Promoting Engagement at Deutsche Bank
Elan Telem, SHS '16, is instituting measures to increase employee engagement in his workplace, utilizing lessons and principles he learned in the I-O program.
Education: University of Pittsburgh; Political Science major and Psychology minor; Touro College School of Health Sciences’ Graduate School of Psychology Master’s in Industrial-Organizational (I-O) Psychology
Internship: Aon Hewitt, New York, NY, four months in 2013, Compensation Intern, Global Data Solutions Team
Current position: Business Analyst, Deutsche Bank
When he was promoted to Business Analyst (from Recruiting Coordinator) in the Advantage group at Deutsche Bank, Elan Telem had an overarching goal: to promote more engagement in the workplace.
“Lots of people drag themselves to work every day because they simply don’t feel invested in their job,” says Elan. “On the other hand, if an employee feels more emotionally attached to their company or organization, he or she will produce better quality, ultimately benefitting the company.”
So, using practices and principles he had learned about during his I-O classes at Touro, Elan set out to increase his own team’s engagement. His first task? To revamp the orientation training for new hires. “Role clarity is a significant indicator of emotional commitment to one’s position, and to the organization,” explains Elan. “Since my team’s Recruiting Coordinator (RC) new-joiner training didn’t provide clear, concise description of the new hire’s roles, I determined that it needed to be updated as soon as possible.” He first interviewed everybody on his team, getting to understand the important KSAs (Knowledge, Skills and Abilities), as well as the most crucial RC tasks from his leadership’s perspective. Of course, it helped that Elan was a former RC himself.
“When you set out to make a change among employees, it helps to know their challenges from a firsthand perspective. As a former recruiting coordinator, I understood the hardships of learning that job, and wanted to improve the RC new-joiner experience as much as I could.”
Elan revamped his company’s informal, ambiguous training process by instituting a more formal method of orienting new hires based on principles he learned in his Training and Development class with Professor Islam.
“The original system required new RC’s to shadow a single current employee over the course of a week to ‘learn the ropes,’” explained Elan. “This process was inefficient because of its lack of structure, and also failed to integrate the new RC into the team culture.” To improve the candidate experience, Elan created a more structured process, providing the new hire with a detailed week-one schedule, in which the new joiner would train with all the existing RC’s, and creating concurrent decks/materials to review during and post training.
“Not only does the new hire interact with multiple team members during training, but the trainers themselves become subject matter experts when they are tasked with updating materials with which to teach the new person.”
So how does this promote engagement?
“Firstly, both parties come away with a clear understanding of their roles as RCs. And because they have higher role clarity, they feel more invested in their job. Also, more teamwork (and more responsibility given to the current employees) can make both employees feel valued, that they’re an important part of the team.”
Telem has subsequently received commitment from leadership to greatly expand his initiatives: He is very excited to be instituting a monthly newsletter, additional training and development opportunities, team-building events, and reward-for-performance opportunities within his team. Through research articles and LinkedIn groups, as well as a multitude of other additional platforms, this Business Analyst is always striving for additional ways to improve his team’s commitment to the company.
Telem also credits specific skills he uses on a daily basis to practices he learned in the I-O program—such as the creation and presentation of PowerPoint decks (“something we had to do a lot of in school, especially in Benjamin Elman’s Research class”) and data analysis (“understanding statistics in SPSS and Excel”).
Favorite parts of the job: “Being responsible for so many different elements of my team means that I face completely different challenges on a daily basis… in terms of ad-hoc requests, and just having my fingertips on a lot of different projects simultaneously…which is challenging, but enjoyable.”
In summation: “Working for a massive global organization means you can’t make huge changes everywhere, but you can make little changes here and there, which I’ve done. And I’m proud to say they’ve really made a difference.”