A group of first-year analysts in Goldman Sachs’ investment banking unit say grueling 100-hour weeks have damaged their health and are causing them to consider bailing on their high-paying Wall Street jobs.
The group surveyed themselves and then created a PowerPoint presentation, which was shared with managers and found its way onto social media. As reported in the NY Post, according to these employees, the work conditions are grueling:
- “What is not OK to me is 110-120 hours over the course of a week. The math is simple, that leaves four hours for eating, sleeping, showering, bathroom, and general transition time. This is inhuman/abuse.”
- “Sleep deprivation, poor treatment by senior bankers, and physical stress. I’ve been through foster care and this is arguably worse.”
- “My body physically hurts all the time and mentally, I’m in a dark place.”
To their credit, the analysts not only complained, they also proposed solutions. From recommending 80-hour work weeks to avoiding last-minute changes to presentations for client meetings, young employees are hoping leaders listen. In response, Goldman says it is enacting new measures, such as forgoing some business to help keep the workload more manageable.
Jill, What Can I Do? Don’t create a culture like the one at Goldman Sachs. While I understand that the pressure to make money on Wall Street is enormous, people matter more than profits. It’s great – and important – for a business to make money, but not at the expense of its most valuable asset. All organizations should keep their finger on the pulse of how employees are doing. The easiest way to do this is via an employee engagement survey (survey tips here). If your employees have to create a scathing PowerPoint presentation for managers in order to be heard, you’ve failed. Don’t let it get to that point, as it’s bad for your employees and your reputation.