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Change Management
Private Equity Operations

People: your other assets

In the old days, it could be said that your team members needed three things to be engaged with their work: to be able to contribute/make a difference, to be recognised for their contribution, and to be able to progress in their chosen discipline (upwards, outwards, inwards…)

The world has moved on. Expectations have grown.

Putting aside the issues of work-life balance and hybrid working, which take us into different territory, let us focus on variables which are indicative of the workplace, today.

There is a talent war on out there and this is all too evident in specialist markets like Private Equity operations.

So, what is today’s talent looking for?

Supportive and functional systems

Good people do not want to compensate for bad process and poor systems. Spending time reconciling data when the underlying systems and processes are the root cause is not the way to motivate talent. More hours on the spreadsheet is not a solution.

Structured workflow

Where you can, take the routine out of operations. Maybe Robotic Process Automation is not yet up to the task, but there are so many opportunities to take the mundane and the repetitive tasks away from the person you hired for their smarts.

Clear roles and responsibilities

It is surprising how many grey areas persist in organisations. In the end these contribute to a sense of uncertainty and low confidence. Moods you do no want to encourage. Clarity of purpose underpins a sense of success and achievement.

Definition and Segregation of tasks

While there are benefits in experiencing a process “soup-to-nuts” there is usually value in applying expertise to certain steps. There is a case for generalists or utility players, and certainly a case for building up experience across silos, but leaving folk to “sort it out” is a clear route to a baked-in dependency which will come back to haunt you when that person decides they have “lost their shape”.

Performing third parties

When a function is outsourced, your team want predictable and helpful outputs. If a link in your supply chain is letting you down that will eventually demotivate your inhouse consumers of their poor service.

Good people hire good people

Good people deserve to work with good people, be they internal colleagues or external collaborators. Let your best people attract your new joiners. Your ability to attract and retain “attractors”: culture champions or brand ambassadors, is indicative of the health of your enterprise.

These are the people who will pull talent into your organisation. You can reward them by building a systems and organisational infrastructure which supports that talent and allows it to contribute and develop.