2016 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

  • Customer

  • Employee

  • Society

  • Shareholder

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Friendly workplace

In line with our key values, we want to be a Simple, Personal and Fair bank.

Our organisational culture

In 2015 we began to transform our organisational culture by embedding behaviours consistent with the values into our processes and HR tools.

Our value-driven standard behaviours:

  • Cooperate actively

  • Support others

  • Speak openly

  • Listen attentively

  • Show respect

  • Keep promises

  • Be part of change

  • Work with passion

The implementation of our new organisational culture is actively supported by a group of ambassadors – employees of various organisational units who promote our values and standard behaviours by stimulating bottom-up initiatives and engaging in bank projects. The ambassadors meet once every few months at workshops where they share good practices, produce videos and content to be posted on the Internet, attend meetings with the senior management and promote global initiatives.

Managers have a crucial role to play in the transformation of our culture. Throughout 2016 they took part in workshops which taught them how to manage through values. They decided which values they would be implementing in their teams at first and participated in activities aimed at promoting the values and desirable behaviours (including 58 workshops run by an external contractor, participation in 12 videos on corporate values and behaviours and meetings with the Head of the Business Partnership Division devoted to management through values and behaviours).

Organisational culture

  • 60

    ambassadors at the end of 2016

  • 230 posts

    on the bank’s social network

  • nearly 100

    business breakfasts attended by the culture ambassadors and the top management members

  • more than 90


  • nearly 30


We Are Santander Week

The week devoted to the culture of the Santander Group is a large, annual event filled with activities focusing on different aspects of our cultural transformation.

Between June 6 and 10, we tested our creativity, broadened our horizons, took care of our health and relationships and, above all, we practiced active cooperation, supporting others, speaking openly, listening attentively, showing respect, keeping promises, participating in changes and working with passion. We developed our competences at 25 workshops and meetings facilitated by development experts held in five cities (individual meetings with experts, ”Learn Your Strengths – AC Workshop”, ”Change Your Perspective”, ”Awaken Your Creativity” and many more). In the bank’s four main locations, more than 800 employees had preventive medical check-ups.

We also organised two volunteering projects. Together with Food Banks across Poland we collected more than 3 tonnes of food for people in need. The other project called the Bank Marrow Donor Day was run jointly with the DKMS Foundation. We helped save human lives in Poznań, Wrocław, Warsaw, Lublin and in the Western Macroregion (altogether in 15 cities).

The final event of the week was a visit of nearly 800 employees’ children at our bank.

Culture Champions

In the second half of 2016, we ran the Culture Champions competition to identify our colleagues who best impersonate the values and behaviours promoted by our corporate culture. Out of 1,100 nominations and 500 proposed candidates, 20 finalists were selected and were voted for by all employees of the bank.

At the final stage:

  • 7 employees who received most votes took part in the global event of the Santander Group held in Spain
  • the remaining 13 finalists were invited to attend a special meeting in Warsaw.

Additionally, the finalists took part in a workshop on our corporate values, received MyBenefit points and were invited to join the community of the ambassadors of our culture.


At the turn of 2016 and 2017, we launched the StarMeUp programme, a global platform supporting activities which are in line with the standard behaviours forming part of our organisational culture. The tool can be used by our employees to recognise each other or thank for cooperation in the spirit of our key values Simple, Personal and Fair. Each employee receives every month a number of votes (”stars”) and can award them to his/her colleagues, justifying which of their behaviours/ attitudes deserve a reward. Persons with the highest star numbers receive surprise gifts.

Employee engagement

In 2016, we carried out another Employee Engagement Survey which is a valuable source of information to us on how the employees perceive our organisation, its values, operations, the leadership style and the relations with the external environment. The feedback helps us identify the areas for improvement and define action plans to support the engagement of our employees.

Employee engagement

  • 50%

    of employees are in the highest performance category (”fully effective”) - 4% more than in 2015 and 6% more than predicted for 2016.

  • 72%

    of employees feel supported by the organisation.

  • 68%

    of employees feel proud of working for the bank - 3% up from the previous year.

  • 66%

    of respondents would like to work in the bank for more than 5 years or until retirement.

  • 98%

    of employees understand the risks which they come across in the daily work and feel personally responsible for them.