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Learning and development

We believe that continuous learning is key to sustainable performance. As an organisation committed to helping our employees realise their potential, we encourage regular formal and informal development conversations with line managers. Our dedicated intranet site Learning@SCB promotes self-driven learning and houses a wide range of learning tools and shares success stories from around our network. It received over 400,000 hits throughout the year.

We strive to create an engaged, high-performing workforce and it is our leaders who are responsible for creating and nurturing this. To further support our leaders we have improved and expanded our leadership development programmes. We now offer seven core leadership development programmes, which are differentiated according to the experience and management level of the participant. Leading the Journey, newly designed for our most senior leaders, combines personal development with broad, future focused input on strategic planning, culture and change. This programme engages our most senior leaders in a conversation about what we want Standard Chartered to become and the role that they will play to make our ambition a reality. For managers at all levels, we offer the Great Manager Programme, which focuses on the fundamentals of leadership, with modules ranging from coaching conversations to leveraging team strengths.

We hired some world class senior level talent this year, whose integration into our culture was supported by our long-established team of leadership effectiveness coaches. However, we predict as the global economy moves out of recession and our competitors resume their expansion plans, the recruitment market will become more competitive. It is vital, therefore, that we develop and promote from within, creating a sustainable flow of talent throughout the organisation. Our leadership effectiveness team supported more than 200 leaders on a one to one basis during the year, and devoted additional time to critical leadership teams globally. About 30 senior business teams and country management committee teams enjoyed bespoke programmes, designed and facilitated by our coaches, as well as behaviourally focused feedback during regular business meetings. These have had demonstrable results, such as:

  • aligning teams to our business vision and objectives
  • building staff engagement and commitment
  • creating opportunities for open and courageous conversations
  • clarifying dependencies
  • accelerating high performance by leveraging strengths

Our facilitators are also very involved with supporting leaders globally in embedding the culture and values and linking these to business outcomes. For example, our 360 degree feedback tool, now in its second year, has provided more than 300 of our most senior leaders with personal feedback which is incorporated into their development plans.

We have also increased our efforts in the recruitment and development of our future leaders, via our International Graduate Programme and our Management Associate Programme.

Our International Graduate Programme offers a unique opportunity for new graduates, who start a series of rotations working with diverse teams and on projects that involve interaction with colleagues overseas. They learn at first hand the importance of cultural awareness and sensitivity, and that the way business is conducted in one country is often very different from another.

We encourage our graduates to build diverse networks across the Bank which they can draw upon and engage when needed. Working with such a wide range of cultures and nationalities gives our graduates a unique experience that few organisations can offer. One quarter of this year's graduate intake moved into cross border roles.

As Alexis Kang, an international graduate in Korea, puts it, " Reflecting on the past two years, I can't help but feel proud of myself and of the accomplishments I've made in such a short period of time. This wouldn't have been possible if it wasn't for the International Graduate Programme - with its structured development roadmaps, training programmes, strong support network, and so much more. "

Similarly, our Management Associate Programme offers our Masters of Business and Administration (MBA) recruits the opportunity to join a real job on day one, with defined targets, immediate interaction with our customers and the chance to work as part of a team. We provide plenty of training programmes and support to assist their success, but ultimately we believe that early accountability and responsibility helps them develop faster.

As Payal Dalal, Head of Public Affairs for the Americas, Corporate Affairs, New York, says: "Everyday, I get to do what I love for a company I believe in. And each day, it's different. One day, I might be in Washington talking to the US Government about US-China relations. The next, I'm at a conference promoting Standard Chartered's amazing commitment to HIV and malaria."

While we are extremely proud of our performance during the economic crisis, we are mindful of the challenges that we may face in the coming year. Retaining staff as our competitors regain confidence is a key objective, and we may need to adapt speedily as new regulations are imposed on financial markets.

All our development is based on the philosophy of being a strengths-based organisation. We encourage individuals, managers and teams to identify and focus on their distinctive talents, and constantly challenge them to achieve more with them. We recognise that individual strengths are unique, and that each employee will deliver in a role in a different way.

Right start

Case Study: Right Start

Our induction process for new employees was enhanced during the year with the launch of a new online virtual world.

Find out more

Report tools

Annual Report and Accounts 2009