Skip to content

Technology and managing a multi-generational workforce pose greatest threats to company culture

Headlines in this article

Related news and insights

Publications: 21 March 2024

Accessing Europe’s talent

Publications: 21 March 2024

Europe, regulator of the world

Publications: 21 March 2024

Europe’s competitiveness on the global stage

Publications: 21 March 2024

Europe today – a story of change, conflict and cooperation

London – A failure to give due consideration to organisational culture poses a regulatory and reputational risk for financial services firms, according to global research from Allen & Overy. While there is undoubtedly significant opportunity, senior leaders are also concerned about the threat to culture of new technology, coupled with the challenge of managing a multi-generational workforce.

The global study of over 500 financial services companies showed that:

  • 62% of senior leaders believe new and emerging technology platforms pose the biggest threat
  • More than half of respondents say that managing a multi-generational workforce poses a significant challenge to their firm’s culture over the next 12 months.

Responses also highlighted that organisational culture maturity is overridingly determined by the efforts of individual boards and senior leadership where there is still more work to do:

  • Just 56% of respondents rated their organisations favourably when asked if employees are encouraged to speak up and voice concerns
  • Only 25% of respondents rated their senior leaders favourably when role-modelling expected behaviours.

Although people managers have a crucial role to play in setting the behavioural tone of their direct reports, respondents consider them to be the least committed to the culture of the firm compared to other senior leadership teams (Board or C-suite).

Sally Dewar, CEO of A&O Consulting, said: “Culture continues to top the agenda of policymakers, regulators and senior boardroom leaders across financial services firms, but the themes identified by this research can apply equally to companies across many sectors.. Leadership teams need to continually assess and evolve their approach to organisational culture; the factors influencing culture today are very different when compared with the previous few years.

“Whilst technological risk is front of mind for senior leadership, it can also create opportunity. Used effectively to enhance feedback and data analysis, it could highlight cultural issues that, when actioned, lead to long term improvements. And, a multi-generational workforce brings diverse thoughts and opinion, which are proven to enhance decision-making. Understanding this and adapting business strategy can have a direct influence on overall business performance. Organisations need to position culture as a strategic imperative and embed corporate values to support their business strategies.” said Clive Garfield, Executive Director, A&O Consulting.

View the full report

Methodology: A&O Consulting contacted senior executives from leading global financial services organisations with responsibility for culture and conduct in Q422. More than 500 in depth interviews were conducted across North America, the UK, Europe, MEA and APAC with a focus on banking, insurance, asset management and payment platforms.

The research was conducted in response to recognised challenges across the industry, with A&O Consulting uniquely positioned to gather insights in its capacity as legal and consulting advisors across A&O Consulting, Employment and Investigations Practices.