At MIFL, human capital is considered a valuable asset. From the outset, MIFL has invested in its people and considers this a key strategic matter.
Alongside direct employees, MIFL also utilizes the services of employees in its sister company Mediolanum International Life dac on a shared services basis. Many such persons are involved in the delivery of new fund products given their level of skill and experience in this sector of financial services.
In addition, there are up to 70 people employed by our Fund Administrators dedicated to MIFL’s business on a day to day basis through the mechanism of long standing service provision contracts.
The intrinsic value of the human capital of the company can be classified into two different elements:
- The high level of competences and skills of the employees;
- The communication process and the team work among the employees.
In order to stay ahead and to maintain competitiveness, the Human Resources department has developed a strategy fully synchronized with the business strategy.
The company believes that in the current market scenario it is becoming more and more critical to have the capability to maintain and to develop key talent within the organization. The Human Resources department is constantly looking at how we can develop our talent management activities. We put a lot of emphasis and focus on developing talented people within the organisation who are able to fit our culture and reach our targets. In the current market environment we work using a two-fold approach. We hire people with the potential to grow and we aim to develop them from both a technical and management skills perspective, or, we hire people that already have a strong technical background, which can be developed from the managerial point of view to fit the company philosophy.
For this purpose, in order to develop a solid talent management capability, the company has adopted the following approach:
Our staff recruitment and selection process ensures that those joining MIFL reflect our culture and have the necessary skills to contribute to MIFL’s success, in addition to performing their own specific job to a high level of competence within the organization. A key factor in the recruitment process is that particular attention is paid to the innovative side of our employees. We aim to develop innovation as a general predisposition. We assess the behaviour of people towards creativity and resilience. We have created an environment in which we stimulate the creativity and risk taking propensities of everyone. This approach allows the organisation to build up a fertile background in which people can be pro-active in generating new ideas which can ultimately lead to competitive advantage.
Coaching, Mentoring and Training
MIFL pays strong attention to its employees and invests significantly in coaching and mentoring. We consider coaching and mentoring two distinctive phases of the development of an employee. Coaching tends to be task oriented, it is usually performance driven and it covers a short term strategy. While mentoring is mainly relationship oriented, it is development driven and it requires a long term strategy. Our senior managers are deeply involved with their own staff in order to develop such skills.
In particular for training, we consider three different areas:
- Technical training
- Managerial training
In the first case, we operate a program of support for employees pursuing relevant professional qualifications through study and examinations e.g. Accountancy (ACCA) and Investment (CFA) qualifications.
In the second case, we create and support various initiatives such as those on innovation, leadership and team building using both well established proprietary methodologies and some novel tools. These can be in-company or public participation depending on the goal in each case.
MIFL utilizes the latest technologies to maintain day to day contact with various parties with whom it interacts frequently. This provides employees with efficient and secure platforms to conduct business across markets. MIFL also invests time in regular cross departmental team briefing sessions i.e. MIFL Uncovered sessions which are run on a regular basis and enable employees to share their knowledge horizontally across functions so as to improve the understanding of the processes and procedures at all levels within the company. MIFL also encourages collaboration among the different people in the organisation.
It is important to create an environment in which people are encouraged to collaborate and they receive a reward based on the feedback provided by their colleagues. For this purpose, MIFL has created a mechanism of reward - MedCredit - for the employees that contribute to creating a collaborative environment.
The MIFL Human Resources department also collaborates with other institutions. MIFL has joined forces with other leading financial service companies in Ireland to promote the Diploma in Financial Services Innovation at University College Dublin which commenced in January 2013. The course work for this initiative addresses the barriers to creativity and innovation including identifying which barriers threaten new ideas, and how to plan to reduce project risks. Participants will learn how technology is just a part of innovation and it needs to be applied appropriately and in the context of our business. They will learn techniques for balancing human, business and technical needs, on how to put multi-disciplinary teams in place with the right mix of people, and how to use creativity techniques, systems and structures.