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Talent attraction and engagement

Adversity creates opportunity. This was certainly true for us during the year, as the difficult economic environment highlighted our strengths as a profitable and growing international financial institution. We have leveraged this opportunity and made strong progress in building robust talent pipelines, and introducing new talent and experiences into Standard Chartered.

New recruits, be they new to the industry or veterans with long-established reputations in their fields, have to learn from day one about our unique values and culture. From our Right Start induction programme to calls with the Group Chief Executive, our new joiners are encouraged to understand the way we do business.

However, we know that attracting talent is only half the story. We want our employees to build careers with us and drive our sustainable performance. Therefore, it is vital that we have strong employee engagement initiatives in place.

Our Gallup Q12 Survey provides us with an annual, externally benchmarked assessment of our employee engagement. With 96 per cent of our employees participating, this survey really does represent the voice of our workforce. Despite the uncertain economic background, our overall engagement increased this year, and by agreeing to actions based on these results, teams can contribute to greater profitable growth.

In three countries, Korea, Taiwan and Thailand, the results indicated a marked increase in engagement, and Hong Kong continued to have world class engagement. Further analysis revealed that our managers in these countries had followed through on their action plans and maintained open lines of communication. Their success started at the top, with the management team committing both to a strong bank-wide action plan linked to business strategy, and to a team action plan to demonstrate visible leadership. In addition, Korea elected up to 700 engagement champions, who attended a two day workshop to learn more about our global initiatives to engage with employees and our unique culture. We encourage these country specific initiatives that tackle unique issues.

The survey also revealed that our employees are significantly more proud of our products and services this year, indicating that they are increasingly powerful brand ambassadors and advocates.

While we are keen to see employees progress through our organisation, we recognise that additional responsibilities may require new skills and levels of support from us. To this end, we  run the Great Manager Programme, a bespoke suite of training modules to support leaders as they develop their skills in managing teams. Leaders at all levels, from our Group Chief Executive Peter Sands, to country leaders, work closely with this programme to support their new contemporaries, offering real-life experiences and wisdom gained on the ground. Almost 3,000 managers participated in this programme over the year, while its accompanying online resource received about 75,000 hits.

We believe that regular, two-way interaction and communication between managers and employees is just as vital to our organisation's well being as Group-wide initiatives. Our Human Resources team works closely with managers to boost their confidence and capability in having these everyday conversations.

Indeed, we constantly strive to identify and define the intangible characteristics that contribute to our unique culture and aim to reinforce them in everyday life. We share stories of our employees living the values and expect our leaders to lead by example. We constantly strive to find new ways to measure the success of our approach and also to increase individual accountability.

Report tools

Annual Report and Accounts 2009