Citi rethinks the future of work
When Alan Machet joined Citi as Head of Cards for Australia, he was immediately struck by the diversity of his team and the bank as a whole. “There’s natural diversity in a company that’s so global. I work alongside people from many different backgrounds here in Sydney, and I have regular meetings with colleagues from our other Asia Pacific offices and from markets as varied as Dubai and the US,” says Alan, who is also now CEO of Citi’s Australian Consumer Bank.
“In any role at Citi, you’ll find yourself working with an incredibly varied range of people – not just in terms of gender and race, but also in terms of culture, work experience and ways of thinking.”
“Long term, there are great opportunities to make global moves within Citi, and that’s one of the reasons talented people join us and stay with us,” says Alan, adding that his own team has become more diverse and dynamic because of internal mobility.
“I have colleagues in Sydney who have transferred from India; from Malaysia via Hong Kong; and from the US via South America. Citi Australia also exports great people across the world. That said, we can always be doing more to ensure we attract diverse talent, particularly females at more senior levels of our organization.”
One of the ways Citi intends to accomplish that is by rethinking what the future of work will look like. The current pandemic has propelled Citi to create a more flexible environment, and Alan says “the way Citi’s employees have mobilized to working remotely has demonstrated their agility and resiliency, and proven we can take a far more radical and rapid approach to workplace flexibility than we ever thought possible.”
In order to attract talent and retain staff, Citi will ensure the current level of flexibility will be sustainable post the pandemic. Citi has started a global ‘future of work’ initiative to ensure that managers and teams are deliberate in building new ways of thinking and new skills, and changing long-held habits.
“We’ve always supported flexibility – for returning parents, for example – but COVID has turned up the dial.” he explains.
“When we think of flexibility now, we’re thinking not only whether people work from home, but how they schedule their time, how teams manage performance, and even whether employees can work from different countries. Several of our teams are also piloting compressed work weeks, which gives every individual the opportunity to work a full week in fewer days, in whatever way they choose.”
“We have no idea how things will look after the pandemic, but a silver lining is the positive changes we have seen in terms of flexible work, which we will look to make a permanent reality.”
Remote work has inspired hiring managers to look beyond their head-office for where to base roles. "We are beginning to see teams being built across multiple locations within a country, depending on where the best talent can be found," says Alan.
“We are all remote workers now, so it’s a no brainer to take advantage of this by expanding the talent pool and locations we can source from.”
Alan is also a “firm believer” that Citi’s diverse teams help the firm make better business decisions. This is just one reason the bank is championing flexibility as a way to attract diverse talent.
“Diversity isn’t a soft concept or a nice-to-have; it allows us to innovate more effectively. When we want to develop and test new products, we can do this better with a team that offers a range of different and interesting perspectives.”
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