Northern Trust's Employees

Aug 30, 2022 12:00 PM ET
Text: In 2021, Employees consumed nearly 520,000 hours of training in a combination of self-paced, virtual and instructor-led formats.

Originally published in Northern Trust's 2021 Sustainability Report

We recognize that employees are critical to our success, and take seriously our search for, and retention of, top talent.

Talent Management Overview
Northern Trust's talent management department is led by the chief talent officer, who reports directly to the chief human resources officer. This team is accountable for establishing policies, programs and practices focused on talent acquisition, learning and development, talent planning and organizational effectiveness.

Talent Acquisition
To achieve our recruiting goals, we target our talent identification, sourcing methods and recruiting strategies to specific locations using a variety of channels including job boards, colleges, professional networks, associations and online social networks. We base hiring decisions on a variety of factors, including educational background, relevant experience, past accomplishments, professional licensing and strong evidence of integrity and ethical behavior. We also ensure our recruitment efforts are aligned with our DE&I goals (see Diversity, Equity and Inclusion section to learn more).

Learning & Development
Through the Northern Trust University (NTU) portal, employees can easily access a customized portfolio of core professional-, manager-, sales- and client-servicing training solutions. In addition, NTU provides and tracks all mandatory compliance training, as well as functional training specific to various jobs and roles. In 2021, employees consumed nearly 520,000 hours of training in a combination of self-paced, virtual and instructor-led formats

Our Future-Focused Skills Learning Center is designed to increase employees' proficiency in the skills needed to serve our clients and grow our employees' careers in a digital economy. Areas of focus include data analytics, commercial acumen and digital transformation skills. Three new Learning Centers were also established to support our new way of working due to the pandemic—Managing in a Hybrid World, Working in a Hybrid World and Wellbeing, which includes extensive programs on wellness and resilience. We have also recently expanded our focus on DE&I through such enterprise-wide initiatives as an Unconscious Bias program and an emphasis on diverse representation in all our development programs.

Northern Trust also encourages our employees to pursue further education outside of the organization. Our Education Assistance Program provides tuition reimbursement globally to employees who want to earn degrees. We also support selected industry certifications through this program.

Leadership Development
Northern Trust provides targeted development opportunities for employees transitioning into management, and throughout their management career. Our interactive programs include curated content from external providers, as well as internally developed content from our own thought leaders. Many programs include opportunities for peer networking and direct access to well-known expert facilitators. We also provide several resources and programs to develop and equip a diverse pipeline of future leaders at all levels of the organization.


Talent Planning and Organizational Effectiveness
Northern Trust continually assesses our talent pool to ensure we have the breadth, depth and diversity of technical and leadership skills to execute our business strategies today and in the future.

The Rotational Development Program helps entry-level employees build their technical and leadership skills in a specific career track—credit, finance, investments, asset servicing or technology. Rotations involve training, mentorship, access to speakers, community service and a case challenge.

The A Approach for Managers Summit also brings together mid-level leaders for 2.5 days to engage in a dialogue with their peers about what it takes to succeed in their roles at Northern Trust. Through highly interactive experiences, individual and group projects, panel discussions with senior leaders and large group events, participants build the skillset required to lead today, and be prepared for what lies ahead tomorrow. They leave the program with practical tools and a well-established network they can leverage on the job.

The Enterprise Talent Leadership Program prepares a diverse range of midcareer talent for leadership success. It includes assessments, career and development planning, access to executive coaches, mentorship, access to speakers, targeted development and exposure to senior leadership. More than 50 percent of the program's alumni have either achieved, or are in the pipeline for, key leadership roles.

The Senior Leadership Development Program convenes 60 Northern Trust senior vice presidents annually to align and evolve their leadership skills to match company expectations, prepare and empower them to lead today and in the future, and operate more nimbly across business units and regions. A variety of immersive experiences are employed to challenge assumptions and allow for exploration and practice, including a digital transformation studio to provide opportunities to address real-life examples and experiment in a safe environment. Participants build their network, leverage a global mindset to drive transformation and gain additional exposure to our senior management and executive vice presidents.

Northern Trust implemented several practices to support our new work model, including greater levels of flexibility around where work is performed, enhanced technology, expanded well-being resources, training and support for employees and managers working in a hybrid environment.

Managers conduct talent assessments for nearly 10,000 employees annually, and business and regional leadership teams hold regular talent-review discussions focused on specific topics, such as workforce needs, retention risks, diversity, top talent, readiness for promotion, readinessto-move and succession plans. Each year, a talent-review meeting is conducted with members of our senior management team. A formal talent review is also conducted with our board of directors each year, led by our chief executive officer and chief human resources officer.

Our talent-management team oversees several processes that support organizational effectiveness, including performance management, internal mobility, engagement and recognition. Priorities are set by our chief executive officer, and communicated to each business, department, team and individual, and managers are encouraged to provide regular feedback and coaching to elicit performance and results.

We collect employee perspectives and ideas through our annual Engagement Survey, and use this feedback to inform Northern Trust’s strategic priorities and measure progress of those efforts over time.

The Future of Work
Northern Trust recognizes that the events of 2020 accelerated changes around expectations of how and where work will be completed. In 2021, a cross-functional taskforce was created to align our employee experience with work trends that were anticipated for an eventual post-COVID era. Our framework was built around the core principles of enhancing client satisfaction, maintaining our risk profile, strengthening our unique culture, improving employee engagement and helping us achieve our financial goals, as well as the health and safety of our employees.

Northern Trust implemented several practices to support our new work model, including greater levels of flexibility around where work is performed, enhanced technology, expanded well-being resources, training and support for employees and managers working in a hybrid environment, and refining the purpose of our physical offices to focus on client service, collaboration, connection and community.

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