ICICI Bank’s people practices have evolved over the years to cater to the rapidly changing business environment. Synergy that binds all employees with a single DNA, a culture that encourages innovation and execution, and an ethos that instils in employees the belief to serve as ONE TEAM – with humility, responsibility and sensitivity – are core to our approach.
Designing agile organisation structures to capture market opportunities is the Bank’s focus. This is further enhanced by our culture and people strategy that focusses on innovation and technology to re-imagine and redefine people processes and build capabilities.
Since fiscal 2019, the Bank has undertaken various initiatives to strengthen its culture. Workspaces have been redesigned to reflect fading hierarchies and create an open office culture. Continuous work on process simplification have been undertaken by teams. As part of the transition, in fiscal 2020 the entire leadership team adopted a singular performance objective that is aligned with market opportunities and within the guardrails of risk management. These shifts have been driven and reinforced across the organisation through regular communication meetings, leadership sessions with the senior management, induction programmes and Leadership Development Workshops.
With the purpose of enhancing product synergies, diminish department boundaries, and further embed the essence of One Bank, One Team, One Goal, the Bank created 'Ecosystem' teams. These teams focussed on key customer and market segments across retail and corporate banking, real estate businesses, NRI, NBFC and e-commerce to enable the employees to cater to 360 degree needs of the customer. These ecosystems have been instrumental in driving cross-functional collaboration and enhancing focus on servicing the customers as one team.
With the objective of empowering the front-line within the guardrails of risk to win in the marketplace with highest level of service orientation towards external and internal customers, ICICI Bank rechristened all the corporate offices and central functions as ICICI Service Centres.
ICICI Bank has been at the forefront with regard to innovation in Indian banking. Today, creating models of experimentation that will further embed a culture of innovation by continuously challenging the status quo, encouraging micro-experiments, exploring superior solutions and services and learning from failures are core to the Bank’s strategy. Such experiments and innovations have helped the Bank remain agile and transform its approach to business and work methods thus embedding a culture of service, synergy, and simplicity with the purpose to enhance overall stakeholder engagement and experience.
ICICI Bank has been at the forefront of giving a superior and new-age experience to its customers and employees through adopting and imbibing latest technology in its processes and services that are relevant to employees through their life cycle of employment. Several innovations made by ICICI Bank in the space of technology led hiring, capability building and employee engagement have enabled scale up of the workforce to meet business needs.
The Bank has always believed in the philosophy of 'Building Talent' and the Industry-Academia partnership initiated by ICICI Bank stands out as one of the key innovations that changed the approach to manpower resourcing in the Banking industry that focussed on creating a future ready workforce.
The industry-academia partnership redefined the contours of a workforce and challenged the traditional biases towards hiring. This initiative pushed the boundaries that defined employee profiles as urban and English speaking and aligned to a workforce based on social skills and attitude of individuals. The industryacademia initiatives thus attracted a diverse pool of applicants from various fields thereby ensuring diversity in terms of gender, cultural and social backgrounds and paved way for the Bank to tap on bright and intelligent resources with healthy representation from the different socio-economic strata of the society from these cities.
The success of the Industry-Academia Partnerships rests on its core area of focus to acclimatise individuals with ICICI Bank culture. While the course focusses on grooming individuals with relevant content, and industryspecific skills, its primary objective is to acculturise the team with the ICICI Bank way of life. Today, this partnership stands out as one of the most productive and efficient channels, and has been instrumental in scaling up to cater to the business opportunities.
ICICI Bank has been a preferred employer on campus for over two decades. Campus engagement is not restricted to only onboarding fresh minds into the Bank, but to have a continuous engagement with campuses through various initiatives is a core area of focus. With an endeavour of engaging young bright minds and giving them exposure to live business cases, ICICI Bank launched its flagship case study competition – 'Beat the Curve' – in 2018 across premier B-Schools of the country. Amongst over 100 such marquee events organised by companies, 'Beat the Curve' has been ranked as the fourth most prestigious corporate competition by Dare2Compete within two years of its inception. This year, the Bank received over 2,200 entries where the future leaders shared ideas on new products, processes and customer experience enhancements keeping technology at the centre.
As part of this challenge, the students were further given the opportunity to engage with ICICI Bank’s Digital Villages and strategise a model for improving digital banking in rural areas.
Nurturing young talent and training bright minds from diverse education backgrounds to become bankers, has been a key differentiator for ICICI Bank. Building upon this ethos, the Bank launched the ‘Ascend Programme’ – an initiative to hire top talent from prestigious graduation institutions. These employees were selected from diverse academic backgrounds ranging from humanities, commerce, liberal arts etc. and were trained to take up front-end customer-facing roles. Today, the programme is a success with the team matching up to the expectations and productivity measures – What makes the programme truly unique is its structure which is based on a peer mentorship framework as against a supervisory structure.
ICICI Bank has always been at the forefront to leverage avenues for integrating technology, data analytics and science in the space of talent acquisition. This is with a focus on creating state-of-the-art platforms that provide superior service and applicant experience.
At ICICI Bank, learning is integral to work, and various enabling systems have been institutionalised to provide opportunities for capability building. These initiatives span across the employee life cycle, starting from the time they join the Bank, and at various stages during the career. The Bank follows a blended approach to learning wherein classroom training is augmented with digital delivery of training.
The banking landscape is continuously evolving and being augmented with data sciences, design thinking and artificial intelligence that governs strategies and decisions in business. Close to 7,500 employees have attempted the Data Sciences for Practitioners module. To enable employees with these diverse skills, various workshops and academies including functional academies, have been created.
The Bank launched a transformative series titled ‘12x12 Ignite’ in the quest to keep the employees abreast with the breakthroughs in the domains of digital transformation, data science and behavioural economics. The sessions gave an opportunity to teams to engage with domain experts and thought leaders from around the world to share their perspectives and experiences with the team. Over 400 employees attended each of these sessions.
Comprehensive Leadership Development Programmes and Leadership Engagement Sessions are conducted on a regular basis for all critical roles in the Bank. ICICI Bank also partners with thought-leaders across a wide spectrum of fields from academia and management to sports, to engage with and build leadership perspectives.
Programmes at this level are designed to equip employees with fundamental knowledge & skills to perform in their role
Programmes at this level aim to equip employees with additional knowledge & skills to perform in future roles
Programmes at this level aim to equip employees with higher order skills to perform in future roles
ICICI Bank believes that leadership development is a process of perspective building. It is aimed at helping leaders deal with adaptive challenges which are not amenable to analysis and application of standard models but require application of leadership judgement to choose between alternate courses of action. ICICI Bank's approach to leadership development based on perspective building, through a mix of internally designed Leadership Mentoring Programmes and engagement with leading universities and thought leaders.
The Bank has a robust succession planning process which measures the depth of leadership bench at the Senior Leadership levels. The Bank has a strong bench for all key positions and continuously measures the depth of succession for all critical leadership roles.
At ICICI Bank, artificial intelligence enabled systems, portals and applications have been built across the employee life cycle to enhance employee engagement and experience.
‘Universe on the move’ application acts as a one-stop solution for employees. The app is an integrated system that hosts all employee-related processes. It is dynamic in nature and is constantly being enhanced with the latest features to make it more relevant and accessible to employee’s needs.
Universe on the move – The Employee App
ICICI Bank believes in creating a culture of free and open conversations. Forums of engagement have been created where the employees can connect with the senior leadership of the Bank. 'Engage your Leader' and E-Branch Visits are digitally facilitated interactions where employees can engage and interact with the Senior Leadership team. These sessions are conducted over iStudio, an in-house application which is a twoway communication platform capable of connecting all employees across different locations. Senior Leadership periodically share their business perspective in the form of short videos through 'Huddle'.
The Bank expects all its employees to act in accordance with the highest professional and ethical standards upholding the principles of integrity and compliance at all times. The Bank’s Group Code of Business Conduct and Ethics lays down the values and principles and the standards of professional conduct and desired behaviour from its employees. The Bank’s expectations around compliance are communicated to its employees through multiple channels. All new employees are also expected to complete mandatory modules pertaining to Code of Conduct, Information Security, Anti Money Laundering and other Compliance-related areas that are critical and sensitive.
The Bank is an equal opportunity employer and seeks to ensure that the workplace is free of any kind of harassment or inappropriate behaviour. Comprehensive policies and procedures have been laid down to create an environment where there is respect and dignity in every engagement. Sexual harassment cases are handled as per the guidelines set under the Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal) Act. This is imbibed in the Bank’s culture by creating awareness through mandatory e-learning on the subject at the time of induction. The Bank has a mechanism for dealing with complaints of harassment or discrimination. The policy ensures that all such complaints are handled promptly and effectively with utmost sensitivity and confidentiality, and are resolved within defined timelines.
For other workplace issues, the Bank has a robust mechanism to resolve them. 'Call@I-Care' provides employees with a platform to raise any issues or concerns that they may have.
ICICI Bank has always encouraged diversity in its workforce and this is deeply rooted in its culture and DNA. ICICI’s philosophy of meritocracy and equal opportunity in its people decisions led to a large number of leadership positions being held by women over the last two decades. At March 31, 2020, women constituted 32% of the Bank's workforce. Conscious of the life stage needs and safety of women employees, a range of benefits and policies has been curated. The Bank formulated a liberal leave policy for the women employees much ahead of its time by providing fertility leave to employees seeking to undergo treatment. It also provides child care leave and adoption leave. The Bank is also associated with various day care facilities across the country. 'iWork@home' is an initiative that enables women employees to work from home, if required. The Bank has a Travel Accompaniment Policy which allows women with young children to be accompanied by their child and a caregiver during official travel with the cost borne by the Bank. 'iTravelSafe', an app developed by the Bank, provides easy access to register an SOS distress signal.
#Be-Fit Session – is an umbrella programme that continues to drive an agenda of fitness across the bank and offers multiple health-related options for employees including wearable fitness devices at discounted rates and participation in activities such as Yoga and Zumba at work.
To support employees during emergencies, the Bank has set up a Quick Response Team (QRT) to respond to calls of distress by employees. Each QRT is a GPS-enabled vehicle and carries medical equipment and a team of trained professionals to deal with medical and safety emergencies.
ICICI Bank won Business Today’s 'Best Company to Work For' Award in the Banking, Financial Services and Insurance sector for the fourth year in a row in fiscal 2020. The Bank’s overall ranking was fourth across all sectors. The award was announced on the basis of a nationwide survey which Business Today magazine conducted in collaboration with PeopleStrong, an HR solutions company. The parameters covered work environment, culture of inclusion, culture of innovation, communication, challenging work opportunities, work life balance & flexibility, job security & company stability, leadership’s commitment to business, career growth path, learning opportunities, fairness and objectivity.
In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, ICICI Bank took several steps to ensure continuity in operations and minimal disruption to services for customers along with the safety of its employees. Most of the Bank’s branches remained operational during the period with reduced staff strength. To ensure safety of the front-line staff working at branches, the teams were rostered across branches in a manner to minimise risk and exposure. Residential pin code details of approximately 70,000 employees from across the Bank were analysed to map employees to branches thus minimising local travel and exposure. The Bank proactively undertook an identification and contact tracing process for all employees to ascertain overseas travel history for the months of February and March 2020. This process helped identify over 100 employees who had travelled overseas and were immediately quarantined to limit the exposure and risk to other employees. In anticipation of likely restrictions being imposed to curb the pandemic, the Bank geared up all the support services well in advance. Teams across functions like operations and phone banking were enabled to operate remotely and process all queries and transactions with minimal disruption to processes and service.
With a focus on ensuring health and safety of employees, ICICI Bank launched a Covid-19 Helpline where employees could reach out for consultation with doctors pertaining to Covid-19 concerns and symptoms. ICICI Bank also partnered with a testing lab approved by the Government as a testing centre, to provide for home testing for employees in Mumbai and Pune. The Bank also encouraged employees to download and use the government promoted 'Aarogya Setu' app which is a pan-India single source for contact tracking an individual’s proximity to a Covid-19 infected person and also gives information on best practices and medical advice.
To convey the appreciation on behalf of the Bank and maintain the morale of employees who were discharging duties in a high risk environment, the senior management of the Bank undertook e-visits to over 4,000 branches via digital mode and interacted with the staff present there. A sentiment of care, gratitude and applause was shared with teams. Numerous communications on guidelines on work from home and other communications with respect to general and specific advisories on health and safety, IT security concerns specific to a work from home scenario, and benefits and tie-ups initiated on account of the Covid-19 crisis were shared on an ongoing basis to keep employees updated with key developments.