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Standard Chartered: A Global Powerhouse with Impressive 2023 Financial Results and a Focus on HR Excellence

Standard Chartered’s Impressive 2023 Financial Results and HR Excellence Showcase the Bank’s Strength in a Complex Global Landscape, Focusing on Skills, Progressive Benefits, Psychological Safety, and Effective Change Management

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A visitor enters the Standard Chartered headquarters in London, United Kingdom.
A visitor enters the Standard Chartered headquarters in London, United Kingdom.

Standard Chartered, a UK-headquartered global banking giant, operates in 53 markets with 85,000 employees. In 2023, the bank reported a total operating income of $17.4 billion, a 10% increase from 2022, and a profit of $5.7 billion despite a challenging global economy.

Dr José Viñals, Group Chairman of Standard Chartered, highlighted the bank’s success in the latest financial report, attributing the impressive results to a clear strategy, discipline, and tireless execution led by Group Chief Executive Bill Winters and his management team.

UNLEASH interviewed Tanuj Kapilashrami, a key member of Standard Chartered’s C-Suite. 

Formerly the bank’s CHRO, Kapilashrami transitioned to Chief Strategy and Talent Officer in April 2023. She emphasised the intersection of corporate strategy, people, talent, and the bank’s transformation agenda. Kapilashrami’s HR experience has always aligned with these areas, ensuring that the people and talent agenda supports the corporate strategy.

Standard Chartered’s 2023 results reflect the effectiveness of its strategy. 

The bank achieved double-digit growth in key markets, marking a significant milestone. 

Kapilashrami stressed that the people and culture agenda is vital to the bank’s performance and business strategy.

 Dr. Viñals echoed this sentiment, noting that the Board and the Management Team are committed to maintaining the bank’s status as an employer of choice. The bank reported its highest employee net promoter score (25.86), up 8.31 points from 2022, indicating intense employee satisfaction and willingness to recommend working there.

In her interview with UNLEASH, Kapilashrami shared insights into Standard Chartered’s HR strategy. One key initiative is the bank’s transformation into a skills-first organisation.

 This shift began in 2019 when strategic workforce planning revealed that advances in technology would render many jobs obsolete (“sunset jobs”) while creating new roles (“sunrise jobs”).

 The bank found that reskilling and redeploying employees internally was more cost-effective than hiring externally. This approach also addressed the gender imbalance in emerging fields, supporting diversity and inclusion.

To facilitate this transformation, Standard Chartered has focused on future skills, both technical and human.

 The bank has embraced a culture of learning, changing its learning platform to EdCast (now part of Cornerstone) and launching Future Skills Academies in areas like cybersecurity, data, and sustainability. 

The bank also partnered with Gloat on an AI-powered talent marketplace, which matches employees to roles, projects, and gigs based on their skills. This marketplace has engaged 32,000 employees, with 26,000 using it to complete 2,500 projects.

Standard Chartered’s commitment to progressive benefits is another source of Kapilashrami’s pride. 

The bank offers equalised parental leave globally, allowing parents to take leave regardless of gender or circumstances.

 The policy has increased parental leave from two weeks to around eight weeks. Additionally, the bank provides menopause coverage through its insurance providers, emphasising its commitment to employee well-being in markets without national health systems.

Psychological safety is also a priority for Standard Chartered. The bank’s two-way feedback process has increased psychological safety by 20 percentage points.

 This process ensures employees know where they stand and can develop and grow, which is linked to innovation, high performance, lower attrition, and more discretionary effort.

Kapilashrami highlighted the importance of effective change management in HR. She advised focusing on a few critical priorities with clear commercial benefits and co-creating the future of HR with employees. Standard Chartered uses continuous listening, supported by Qualtrics, to capture employee feedback and ideas. This approach was evident in the bank’s hybrid working strategy, which involved employees recreating watercooler moments and developing new ways of working.

In conclusion, Standard Chartered’s impressive 2023 financial results and commitment to HR excellence demonstrate the bank’s ability to navigate a complex global landscape. With a focus on skills, progressive benefits, psychological safety, and effective change management, the bank continues to set a high standard in the financial services industry.

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