JP Morgan says 'thank you' with nachos and pep talks

Daniel Pinto

Dimon and Pinto sent memos on September 19 announcing that the bank would this week run a special programme of career training workshops, panel discussions and team events in an effort to formally thank employees.

In London, free nachos and mini burgers were being handed out on the office floor, while staff have been able to pop into various panels, including a talk by former England rugby scrum half Matt Dawson on effective teamwork, or a discussion with a psychologist on how to deal with pressure and uncertainty.

Management teams were also called on to run smaller desk events, with one team hosting a “Great Bank Street Bake Off”, where employees were judged on their biscuits.

Pinto said in his memo: “Go out of your way to say thank you – not just to colleagues that sit near you, but to colleagues around the world who support you every day. Thank you for all you do.”

Meanwhile, Dimon said: “We feel enormously blessed to work with such talented employees across the globe. You have our gratitude — not only this week, but each and every day.”

Pinto added that it was rare to achieve things alone, something “we were reminded of that during this year’s summer games in Rio. Even athletes who competed in individual sports gave thanks to all the people who made their success possible, including coaches, mentors, trainers, friends and, of course, family. It’s the same at work”.

A spokeswoman for the bank said it is already considering running the event again.

Julia Meazzo, head of HR for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, told FN that although you need to give day-to-day recognition “focusing on it for a week has encouraged people to think about all the different colleagues globally who help them do their jobs”.

The move comes months after the bank introduced a weekends-off initiative dubbed ‘Pencils Down‘ earlier this year, and less than year after Dimon answered questions at a one hour “appreciation event” for analysts and associates.

It is not the first bank to take measures to keep its employees happy — perks such as dry cleaning and concierge-style services are commonplace, but most have also upped the focus on work-life balance in recent years, with a number of initiatives targeting younger workers.

This year alone has seen UBS introduce a “take-two” scheme allowing staff to take two hours off during their working week, Credit Suisse test a “Friday nights off” rule, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup offer junior bankers sabbaticals and, most recently, HSBC introduce a scheme allowing junior bankers to rotate desks.

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