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Remote Managers Killing Culture – 2 in 3 Professionals Threaten to Quit



Remote managers negative impact on culture – 60% of professionals report feeling ‘disengaged’ due to lack of face time with leaders

  • 2 in 3 professionals will leave their job this year if they don’t get more face time with their manager
  • Half state that less meetings and interaction with their manager has impacted their output
  • A quarter of professionals ‘don’t communicate’ with their manager at all when WFH – up from 3% at the start of the pandemic
  • 1/3 of managers have disbanded face-to-face catchups with employees for good
  • 62% of professionals would decline a job offer if not delivered in person (F2F or video call), with three quarters expecting a job offer to come from prospective line manager rather than HR

2 in 3 South African professionals have reported that they are ‘highly likely’ to leave their job this year due to a lack of face time with leaders within their organisation.

Following news that President Cyril Ramaphosa would like to bring South Africa’s national state of disaster to a close next month, an annual employee survey from recruiter Robert Walters reveals the potential damage of upholding remote leadership in 2022.

Results from the survey indicate a correlation between a decrease in performance and morale for professionals who claim they see their manager (face-to-face) less than once a week.

Both performance and morale steadily increased for professionals who spent more days in the office with their manager.

The ‘wrong kind’ of Autonomy

48% of professionals stated that fewer meetings and less interaction with their manager has led to a dip in their output.

In fact, when asked how often professionals speak to their line manager when working from home, 22% stated that they “don’t really communicate with manager when working from home” – up from just 3% who stated the same at the beginning of the pandemic.

A third of managers have permanently adopted a new management style post-COVID, in favour of holding catch-ups (both formal and informal) with their staff over the phone or via video call – rather than in person.

Many professionals believe that this increasing lack of contact with their line manager has resulted in them being overlooked for new opportunities (44%), progression (37%), and training (26%).

 Samantha- Jane Gravett,  Associate Director for Robert Walters – Africa comments:

“As the concrete solidifies on hybrid working schemes, the long-term impact of remote leadership is yet to be assessed, but it cannot be ignored.

“Professionals striving  for progression want to show initiative, adaptability, and the ability to handle responsibility by themselves – and so by nature they won’t necessarily ask for more face time with their manager as they feel it works against the point they are trying to prove.

“Outside of effective delegation and general team management, a line manager must act as a leader – guiding and supporting each individual and helping to finesse and bring out star qualities and skills.

“This leadership skill is not simply an ‘add-on’ to a line managers duty but critical – and central to that is high levels of engagement, face time and shadowing. Businesses must understand that if they are to have a solid future talent pipeline they should take a look at the current management style of their leadership team and make adjustments to ensure there is face to face interaction, where possible.”

Face to Face Interaction Important for New Employees

Added to that, the survey found that 62% of professionals would be ‘put off’ a new job offer not delivered in person (F2F or video call) – with a generic email (57%), voice call (33%), or a voicemail being the leading approaches that would put prospective candidates off.

Over three quarters (77%) of professionals believe that prospective line managers should be the one presenting a job offer to a candidate – rather than HR – with a further 45% stating that it is important that they are invited to a team lunch or social within the first week of starting their new job.

Samantha comments: “Job satisfaction takes many forms, but these survey results highlight how companies need to be acutely aware of the potentially negative effects of impersonal processes for hiring or managing employees.

“Where in many instances technology and the virtual world can aid proficiency, it is no replacement for human interaction when trying to engage a prospective employee or onboard a new hire.”

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Barclays Eyes £1 Billion Cost-Cutting Plan Amidst Job Cut Speculations



Barclays Africa Group

Barclays PLC is reportedly in the initial stages of formulating an ambitious cost-cutting plan that could result in savings of up to £1 billion ($1.3 billion) over the next few years.

The proposed measures, still under review by top management, might include a workforce reduction of as many as 2,000 jobs, primarily at Barclays Execution Services, the unit encompassing the bank’s back-office operations.

While discussions are ongoing, the plan aims to enhance profitability, potentially resulting in the elimination of 1,500 to 2,000 jobs, constituting approximately 2% of the bank’s total workforce.

Barclays is strategically evaluating actions to reduce structural costs as part of its efforts to drive future returns.

The bank anticipates that these cost-cutting initiatives might lead to significant additional charges in the fourth quarter.

Barclays, with total operating expenses of £16.7 billion last year, is grappling with a challenging financial landscape.

The bank’s share prices have declined by 11.5% this year, prompting Chief Executive Officer C.S. Venkatakrishnan to engage strategy advisers to devise plans aimed at reviving the bank’s share performance.

A Barclays spokesperson declined to comment on the ongoing discussions and proposals. The bank revealed last month that it would provide an investor update in February, coinciding with its full-year results announcement.

This update is expected to include a new strategic direction.

Barclays Execution Services Ltd. (BX), the unit potentially affected by these cost-cutting measures, had 22,334 full-time staff at the end of 2022.

The unit provides technology, operations, and functional services to various businesses within the Barclays group.

As the discussions evolve, the bank may prioritize layoffs in other areas to achieve its objectives in optimizing structural costs.

Investors await further details during the upcoming investor update, where Barclays is expected to outline its fresh strategy to navigate the complex financial landscape.

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OpenAI Engineers Earn $800,000 a Year




It has been revealed that engineers at OpenAI, the trailblazing artificial intelligence (AI) research laboratory, are raking in $800,000 annually, making them some of the highest-paid professionals in the tech industry.

An analysis conducted by compensation data platform sheds light on the extraordinary earning potential of these AI experts.

The data indicates that the salary range for OpenAI’s engineering roles typically spans from $200,000 to $370,000.

However, for more specialized positions, the range extends from $300,000 to an eye-watering $450,000. When factoring in bonuses and stock awards, total compensation for these roles can soar to a staggering $800,000.

The revelation comes at a time when OpenAI faced a recent upheaval, with CEO Sam Altman briefly ousted and subsequently reinstated after an outcry from hundreds of employees.

This incident underscores the substantial leverage that the highly skilled workforce in the tech industry currently holds.

Julia Pollak, Chief Economist at job site ZipRecruiter, emphasized the scarcity of talent in emerging technologies like AI, stating, “For emerging technologies like AI, you only have a very small, small group of people who are experienced. They are the product, they are the company.”

The demand for AI expertise has driven median total compensation for AI-focused engineers to unparalleled heights.

With such hefty paychecks, OpenAI engineers not only wield influence within their organization but also stand as a testament to the growing value of specialized skills in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

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Citigroup Streamlines Operations, Cutting Over 300 Senior Manager Roles




Citigroup Inc. is undergoing a significant organizational shift under CEO Jane Fraser’s leadership, streamlining operations and eliminating over 300 senior manager roles, according to an insider.

The reductions, affecting staff two levels below Fraser’s executive management team, amount to approximately 10% of the workforce at that level.

This move is part of Fraser’s strategy to simplify the bank’s structure, eliminate management layers, and enhance decision-making efficiency.

Citigroup issued a statement acknowledging the ongoing organizational changes without specifying the exact number of job cuts.

The bank highlighted the challenging decisions but emphasized their necessity to align the structure with the overall strategy and ensure consistent excellence in client services.

Fraser, in a memo to staff, expressed awareness of the significant commitment and hard work required from employees during this transformation.

The restructuring is a pivotal initiative for Citigroup, representing its most significant organizational overhaul in two decades.

The plan involves moving away from the two core operating units and refocusing on five key business areas: trading, banking, services, wealth management, and US consumer offerings.

Citigroup aims to unveil additional layers of change early next year, with the final adjustments expected to conclude by the end of the first quarter.

Despite earlier severance charges and position reductions, the firm’s overall headcount has remained steady at 240,000 employees, reflecting the bank’s strategic shift and commitment to adapt to evolving industry demands.

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