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Why People Should Always Come First: Lessons From BNY Mellon

Jacob Morgan | Apr 10, 2017 242 views No Comments

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What is in this episode and why you should care:

Monique Herena is the Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at BNY Mellon. As Senior Executive Vice President, Herena oversees BNY Mellon’s Human Resources and Marketing and Corporate Affairs departments. In her role as Chief Human Resources Officer, she is responsible for all human resources strategies, policies and practices.

BYN Mellon, founded in 1784 by Alexander Hamilton, has 52,000 employees across 35 countries and 6 continents. They have two main businesses, investment management and investment services. The make-up of the company is diverse – 46% of the US workforce is women and 30% representing ethnically and racially diverse people.

BYN believes that putting people first is critical to every aspect of their mission. It is how people experience the company – through their talent. They invest in people, believing in the power of development- “People can always be better in the next moment than what they are right now.”



They have put together a report, appropriately entitled, People Report, which is told through the voices of the associates and their experiences in a digital only experience. In this, one is allowed insight into what it is like to be an employee at BYN.

Four pillars that are the framework of the company include Lead, Innovate, Impact, Collaborate and Inspire.

Lead includes the desire to be more mobile and be where clients are – making wealth management applications more mobile, socially connect with other people, an emerging leader program – BK University – all which drive the business.

Innovate looks at the workspace becoming even more efficient and includes everything from robotics, to better accuracy, reducing risk and cost savings.

Collaboration is important to BYN. Company-wide leaders look at different ways there are to help each other to work virtually, different digital centers, have chat bot technology and so on, encouraging collaboration across all kinds of ‘borders’.

Inspiring people to be their best includes many facets such as VetNet that supports veterans returning to the workplace. This has doubled the number of veterans at BYN. They are also placing an emphasis on gender equality and are working to achieve this across the industry.

The employee experience is a two-way street. A performance review should not be just the manager’s feedback but how the employee participating in available resources. The employee needs to take a joint ownership in the process. Those that contribute the most are the most successful.

There is a ‘push versus pull’ strategy. The push says – “I’m here, what are you giving me next?” The pull strategy includes creating your brand, working hard which in turn, leads people to notice the person.

Herena’s advice to organizations who want to know what to do to start putting their people first, check out BNY Mellon’s People Report and also, from a leadership point of view – the earlier in your career that you learn to ‘make it not about you – and get other focused’ the more successful you will be in that career.

What you will learn in this episode: 

Why ‘setting the tone at the top’ includes getting up at 4:25 am each day!
Should there be an emphasis on keeping up with business ‘trends’?
Does every investment have to have a dollar and cents return?
Background on People Report done by BNY Mellon and their findings
How BNY is putting their people first
Why bother making investments in your people if your company is already doing well?
How do you differentiate between perks and true organizational change
What do Millennials want

My new book, The Employee Experience Advantage (Wiley, March 2017) analyzes over 250 global organizations to understand how to create a place where people genuinely want to show up to work. Subscribe to the newsletter here.

The post Why People Should Always Come First: Lessons From BNY Mellon appeared first on Jacob Morgan.

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