Human Resources and Society

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Human Resources

Landsbankinn's human resources policy reflects the Bank's emphasis on creating a positive work environment, characterised by employee satisfaction and robust information sharing. Gender equality was a prominent issue in 2018, culminating in the Bank’s participation in Capacent’s Equality Indicator and equal pay certification. 

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Landsbankinn has for several years emphasised equal pay and equal job opportunities, and sought to ensure that men and women receive equal pay for equally valuable work. Landsbankinn has twice been awarded the golden seal of PwC's Equal Pay Audit and current work on legal requirements of an equal pay certification follows naturally as the next step. Participation in Capacent’s Equality Indicator (Jafnréttisvísir) in 2018 takes the Bank beyond the scope of equal pay, with all employees participating in the project.

Gender ratios at Landsbankinn

Executive Board
Branch Managers
Department Heads
Customers Service Representatives and Cashiers

Equal pay certification

Equal pay certification was codified in June 2017 with amendments to the Act on Gender Equality. The Act provides that equal pay certification shall be based on the Equal Pay Standard ÍST 85. The key aim of equal pay certification is to counteract a sex-based wage gap and boost equality of the sexes in the labour market. Implementation of an equal pay standard at Landsbankinn in fact means that the Bank has enacted a control system which ensures that handling and decisions about wages are based on objective factors, free of gender-based discrimination.

Work on implementation of equal pay certification was on-going throughout the year and the Bank sought assistance from consulting firm Attentus in the preparatory phase. Final review of Landsbankinn took place in January 2019 and was carried out by BSI in Iceland, a professional certification body. The final review confirmed compliance with all provisions of the standard and recommended that Landsbankinn be certified under the Equal Pay Standard. Final confirmation of the certification is expected to be forthcoming in March of 2019.

The Standard provides for calculation of gender-based discrepancies in wages within the Bank and this will become a part of the Bank’s work procedures. Landsbankinn will regularly inform its employees of the results and publicly in the Bank’s annual Report on Social Responsibility as well as the Annual Report. Regression analysis of December 2018 wages reveals a 1.4% gender-based wage difference, men earning more than women.

Gender ratios in Landsbankinn

Capacent’s Equality Indicator with comprehensive employee participation

In September 2018, Landsbankinn became a member of Capacent’s Equality Indicator. An agreement for the Bank’s participation in the project was signed in February and all of the Bank’s employees participated in the project at some point. The Equality Indicator is an extensive project which evaluates equality issues within the Bank through careful analysis and sets clear goals for the future. The aim is to raise general awareness about equality.

Consultants evaluated gender equality at Landsbankinn based on available information, employee interviews and surveys, a review of the workplace and visits to branches and outlets. The goal was to achieve a comprehensive overview of equality matters with key factors being corporate culture, communication and work environment, strategy and organisation, wages and role models. Special emphasis was placed on revealing gendered prejudices that often lie hidden in the corporate culture, environment and organisation.

Results of this review were presented at the Employee Conference in April and attendees subsequently worked with the results in groups. Employees submitted 1000 improvement proposals and processing of these proposals led to the selection of 250 varied proposals for the escalation of equality at Landsbankinn.

Landsbankinn’s Executive Board selected from amongst these proposals and shaped projects and goals for the years leading up to 2022, presented in 6 categories:

  • Development and mentor system, establishing solutions to help employees strengthen their job development trajectories.
  • Role models, the gender breakdown of representatives of the Bank.
  • Culture and community, ensuring that processes related to EKKO (see below) are clear and credible and that employees receive regular instruction about EKKO.
  • Instruction and environment, events on equality issues and educational campaign for employees.
  • Hiring process, work towards eliminating unconscious prejudices in personnel appointment.
  • Equal gender representation, achieving a 40/60 gender ratio in all levels of management.

Updated equality policy

Landsbankinn’s equality policy and action plan were reviewed and reassessed during the year. No large changes were made to the policy’s key points, though more emphasis was placed on concerted efforts to ensure gender equality. The Bank’s contingency plan for harassment and bullying has been updated and presented to all management-level employees. In early 2019, the policy and contingency plan will be presented to all employees.

Main points of emphasis in gender equality issues:

  • Landsbankinn is a workplace where men and women have equal opportunity for employment and directorship.
  • Landsbankinn aims to attain a gender balance in its workforce and to avoid earmarking certain jobs for either gender.
  • Landsbankinn pays equal wages to men and women for equally valuable work.
  • Landsbankinn is a workplace that allows its employees to balance professional and private life.
  • Landsbankinn does not tolerate bullying, discrimination, gender-based or sexual harassment or violence.
  • Landsbankinn ensures that all employees have equal opportunities for job development, to train and study.

Instruction on responses to bullying, sexual or gender-based harassment, and violence

In fall 2018, Landsbankinn hosted workshops for management-level employees on responses to bullying, sexual or gender-based harassment, and violence (EKKO). All employees of the Bank will attend courses on these issues in spring of 2019.

The aim of the instruction is to present the policies, mitigating action and processes the Bank will adhere to in the future. Ensuring collective understanding of concepts and methodology plays an important part in the induction of new work procedures. Education and instruction is key to maximising the value and efficacy of policy.

Corporate culture

Landsbankinn makes concerted efforts to strengthen its corporate culture whereby the customer is placed first, effective collaboration is key, progress is continuous and all employees are individually responsible for success. Powerful and strong leaders are key to this future vision, both as active participants and as role models.

The Bank has implemented performance management methods that involve setting clear goals for business units and employees, following up on goals and assessing the impact that each unit's success has on the Bank's overarching objectives. To follow up on the goals of individual employees, the Bank utilises a performance evaluation programme based on annual interviews between employees and their superiors.

Morale never better: Workplace audit and follow-up survey

Landsbankinn performs a workplace audit in the first quarter of each year and a less comprehensive follow-up survey in autumn. The latter survey, 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 important indications of employee views on the workplace. The results of the health check, published in October 2018, show that job satisfaction and pride is very high. Morale is also at an all-time high.

The EKKO instruction programme focuses on the following issues:

  • Policy objectives and concepts.
  • Common causes, form and development (what constitutes bullying or harassment).
  • The consequences of bullying, violence or harassment.
  • Correct response (how to respond to bullying, harassment or violence in the workplace).
  • Mitigating measures for employees (how best to prevent harmful communication).

Overall satisfaction*

*Overall, I am satisfied in my position at Landsbankinn.


*I am proud to work at Landsbankinn.


*I think there is good morale in my department / branch.

Challenges relating to human resources

Financial undertakings face several challenges relating to human resources in the near future. Landsbankinn must make a point of ensuring that it is a desirable workplace for coming generations and also attempt to bridge the demographic gap that may form in the workforce. Jobs are changing as a result of automation and the skills and competencies of employees must be developed to ensure appropriate qualification and expertise for each position.

Pro-active learning

In 2018, a strong focus was placed on promoting awareness of the importance and gains of striving for knowledge for self-empowerment at home and at work. The Bank’s education programme is based on this thesis and emphasis is placed on giving employees the opportunity to analyse their situation and take control of their own professional development.

Employees were offered study and job counselling. Counselling focuses on information, instruction and advice designed to assist individuals in boosting their awareness of study options and skills in choosing suitable adult learning courses. Employees were also offered the opportunity to attend courses that incorporated private interviews and team training with long-term follow up.

Never have more learning options been available and employees were encouraged to take advantage of them to regularly update their knowledge to meet the demands of an ever-changing work environment. Electronic study options have multiplied in recent years and employees took increasing advantage of them in 2018, both material from foreign parties, domestic partners or in-house offers.

Useful questions to guide personal and personal growth:

  • What are my goals and where am I heading?
  • What do I know and where do my strengths lie?
  • What skills do I need to excel in my field?
  • What options do I have to learn what I need?
  • How can I be sure that what I learn is “correct”?

Education in figures
2,800 Participants in educational events at Landsbankinn in 2018 numbered 2,800.
137 137 educational events were offered at Landsbankinn in 2018.
3 Each Bank employee attended an average of 3 events on the education programme.
4.5 Each Bank employee completed 4.5 electronic courses on average.

Robust education efforts

The aim is to provide a work environment that encourages employees to seek new knowledge and to share their skills. Employees are encouraged to seek instruction and training both from external parties and in-house.

At Landsbankinn, employees have access to a diverse education programme. In 2018, around 137 educational events were held and they were attended by around 2800 participants. Each employee attended an average of 3 events on the programme.

A new education system was taken into use in 2018, allowing the Bank to boost its offering of digital instruction and training. This provides employees with better access to in-house education and the option to attend courses whenever and wherever. The education programme included 24 on-line courses which were completed by 4600 employees. Each employee completed 4.5 electronic courses on average.

The education programme includes courses that are obligatory for employees. Not counting obligatory courses, 88% of employees attended some job-related instruction offered by the Bank.

Employees not only show great willingness to attend offered courses but are also prolific in sharing knowledge to their peers. A total of 40 employees were active as instructors or participated in creating instruction material for on-line courses in 2018.

Landsbankinn’s education programme awarded the European Quality Mark

Landsbankinn education programme was awarded the European Quality Mark (EQM) in 2018. EQM is a quality assurance mark for all providers of non-formal learning throughout Europe. EQM is a recognition of the quality of the Bank’s education programme in recent years, the continuing effort to improve, and the objective of maximising the efficacy of instruction on offer.

Employee participation in continuing education in 2018

Main projects in 2018:

  • Collaboration with Mímir - Adult Learning on work and study counselling.
  • Icelandic language learning for foreign employees.
  • Executive training that focuses on supporting and empowering employees.
  • Increased supply of electronic learning tools.