Michael Rosen’s finance career began inside the loan department of middle market lender Union Bank (now MUFG Union), when—after completing an 18-month training program—the 23 -year-old was provided with a stack of business cards bearing the title “Loan Officer.”
For the next 14 years, Rosen found lending money to be an enterprising career track that eventually helped to open the door to a corporate finance leadership role.
“We kept telling the owner of a struggling client business that they really needed to have a CFO, and the next thing I knew, I was offered the job,” explains Rosen, who then accepted the first of his many CFO roles.
Today, Power Digital Marketing CFO Rosen finds himself along the front lines of the battle for talent—a fight that his firm has made clear that it doesn’t plan to lose.
Rosen: Power Digital has been forward and innovative in terms of making sure that all employees are satisfied with working here. Our employee retention rate is something like 98 percent, and I’ve vetted these numbers. We focus on a bunch of things that I think are critical. We focus on employee sentiment, and we do sentiment surveys weekly. I was at first shocked, really, in a good way, to find that when someone’s sentiment is low, we jump on it, and we jump on it from the CEO down.
We have Monday morning executive meetings, and when there’s a 2 or 3 score in sentiment, we’re like, “Hey, what’s going on? What can we do?”
Sentiment is an important metric for us, as is bandwidth. In terms of both of these metrics, everyone rates things differently, but we’re really all about looking at the relative ratings that people give. We ask people to rate their sentiment on a 1 to 5 scale. We ask them to rate their bandwidth on a 1 to 10 scale, and we look at week-to-week—how is this fluctuating? And then we jump on this kind of stuff.
“Throughout the year, we do these weekly updates to make sure that we stay on track, to make sure that we don’t lose sight of where an employee wants to be a year from now.” – Michael Rosen
We start with what we call the Vital Fives, which are five things that lead to what your contentment success is and how you define it. A lot of this is related to compensation, but some of it is how you see your role and where you want to be a year from today. Throughout the year, we do these weekly updates to make sure that we stay on track and that we don’t lose sight of where an employee wants to be in a year.
Our CEO is very interested in training entrepreneurs. He would love nothing more than to have people who work at Power Digital to someday become entrepreneurs and start their own businesses. We spend a lot of time and money on training and employee development. In fact, we have what we call our Power Digital MBA program, which spans 14 weeks. It’s a 2-hours-per-week course in which the first hour usually has someone from Power Digital speaking on a topic and then the second hour has an outside expert.
It covers everything from entrepreneurship and sales tactics to accounting and finance. Finance did a couple sessions because people are always interested in different aspects of the business. We had questions about real estate and about the stock market. We opened up about many things. The employees really respond positively to having the company provide this additional training and education for them.