What do you hold on to when everything is on the move?
Dorrit Brandt, President of Finansforbundet in Nordea, writes about how to navigate in a time where unpredictability reigns
In 2022, unpredictability has reigned in our society, in our personal finances and in the world around us. Nothing is as it used to be. Interest rates and inflation are higher than we thought possible a year ago, and at the same time there is a shortage of labour. Some companies/industries earn more than double what they used to, while others have gone from healthy business to bankruptcy in just 6 months.
But even though most things are on the move, Nordea is doing well. At least if we read key figures and investor comments. Even the reporters seem to be kind to us right now.
But numbers don't give the full picture.
No one should be left alone
These days, with many of the bank's customers under financial pressure, they now and then let their frustration and anger spill over onto the employees, physically as well as verbally. Both behaviours are completely unacceptable, and although Nordea has initiated measures to deal with the episodes, we as colleagues should be extra vigilant. The union representatives have raised this issue, and I would like to appeal that we don’t leave anyone alone, neither on the phone nor physically in a team.
We also have to learn/re-learn that earnings now come from different sources than we have seen for a long time. Colleagues with many candles in the birthday cake have experienced positive interest rates and house price falls before, while others have never tried giving advice in this scenario. And again we have to be there for each other with sparring and help - the necessary skills are more than likely present in the team. I am pleased that senior colleagues and their experience is recognized , valued and put to use.
The glue keeps it all together
You normally don't imagine how much is held together by glue. It is, after all, almost invisible. But once the cohesion disappears - the construction collapses. I know that many of our IT colleagues have experienced that the glue has slipped in parts of the tasks that were affected by outsourcing. This has resulted in extra work, frustrations and concern about business-critical risks. That's why I consider that, in a time when everything around us is so unpredictable, we need to hold on a little more to what we ourselves have an influence on.
Important efforts under changed conditions
Soon, we will all have our PLD dialogue. At the beginning of 2022, many colleagues set goals/KPIs for efforts other than those that are currently generating revenue. As target achievement is linked to the Year-end evaluation, I would appeal that the changed social conditions are taken into account when the results are reviewed. I also hope that people will stick to the fact that right now it is just as important to hold reassurance-creating advisory conversations that retain customers and increase their loyalty to Nordea, as it is to do new businesses. The Q3 accounts show that money is made - a lot of money. This, I hope, will be acknowledged to each of you.
So what can you hold on to when everything is on the move? Perhaps the answer is: yourself! And I wouldn’t mind if you stick to your membership of the Finansforbundet in Nordea in 2023 as well.
I wish you a Happy New Year!
President, Finansforbundet in Nordea