Human resources and equality
Landsbankinn employs a diverse team of individuals with a varied skill set, experience and backgrounds. Our team’s knowledge and experience supports the Bank’s operation and investment in continuing education, job development and the hire of new personnel ensures continuous development.
Landsbankinn is a dynamic force in society and we diligently work to ensure that its voice is strong, confidence-inspiring and suited to make our team proud. We aim for a robust, success-driven culture and encourage employees to find solutions that fit our customers’ needs with a forward-looking focus.
All restrictions imposed during Covid-19 were finally lifted in early 2022. It was a great relief to be able to welcome all employees back to the workplace. At that point, many had worked remotely for a long period and both employers and employees were faced with a new reality of increased flexibility in the workplace.
Workplace of tomorrow
One of the lessons Covid-19 taught us was that conditions for remote work are good for many jobs. In early 2022, we adopted new guidelines on a flexible work environment that allow for the continued opportunity for remote work when it suits. We adopted guidelines that allow for two days of remote work per week and also the option of longer remote-work periods for employees interested in working from overseas or different geographic locations domestically. A workplace audit carried out in spring revealed that around 89% of employees consider themselves able to collaborate effectively with colleagues when working remotely. This stands us in good stead as we head into the workplace of tomorrow which calls for increased flexibility and a more diverse work environment. This also echoes a survey employees responded to about their interest in remote work towards the end of 2021 which showed that 62% of employees are interested in working at home 1-2 days per week.
Move to new headquarters at Austurbakki
We are very excited about the upcoming move to our new headquarters at Austurbakki. A great deal of work has gone into preparing employees for the work environment, as our new headquarters are much more than just a new building. Austurbakki will be a new workplace with a project-oriented environment where the opportunities for collaboration and communication are considerably better than in older facilities in Kvosin.
We employee a team of exceptional individuals with a varied background. The Bank’s HR policy emphasises job satisfaction, a positive work environment and effective job development.
Well-being at work
Each year, we carry out surveys to gauge the well-being and attitude of employees. In the first half of the year, we perform a detailed workplace audit and a smaller, less extensive review in fall. The latter, dubbed the "health check" is intended to follow up on the goals for improvement set in the wake of the workplace audit. Together, these two surveys provide an important indication of employee feelings and views on the workplace. At the end of 2021, we started using a new tool to measure job satisfaction. The first measurement using a new tool shows a decrease between measurements. Some of the decrease can be traced back to changes to the questions used while other questions show a significant change between measurements. In response to the results of these surveys, we have taken action related to information sharing, internal marketing and feedback to employees.
A wider view on equality
Over the past several years, we have put equality first and looked at various approaches to ensure progress. We participated in the Equality Indicator, which gave us a good indication of where action was needed. We then designed projects and material to contribute in an effective manner to a healthy corporate culture that fosters equality and respect for diversity in society and the workplace.
In 2022, the Bank adopted new guidelines on parental leave payments with the aim of promoting equal participation by all genders in childcare. The new guidelines ensure that full-time employees receive 80% of wages during parental leave by offering a supplemental grant against payment from the parental leave fund, having regard for the fund’s rules. Contributions provided for in the collective bargaining agreement of the Confederation of Icelandic Bank and Finance Employees (SSF) remain in place, i.e. all employees with a monthly salary of ISK 750,000 or less retain full wages while on parental leave.
We invited the national queer organisation Samtökin ‘78 to give a talk on appropriate terminology and positive communication patterns that foster inclusion. We are mindful of equality, human rights and the diversity of the human spectrum at various levels of our operation, including in the hiring process, in ensuring equal job opportunities, collaborations and in deciding who represents the Bank.
Equality in strategy development and wage decisions
We have a clear equality policy. Emphasis is placed on ensuring equal job opportunities and that no jobs are earmarked by gender. We place great importance on ensuring equal pay for equally valuable work. We adopted a new equality policy in early 2022 and it now guides our work.
Welfare and well-being
We are focused on ensuring well-being in the workplace and on ensuring that employees can balance work and home life. In 2022, surveys showed that 77% of employees consider that the workplace enables them to maintain that balance. Emphasis has been placed on providing an integrated approach to both physical and psychological health through such measures as increased access to healthcare professionals. The Bank’s education programme reflected this focus and included a course on stress and means of handling it, held in collaboration with Auðnast.
Equal pay certification
Equal pay certification entered formally into effect in March 2019. We monitor these developments closely and information about any pay gap is reported to the Executive Board monthly. Prior to gaining legally required equal pay certification, the Bank had twice been awarded the golden seal of PwC's Equal Pay Audit, initially in 2015, first of the domestic banks. Regression analysis of December 2022 wages reveals a 1.2% gender-based wage difference, favouring men. Efforts to reduce and close the wage gap are on-going and we continue to improve our equal pay system with the aim of closing the wage gap and ensuring quality wage decisions.
Equality in the hiring process
A register has been maintained of the gender ratio of applicants in all hiring processes and information about final hiring decisions. Management has been instructed on the pervasiveness of subconscious prejudices in hiring and ways and means of counteracting them. Special emphasis has been placed on balancing the ratios at management level and development has been positive.
Equal opportunities for job development and continuing education
We are focused on ensuring that everyone enjoys equal education opportunities. A job development initiative in the past couple of years was completed in spring 2022 and the results were promising. The aim of the initiative is to empower employees on their job development trajectory. The Bank’s workplace audit included specific questions on equal opportunities in the workplace and just under 90% of employees consider themselves to enjoy equal opportunities.
Equality in internal and external communication
We are mindful of the importance of role models. Over the past couple of years, we have systematically registered who represents the Bank in the media, in conferences and meetings outside the Bank. We also register authors of articles published on our website. This has proven a good guide for us. The gender ratio of people representing the Bank has been fairly balanced in the past few years but in 2022, the balance tipped, favouring women. In the long term, we aim to maintain a good balance.
We have a clear response plan for bullying, gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment and violence (EKKO). All employees receive regular education on the subject and workshops are held for managers. Regular information sharing and education has raised awareness on the subject at all levels and professional handling of issues has been ensured. Employees can speak to an independent external party on any sensitive matters that may arise. We measure the frequency of incidents, experience and notifications as part of the annual workplace audit. Information is regularly shared on the Bank’s communication channels.
Equality and diversity in collaborations and marketing
We are mindful of equality concerns, human rights and diversity in marketing material and collaborations. We support our community and strive to throw our weight behind different projects and associations around the country. We want our contribution to be dynamic by being a trusted partner for a number of years and then moving on to a new initiative. We look to supporting both sports, culture and the arts, in addition to charities and education.
Equal access to app and website
We consider it important to be mindful of access at all levels in the design and development of Landsbankinn’s app. Accessibility was taken into account in the entire process in consultation with stakeholders. The same applies to development of Landsbankinn’s website. We also promote access to financial service for customers who are not native Icelandic speakers by offering a user interface in both English and Polish, in addition to Icelandic, in both the app and online banking.
Equality for employees of foreign origin
To better support employees with a first language other than Icelandic, we offer Icelandic language instruction in collaboration with professional teachers, designed to fit the needs of each employee. This is in line with our aim of being a desirable workplace for people of diverse origins.
Comprehensive learning culture
We have done a great deal to ensure that our team receives support and opportunities to develop as professionals and continue learning. Our work environment is undergoing rapid changes, enhancing the importance of ensuring that employees have access to a comprehensive learning programme within and outside the Bank in line with our strategy, challenges and projects at each time. We also wish to leverage education and training to empower employees on a personal level and to increase their general welfare and well-being.
Education programme in 2022
Emphasis was placed on mental health and general well-being in the Bank’s education programme in 2022. Employees were returning to the workplace following a long period of remote work, giving reason to tend especially to their welfare. The impending move of Landsbankinn to its newly built headquarters was a recurring theme during the year. Material was created to prepare and educate personnel about the changes involved in moving to a new and different work environment and workshops were held for all employees that will move to Austurbakki.
As before, the education programme included education on internal processes, such as products and services, laws and rules, and utilised different channels and formats, such as lectures, courses, workshops and e-learning.
It was enjoyable to again be able to host events, following the abolition of restrictions on gatherings. While several workshops and lectures with physical attendance were held during the year, we made full use of the experience gained of remote conference equipment and online education. By building that experience, we have been able to boost access to learning and education for employees in rural areas and who work outside of headquarters.
Effective job development
The initiative effective job development aims to train the Bank’s employees in skill sets considered important to the future workplace. These skill sets include leadership, communications skills, critical and solution-oriented thinking and teamwork proficiency. Participants attend courses and targeted training over two semesters. In the past 3 years, a total of 62 individuals have participated in the project.
Participation in education
Not counting obligatory instruction, 80% of employees attended some job-related education offered by the Bank during the year.
Emphasis was placed on management training in 2022. All managers were invited to attend a meeting of managers early in the year where the spring and fall semester education programme was presented. The aim of management training was preparation for a new and project-oriented workplace and the challenges changes to the work environment post-covid presented. The focus is on a management style based on trust, feedback and encouragement.
Managers can attend an executive coaching programme at any time of the year.
Training of new employees
In the first weeks and months on the job, new employees are required to complete obligatory orientation. This includes general information about the Bank’s operation, rules and code of ethics. Managers are responsible for ensuring that new employees receive a warm welcome and appropriate training. In the latter part of the year, all new hires in 2022 were invited to meet with the CEO and managing directors for conversation and networking. This has been a venue for welcoming new personnel and promoting networking across the Bank. Attendance has been excellent and the initiative well received.
It was especially pleasing to again be able to invite new summer employees to participate in the traditional welcome day that prepares the ground for good and effective collaboration.
Preparation for retirement
Employees planning to go into retirement in the next two years are offered the opportunity to attend a retirement course to prepare for this important milestone. We emphasise physical attendance and networking in these courses.