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How a global financial services firm leverages employee connections

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Topics Covered:

Employee engagement

After adopting Achievers’ employee experience platform to build a culture of recognition, this global financial services firm piloted Connect™ as a means to foster a deeper sense of belonging and connection across a dispersed workforce. Connect™ uses Achievers’ smart algorithm to pair employees for virtual coffee chats with icebreaker prompts to drive participation. Two years on, the tool’s usage has been extended to support onboarding, the breakdown of silos, and professional development.

After each ‘coffee chat’ facilitated by Achievers’ employee connections tool, participating employees receive a feedback survey . With some rounds having 2,240-2,880 participants , the overwhelming positive feedback and requests for more have been heard loud and clear: Connect™ is helping this firm create a culture of belonging and cross-functional collaboration.

In addition to enterprise-wide coffee chats, there are four unique use cases that Connect™ addresses for this global financial services firm:

Creating connection with new hire cohorts

At the beginning of each quarter , all new hires from the previous quarter are added to a coffee chat round. This gives the cohort the opportunity to connect with each other and discuss their onboarding experiences and ask each other questions. Because it captures the whole quarter’s cohort, participants are able help each other navigate the resources that are available and answer each other’s questions. The feedback has been positive, with teammates noting that the round structure is great for people who may have missed things during the onboarding process.

Supporting mentorship and leadership training initiatives

The organization runs employee connection rounds to support professional development initiatives, and the executive leadership training round is particularly special. Employees who have been identified as high performers or specialists with high potential were asking for a way to connect with people.

These employees, many of whom are globally dispersed leaders, wanted another way to bond, and Connect™ was ready to meet the challenge by matching the team globally to build relationships with, and learn from, leaders in other regions.

Other leadership development programs also use Connect™ to unite and support their teammates with mentorship and engagement opportunities. For example, the company’s Women in Technology group uses Connect™ to further a sense of belonging and help members navigate their tech career and leadership skills in a male-dominated field.

The Risk & Compliance team hosts a global initiative for their group around diversity, equity, and inclusion. They set up a special connection round with the goal to support and foster a culture of inclusion where they can leverage the unique backgrounds and identities of each other to cultivate a safe, compassionate, and equitable work environment.

Breaking down silos in the biggest business unit

The organization’s depository team is spread between EMEA and APAC. Across this department, there are many different roles, but they all feed into each other and have incredibly important downstream implications for each other. However, as is often the case with large enterprises with complex functions, these teams don’t always understand each other and how their roles impact one another. That’s why they reached out to the HR team to find a way to address this disparity within the function.

By running quarterly coffee chats specifically for this asset servicing team, the organization has been able to help employees engage with their larger team and understand each other’s contributions better, especially in an environment where water cooler moments simply aren’t possible.

Creating avenues for idea exchange for the HR engagement council

The firm took feedback from their HR partners about a deep desire to feel more connected with each other, with the engagement council approaching their Achievers administrator to set up coffee chats for the HR team across all regions. Through these rounds, the HR team has been able to connect employees across the enterprise to discuss local initiatives and build relationships within the department.

Looking to the future

There are plans for this innovative leader in financial services to embrace connection further, bringing it into the flow of work with Achievers’ integration with Microsoft Teams. The demand for Connect™ is also increasing internally, with the organization’s ERG groups trying to get in on the action with their own coffee chat rounds to support various initiatives.

"I think the coffee chats are one of the best programs that have been implemented. Meeting and talking with partners in different business areas has given me broader perspectives across the organization."

Financial Services User

"I think the peer-to-peer coffee chats are a great initiative connecting the depositary groups together and being able to learn what other locations are doing, and if we can adopt better processes."

Financial Services User

"I find value in these opportunities to interact because I’m not always naturally exposed to other areas of HR."

User in HR

Global Financial Services Firm