Q: The changes we have experienced this year have been so significant, it almost feels like change is managing us. And yet, that is not a helpful way to think about it, especially if you are in a position of leadership. How do you think about managing change during this time of great changes in society, the economy, and workplaces?
My role as a leader at WSFS focuses on the wellbeing of our Associates. I have strong relationships with our lines of business and understand our Associates, their experience working at WSFS, and their needs to maintain a good work-life balance. This past year, I’ve broadened my focus, proactively addressing the changing landscape and Associates’ needs as we all respond to events such as the pandemic. A great company like WSFS is nimble and accepting of different strategies to provide flexible work arrangements, supplemental paid leave benefits and special incentive pay as opportunities to support our Associates through these changing times.
Q: Many people believe that remote work will continue to be a big part of our lives, even after Covid-19 is brought under control. Is that good news for professional women, or are there downsides we should think about now?
My vision is businesses will forever need to consider work-from-home as well as flexible work schedules for every Associate. Although women predominately may be the primary caregiver, I have responded to men, as well as women, who identify themselves as needing to provide childcare and learning assistance now that schools are utilizing virtual learning. I’ve researched and learned that children up to 6th grade need three hours a day of a parent’s time to assist them with their education. We are addressing flexible work schedules to provide time during the day that parents will need to provide this attention to their children. Our children are our future and we will provide the opportunities to retain our talent, which includes women who may consider leaving the workforce to care for their families.
Q: What are the most important tips you can share with people who may have lost their jobs and need to think about making an unplanned career transition?
Those in transition should complete a personal inventory of their talents. Job seekers tend to look for the same position they held previously or for many years. If they completed a self-assessment of their experience, they would realize they have knowledge, skills, and experiences meeting the requirements for other positions in different industries that are hiring. In addition to job search sites such as CareerBuilder and LinkedIn, networking with colleagues, community organizations, family and friends should be in their toolbox of sources when managing their job search. When in transition, be open to learning new skills as well as considering a position that may not be the exact level you held if that position is with a good company that can provide a sustained future to continue their career.
Q: What is one idea you have heard that has helped you personally adapt to change during this time—or one thing you have learned about change that might continue to help you in the future?
Working with our Associates, I’ve learned they all react to dramatic change differently and we need to be attentive to their emotional wellbeing. As an example, everyone adjusted differently to working from home and having limited accessibility to physically spend time with family and friends, and time outside their homes. We need to learn how change impacts someone and provide support if they are having trouble adapting. When working remotely and communicating through video conferencing, we need to be conscious of behaviors that are signals that tell us someone needs help. Out of care for one another, we need to develop our ability to ask those difficult questions to address others’ needs, should they be reluctant to ask for help themselves.
Cindy Crompton Barone, SHRM-CP, is SVP, Human Capital Management at WSFS Bank, where she has spent 16 years caring for the Bank’s Associates.
Serving our communities since 1832, WSFS Bank is one of the ten oldest banks in the United States continuously operating under the same name. Other subsidiaries or divisions of WSFS Financial Corporation are listed below.