The chief executive of Goldman Sachs has encouraged staff to ‘go the extra mile’, even if they feel they’ve reached their limit, despite praising a group of junior staff for raising concerns about their 95-hour weeks.
In a message to the investment bank’s 34,000 staff, David Solomon said it was “great” that the junior analysts went to their management with concerns about their working conditions, but added that hard work brought rewards and that they needed to meet the challenges posed by high client demand.
Last week it emerged that 13 Goldman Sachs employees conducted a presentation for managers in February which showed they were working 95 hours a week on average, slept only five hours a night, and had experienced bullying, micromanagement and excessive monitoring.
Solomon said: “Just remember: if we all go an extra mile for our client, even when we feel that we’re reaching our limit, it can really make a difference in our performance.”
He also urged employees to reach out for help if they had issues and said the company wanted people to be able to share concerns freely.
“I can imagine that many of you saw the presentation that a group of analysts shared with their management recently about their lack of work-life balance,” he said. “This is something that our leadership team and I take very seriously.”
The company has said it will enforce its “Saturday rule”, where junior bankers’ are entitled to time off between Friday evening and Sunday morning. It has also taken steps to address employee burnout.
Plans to hire more junior bankers have been accelerated and staff are being transferred to departments where workloads are highest. Some 3,000 staff are expected to be recruited.
In 2015 Sarvshreshth Gupta, a Goldman Sachs analyst based in San Francisco, took his own life after complaining of working 100 hours a week and working all night.
Solomon recently said he was keen to “correct” the current homeworking arrangements as soon as possible, stating that it does not align with the company’s collaborative culture.