company's success. These 10 lessons are replicable. When implemented, they increase employee engagement, growth, progression, tenure, and happiness. Committing to a great workplace will reduce costs and boost success for everyone involved. Read more articles like this in The Financial Technologist. Download your free copy here.
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