- Basis for long-term success
- Good progress on cultural change
- Engaging in a dialogue and embedding culture in business and people processes
By defining culture as one of the five elements of Strategy 2015+, Deutsche Bank sent out a clear signal: a strong corporate culture, founded on shared values and beliefs, is essential to the bank’s long-term success. Deeply embedded shared values and beliefs should guide decision-making and behavior in a continually changing environment and help the bank select the right course of action – to the benefit of clients, shareholders, employees and society.
Cultural change at Deutsche Bank is a multi-year journey, with strong senior management commitment and a clear tone from the top. In 2014, Deutsche Bank made significant progress on this journey: By engaging employees in an intense, ongoing dialogue on culture and by embedding the values and beliefs in business and people processes, the bank continued to turn words into action. The goal is to make the values and beliefs an integral part of how Deutsche Bank does business.
Engaging employees in a dialogue
To familiarize employees with the values and what they mean in practice, Deutsche Bank launched an internal multi-media communications campaign. Senior managers and other cultural messengers brought the values to life throughout the organization – through examples, spontaneous statements and thought-provoking questions.
To make the values and beliefs tangible, the bank conducted dedicated workshops. In small groups, participants worldwide debated how the values relate to the bank’s vision, what the values and beliefs mean specifically for business transactions, client relationships and internal processes, and how each employee can implement the values and bring about change in their areas of work.
The 2014 Deutsche Bank People Survey results confirmed that while most employees understand the meaning of the values and beliefs, more evidence of behavioral change needs to be made visible.
Embedding cultural change as a part of doing business
To create and sustain a positive environment that encourages all employees to do the right thing, the values and beliefs have been and are still gradually being embedded into all of Deutsche Bank’s business and people processes.
Deutsche Bank increased scrutiny of client selection and business practices in light of the values. The bank also tightened its control environment by adopting a robust governance structure in which the business divisions take on increased responsibility for managing risk under the Three Lines of Defense program. See also section . The divisions continued to enhance client centricity by further developing client-product suitability assessments and internally introducing new client metrics. Deutsche Bank also launched a revised Code of Business Conduct and Ethics that guides employees’ interactions with each other as well as external stakeholders.
In 2013 and 2014 key elements of the bank’s performance management and compensation processes were aligned to the values and beliefs to include personal conduct as part of performance. Adherence to the values and beliefs now accounts for 50 % of the evaluation of individual performance. The rules for the compensation of Management Board members and the allocation mechanisms for the Group-wide bonus pool were modified to specifically include key metrics relating to the values. Where performance management and incentives fail, a new global approach to disciplinary actions will allow the bank to adequately respond to and deal with misconduct. See also section .
Deutsche Bank has made good progress on its journey of cultural change, but work still remains to be done in the years ahead. The next steps will include making progress in cultural change even more tangible at an individual level for the bank’s stakeholders – employees, clients, shareholders, regulators and the public – to keep up momentum as the bank continues its journey.