Akbank T.A.S. - Human Resources Team of the Year

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2016, Click to Enter The 2017 Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer service

Company: Akbank T.A.S., Istanbul, Turkey
Company Description: Akbank was founded in 1948. Its core business is banking activities, consisting of consumer banking, commercial banking, SME banking, corporate banking, private banking, foreign currency exchange, money markets and securities trading and international banking services. It has more than 900 branches and 14,000 employees, Head Office in Istanbul and 24 regional directorates across Turkey.
Nomination Category: Human Resources Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Human Resources Team of the Year

Nomination Title: From Individuals to Families @Akbank

Tell the story about what this nominated team has achieved since 1 January 2016 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

Akbank is a 69-year-old company and has been qualified as the “Most Valuable Banking Brand of Turkey” for 6 consecutive times by Brand Finance. Recognizing this strong customer brand and external communication success, “Akbankli” was introduced as the employer brand to strengthen internal communications. This employer branding project aimed to enrich existing and potential employees’ overall experience, increase “good employer” perception and contribute to main brand reputation. This project has been a 360 degree comprehensive communication tool that gave birth to numerous other sub-projects.

“From Individuals to Families” is a project with a very extensive and inclusive sphere of influence. One of the best ways to achieve better work-life balance for all employees is to care for their families. Starting from this point of view, we have been conducting series of activities which focus on employees’ families and touch not only to the employees but also to their whole ecosystem.

We believe in shared success. Therefore, we put a new recognition mechanism into practice, which aims to celebrate success together with the families and to acknowledge their contribution in this way. When an employee is promoted as manager, if the employee is married we send chocolates and flowers to his/her spouse, to show our thankfulness for supporting our employee to achieve his/her career goals. If the employee is single, we send chocolates and flowers to his/her parents, to thank them for all their efforts to raise a successful colleague.

Children are the other most important target audience. Therefore we work hard on building bonds with them. During the last back to school era, we requested from employees to take pictures with their children on the first day of school and send us. We created a gallery on the internal communications platform “Bizbize” and sent an e-mail introducing the gallery to all 14.000 employees. We got very good feedbacks from all employees who contributed and even from those who did not.

Additionally we gave kids stationery items as gifts to our employees’ children who newly started school in 2016. While packing the gift boxes, we wrote children’s names as receivers instead of the parents. Therefore the gifts were directly addressed to the children, which made them feel very valuable.

We organized “Children’s Festival” in our different headquarter locations. First one was held on Saturday in Sabanci Center on 23rd April 2016 “National Sovereignty and Children's Day”. All employees brought their children and had very good time with different facilities prepared for the kids, i.e. playground, painting corners, food corners etc. Next one was held on 23 June 2016 on Wednesday. Apart from having fun in the kid’s zone prepared outside, children who came were able to see where their parents worked and to meet their colleagues, which has been a very valuable experience.

To celebrate Children’s Day, we also gave penny-banks to our employees’ children as gifts, both to celebrate their special day and to support their saving habits, which represented a good combination of motivational activity and corporate social responsibility that we have as a leading financial institution in Turkey.

Investing in our children’s future is another key component of “From Individuals to Families”. We sign discount agreements with various schools, announce these on “Bizbize” where the employees can get information and details about the discounts.

Once every month, during lunch breaks, we organize seminars inviting different speakers to talk in various subjects. As an example, we invited a psychologist who lectured about the stress that students face during nationwide high school entrance exams (TEOG) and how parents can cope with this. Similarly, we started a series of webinars for branches and regional offices on the theme “adolescence”. Furthermore we organized a workshop named “technology and children” where our employees’ children experienced coding-based technological activities.

We also send photo albums to employees who get married or have a new born child, with a note including our best wishes.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) accomplishments of the nominated team since the beginning of 2016 (up to 150 words).

-We collected almost 200 pictures from the employees in this campaign, which is %8 of the total employees who have children at school age.
-We gave stationery items 1320 children as gifts. We received incredible feedbacks and lots of pictures of happy children with their gifts.
-Almost 2000 children joined our two different festivals. We are among the very few corporate firms who celebrate the “Children's Day” via a comprehensive festival inviting employees and their children.
-We gave 5000 children penny-banks as gifts.
-We signed discount agreements with 66 different schools. We inform our employees with a well-timed, right before the new school year. We renew and expand the list every single year.
-We organized 4 webinars part of “adolescence” series.
-We thanked 25 to employees’ families and spouses.
-We sent 2500 photo albums to employees in order to celebrate births and marriages.