Banque Raiffeisen, rewarded for its people experience strategy

Writer Laura Campan

Following a global pandemic and all the social phenomena that have impacted the job market since then, how to show resilience and embrace the new values of a whole (disillusioned) generation?

The 20th anniversary of the HR One Gala was arguably the perfect moment to discuss these topics with the awards’ winners.

This week, let’s start the ball rolling with Banque Raiffeisen.

The term “People Experience” is quite broad. What does it mean to you? 

For us, “People Experience” is the whole set of experiences that an employee has while working at Banque Raiffeisen. This includes the work environment, company culture, as well as our policies and procedures. We can view “People Experience” as the entire employment journey, from the moment someone is recruited and onboarded, through day-to-day work and performance management, all the way to offboarding, if that ends up taking place.

We have made it our goal to offer a highly positive experience to all employees. This means that we strive to create a work environment that allows people to feel engaged, productive, and satisfied – all while having their professional development and personal growth supported by the Bank.

Why are we so committed to this goal? Obviously, a positive employment experience plays a key role in attracting and retaining talent, but apart from that, treating people well and empowering them is vital for organisational success. You need happy, empowered employees to drive the company forward, especially in a difficult labour market and challenging environment.

What have you done to improve the people experience, and what changes have you noticed since then?

First, we take a holistic approach and really look at the whole picture. One of the reasons we stand out from other institutions is because we are a cooperative bank, and as an employer, the principles of cooperation, holistic thinking, and concern for people are at our core. We see each employee as a person, one with individual needs, strengths, and goals.

To create a motivational work environment, we aim to give each individual the autonomy, development, meaning, recognition, and sense of belonging that he or she needs and deserves. Of course, the way to do this is with concrete measures. 

For example, we introduced “Quality Time”, a concept that greatly allows for more flexible working hours. Also, we have put measures in place to promote work-life integration and the ability to work more autonomously. Another step we have taken is implementing a concept we call Positive Leadership. Our new “charte des comportements”, complementary to our code of conduct, puts into place a clear framework for cooperation and working side by side at the Bank. 

Another thing that’s quite special is our “Thank God it’s Monday” campaign, which strengthens and promotes internal cohesion and a sense of belonging.

Unlike what we may think, Quiet Quitting – when employees lose motivation and feel disengaged – is a real trend. Has your approach allowed you to mostly prevent this? 

Definitely. Focusing on the employee experience does help to avoid quiet quitting – the phenomenon of employees disengaging and eventually leaving their jobs without giving any outward indication or warning to their managers and colleagues.

By creating a positive and supportive work environment, Banque Raiffeisen increases employee engagement and satisfaction, which in turn can help to reduce turnover and increase retention. We do this through a variety of initiatives, such as offering opportunities for professional development and growth, promoting work-life balance, fostering a culture of open communication and feedback, and providing competitive compensation and benefits. All these helps to ensure that employees feel valued and appreciated for their contributions.

Overall, investing in “People Experience” can be a powerful way to build a motivated, engaged, and productive workforce, as well as reduce the costs and disruption associated with turnover and quiet quitting.

Aside from improving the employee experience, do you believe a healthy corporate culture may also have an impact on long-term profits? 

Absolutely. As a cooperative bank, we are all about the long-term strategy, and this is only possible if we have employees who are committed to us for the long run and who will be there for years to come, eager to do their best to help the Bank achieve its long-term goals. 

You cannot earn this sort of commitment from employees without a healthy corporate culture, which also happens to be in line with our values of respect, ambition, passion, and proximity. For us, we want competent, motivated employees who feel a sense of belonging and strongly identify with both the business and Banque Raiffeisen, including the Bank’s goals and values. This is how we, thanks to our people, achieve long-term profits and work toward our sustainability strategy.