Executive Management Trainee
Retail Banking - Bermuda
I wake up early because I have got a team to run and need to check my figures for the previous day. Plus, I am not built for Bermudian weather, so I don't melt on the way to work if I get in early. Shall we say I winter well?
I usually tidy up my emails, battle my way through the archaic information systems and decide how I am going to approach the day. I decide what conversations I am going to have with individuals and generally energise myself so that when the team get in, I am absolutely bouncing. I hit the dancefloor hard first thing and make sure that I am visible to the specialists in the head office. I am running a team of 12 Senior Banking Specialists and Investment Specialists concentrating on the newish HSBC Advance proposition. I quite often take a quick jaunt over to another branch that is walking distance away, so that they know I am always on the prowl. I feel that if I have managed to have some face to face time with half of my team at least, then it has been a decent day.
After making my significant presence felt, I usually have certain bits and pieces to tidy up. This includes writing blogs for the graduate team in London and pulling together reports on Mondays. Tuesdays is packed out with meetings.
Wednesday I create my own weekly email to minimise the volume of important communications that go out to the team. Thursday I do my diary reviews and plan of action for Friday to drive diary activity so that we hit the next week hard. This is all conducted on a conference call. Friday is all about tidying up the week and preparing for Monday morning's report run. My predecessor (another UK graduate) put a lot of these processes in and I am very fortunate to have taken it on after he had done a lot of work. However, there are still ongoing back office issues that have to be addressed and this is where I am working my socks off at the moment. It can be quite a fractious environment because Bermuda is so small and people bring their issues to work a little too often. But because that is the nature of the beast, I have had to be charm personified to get as many of the stakeholders on side as possible. Key skills I learnt during my time in the Group HQ and my time working in the political world.
The team I picked up were fairly demoralised from the state of the economy out here (their recession has only just hit rock bottom in Bermuda) and also the amount of changes that have had to be made to react to the economic decline. I have spent a lot of time engaging with the team and trying to get them to open up about their bug bears at work. I kept a master list and then started ticking them off one after another. That has given me some credibility in that they can see that I am trying my hardest to make their life a little better. Their part of the bargain is to pack out the diaries and get themselves in front of customers. They know this because I make it patently clear.
If I didn't keep my to do list with me at all times I would forget half the stuff I have to do. Luckily it is always by my side and I have managed to be thorough with everything that I have undertaken so far.
The day usually finishes with me taking a tour of the dance floor again and having a word with everyone about how the day has gone and also about what they expect to happen tomorrow. Looking forward is always important in retail as you are only as good as your last quarter in such a fast paced environment. One of my old bosses used to say that working in retail was the coalface of the business. It's so true in terms of the graft that you have to put in to get the results - after all retail is detail - I just wish that my job was as straightforward as smacking a bit of rock with a pickaxe.