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Talent retention key to post-pandemic survival

Despite the mass rollout of vaccinations against the coronavirus, 2021 has continued to be a year of uncertainty, with new variants and question marks over vaccine efficacy leading to a seemingly continual tightening and loosening of restrictions worldwide. International travel has been disrupted, domestic political agendas are being rewritten but, above all, the lifeblood of Europe’s economies, its small and medium-sized businesses, are having to adapt their business models (in some cases significantly) in order to survive the pandemic and give themselves the room to thrive in its aftermath.

In the panel session with four of our portfolio company CEOs during our last investors day, one of the key challenges (but also an opportunity) that they highlighted was the fact that hybrid working has led to a situation where companies are having to find innovative ways to attract and retain the very best talent in their sector. The most obvious of these is through financial reward, but what is also becoming increasingly important is a focus on employee wellbeing and workplace benefits, which chimes nicely with Kartesia’s own approach to ESG as it pertains to the workforce. Kartesia and all its portfolio companies are committed to retaining the best talents and providing employees with the opportunity to feel like they are making a difference while being valued.

We are of the firm belief that empowering and prioritising employees is essential to the success of Kartesia since the launch of our first fund. This focus at Kartesia level has in turn fed into our discussions with portfolio companies, which are better able to serve their customers because of their ability to offer a superior product and/or service than their nearest competitor with their skilled workforce. 

Since the onset of the coronavirus, we have worked with our portfolio companies to ensure that they all have the awareness, tools, expertise and in some cases additional liquidity to properly address this critical challenge. This is also an exercise we have ourselves endeavoured to undertake at a group level, always taking on board the feedback from our own employees as to what we can do better as an employer. The 18 hires this year, alongside the internal development of talent, is testament to our success in this regard.

In this edition of Insight Kartesia, we look more closely at one of this year’s landmark transactions, the acquisition and merger of Greenyard Prepared Foods and Okechamp S.A in Poland and the Netherlands, which required a great deal of flexibility and cross-border expertise. The CSR section of the newsletter highlights some important initiatives taking place within our business to tackle diversity and inclusion, 12 months on from the launch of a dedicated programme.

Happy reading!

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