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Case study: How BEA promotes employee development



The Bank of East Asia (BEA) is a leading Hong Kong-based financial services group providing a comprehensive range of corporate banking, personal banking, wealth management, and investment services. BEA’s people deliver the products and services that enable BEA to be the preferred banking partner of its customers. Accordingly, BEA constantly invests in people development and training  Tweet This!, building a workplace where employees feel engaged, valued, and motivated.

This case study is based on the 2019 Environmental, Social, and Governance Report by BEA published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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By supporting the professional and career growth of its people, BEA shows that it values the contribution of every individual staff member. And by committing themselves to ongoing professional development, BEA’s employees are better able to serve the changing needs of its customers. In order to promote employee development BEA took action to:

  • invest in staff development
  • implement a new talent development framework
  • launch a new leadership training programme

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2019 Environmental, Social, and Governance Report BEA identified a range of material issues, such as customer data privacy, general compliance with laws and regulations, anti-corruption, employee benefits and turnover rates, non-discrimination. Among these, promoting employee development stands out as a key material issue for BEA.  

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups BEA engages with:

Stakeholder Group
Employees 
Customers 
Investors
Government and regulators
Industry associations
Suppliers 
Community partners

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics BEA conducted focus groups and phone interviews to gather stakeholder views on material topics along with two online surveys, to rate the importance of each topic – using a scale of 0 to 5.

What actions were taken by BEA to promote employee development?

In its 2019 Environmental, Social, and Governance Report BEA reports that it took the following actions for promoting employee development: 

  • Investing in staff development 
  • In 2019, BEA invested over HK$27 million in staff development and delivered more than 41 hours of training on average to employees at all levels of the Bank, equipping them with the skills needed to serve its customers and support BEA’s development. BEA offers a wide range of online and in-person training courses, from beginner to advanced, to equip staff members with the skills they need to meet their full potential. Additionally, BEA provides subsidies to employees who take accredited courses outside the Bank and makes sure that every staff member is provided with training in modern business risks, such as cybersecurity, money laundering, and terrorist financing risks. Training also focuses on product and financial knowledge, leadership and management skills, customer service and sales experience, and operational know-how.
  • Implementing a new talent development framework
  • In October 2019, BEA implemented a new talent development framework to support staff members in their growth. The framework provides a structured and robust approach to identifying employees with strong potential to serve at the senior management and department head levels within the Bank, supporting their aspirations for growth and development and grooming talent to assume future leadership roles. With this framework in place, a new potential identification exercise and a refined succession planning exercise were carried out during 2019. In 2020, BEA aims to launch a series of new talent and leadership development interventions. At the same time, BEA continues to groom young talent under existing programmes, such as the Management Trainee, Corporate Banking Trainee, Operations Trainee, Relationship Manager Trainee and Branch Operations Trainee programmes.
  • Launching a new leadership training programme
  • BEA launched a new leadership training programme on performance management for the Senior Management and their executives. The training was designed to foster a collaborative mindset when setting strategic goals and to sharpen necessary skills, making sure that these goals are tied closely with the Bank’s core objectives, are well-aligned across different business units and functions, and are effectively cascaded down the organisation.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed? 

The GRI Standard addressed in this case is: Disclosure 404-1 Average hours of training per year per employee

Disclosure 404-1 Average hours of training per year per employee corresponds to:

 

80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.



FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised Sustainability Course | Venue: London LSE

By registering for the next 2-day FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised course you will be taking the first step in gaining the many benefits of sustainability reporting.

Most importantly, you will gain the knowledge to use the GRI Standards, project manage your own first-class sustainability report and:

  • Identify your most important impacts on the Environment, Economy and Society
  • Begin taking solid, focused, all-round sustainability action ASAP

 

References:

1) This case study is based on published information by BEA, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:

http://database.globalreporting.org/ 

2) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/ 

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