The chief executive of Goldman Sachs has urged staff to continue going the “extra mile” despite claims of an “inhumane” and “abusive” culture that surfaced last week.
David Solomon said “it’s great that this group of analysts went to their management” to raise their concerns, which included an average 95-hour working week and significant strains on mental health.
But in his address to the bank’s 34,000 staff, Mr Solomon stressed that going the “extra mile” can make a big difference.
He said: “Just remember: if we all go an extra mile for our client, even when we feel that we’re reaching our limit, it can really make a difference in our performance.
Mr Solomon said that demand from clients is likely to remain high and stressed the importance of meeting those demands, adding that hard work will bring rewards.
Promising to assess working conditions at the firm, he added: “We want a workplace where people can share concerns freely… If there are any issues, do not hesitate to reach out to ask for help.
“I can imagine that many of you saw the presentation that a group of analysts shared with their management recently about their lack of work-life balance.
“This is something that our leadership team and I take very seriously.”
Goldman Sachs has agreed to the group’s calls for enforced time off from 9pm on Friday until Sunday morning.
The message from Goldman Sachs’ chief executive was in stark contrast to that of Citi’s new boss Jane Fraser. In a memo sent to staff recently, she introduced ‘Zoom-free Fridays’ and talked of “the need for a reset”.
Ms Fraser said: “I know, from your feedback and my own experience, the blurring of lines between home and work and the relentlessness of the pandemic workday have taken a toll on our wellbeing. It’s simply not sustainable.
“Please try to limit scheduling calls outside of what had been traditional working hours pre-pandemic and on weekends(remember those?). We are of course a global company that operates across time zones, but when our work regularly spills over into nights, very early mornings and weekends, it can prevent us from recharging fully, and that isn’t good for you nor, ultimately, for Citi.”
She also urged her workforce to raise their hand and speak up “if you need more time for a reset. It’s not a sign of weakness; we are all feeling the weariness”.