Sama eBook: Navigate the hidden costs of layoffs

Investment Management firm | Global | 3500+ employees

Core challenges: Leadership development | Resilience & agility

Productivity and adaptability are paramount to the success of financial services companies. Our client was investing heavily in creating impactful development structures for their leaders of the future, and sought Sama’s support in delivering meaningful coaching curated for the financial services industry.

“We were initially drawn to Sama due to their impressive portfolio of our peers. Finance is quite unique in its specific challenges, so Sama having founders with backgrounds in finance and private equity was a huge advantage for us.”

Developing future leaders

The company was building a robust accelerated development program for high potential future leaders. They had existing access to learning platforms, and an internal mentoring program in place, but were looking to add something that was impartial, powerful, and truly tailored to each individual. 

“We wanted to make it simple for our people to succeed. Coaching fills a specific role and niche in a person’s development plan. A manager has a vested interest in developing you, but they’re busy and might not have the time and energy to fully invest in developing you.

“A coach gives a non-directive approach and attention that managers can’t spare. They focus on action and follow through that our team can’t focus on. This is why coaching is critical to our success.”

Success through adversity

Developing resilience was a key goal for the company, forming part of their wellbeing strategy. In a fast-paced and challenging industry, keeping people healthy and engaged can prove difficult.

“Burnout is a huge challenge in our industry, and we wanted to ensure our teams had the self-awareness and the toolkit to avoid hitting that point. Sama’s coaches really understand how our business works, so we were confident from the beginning they could have a huge impact on how our teams overcome challenges and thrive through adversity.”

Measurable success

Forming part of a wider program to develop HR functionality, a key focus was the ability to support and integrate with more robust development programs. The company had a huge focus on improving data fluency, people analytics, and initiative measurement: 

“We want to move away from reactive stats and reporting to having clear KPIs and metrics.” Through Sama’s dashboard and analytics, they are able to demonstrate engagement and ROI, making it easy to identify who is ready for promotion, or where people are falling behind. 

“Another goal was to build talent not buy it, after 12 months of coaching we reduced our reliance on external recruitment.

“We run 6 month programs with Sama, and we collect qualitative and quantitative data at the beginning and the end. Even from cohort one, we’ve been able to demonstrate the power of coaching in our team’s strength of communication and self-awareness.”

Key metrics

95% report feeling more resilient

73% report better working relationships

2 x more promotions over external hires

About the client: Global investment firm | 500+ employees

Core challenges: Management development | Succession planning

Joining the business as CHRO, our client rapidly identified a need to enhance the company’s existing leadership development program to support their ambitious growth. There were business-wide concerns with a lack of individual manager alignment and consistency of approach, and the CHRO noted issues with:

  • High staff turnover in first-time-manager teams
  • Opacity around feedback
  • Siloed teams and minimal peer support 

A better approach to leadership

The CHRO had extensive experience rolling out leadership development in other businesses, and knew there were often huge issues in the efficacy of these programs: “I knew we didn’t want a point in time training program where people forget what they learned. This needed to be meaningful, and deeply embed leadership skills in our people.”

Sama coaches worked with a cohort of managers to develop their leadership skills, including:

  • Communication
  • Effective feedback
  • Delegation and people planning
  • Self-awareness
  • Stakeholder management

Communication and feedback were critical for the company: “We’re emphasizing becoming a culture of feedback; we haven’t been great training managers how to have tough conversations.” Coaching normalized feedback culture, and also gave managers toolkits for delivering – and receiving – feedback.

For first time managers

Being an outstanding contributor doesn’t necessarily make you a natural manager; the company was noticing higher employee turnover in teams with first-time managers. Exit interviews highlighted a lack of support and guidance, poor communication, and not enough useful feedback. Giving coaching to first-time managers hones all of these critical leadership skills, playing a vital role in developing the company’s teams and supporting their growth. 

“New managers like having Sama as a sounding board to have performance management conversations. We’re going through a lot of change and the manager role is becoming more and more complex over time. Sama solves some real challenges for us.”

Measurable success

Since working with Sama, the coached cohort and their direct reports have all scored higher in engagement surveys, and turnover in those departments has also reduced. Communication has also elevated, with feedback on new managers improving.

Key metrics

27% reduction in turnover in high-turnover departments where managers are coached

+18 eNPS in teams where managers are coached

92% of coached employees report better working relationships

50% of employees coached were female of which 94% reported a greater sense of belonging