Our people are more than just employees they are the ambassadors, relationship builders and public face of our business. To successfully establish long-term customer and community relationships, we must provide our most valuable assets with the support, skills and working conditions they need to deliver service excellence.

We offer compensation, training and career development opportunities that attract and motivate top talent. We lead by example in demonstrating personal and professional respect for our people by providing a safe, inclusive and dynamic work environment that encourages and inspires and that ensures equal opportunities for all. We strictly adhere to the letter and spirit of all relevant labour and employment legislation and uphold the principle of ‘equal pay for work of equal value

We maintain open channels for dialogue between senior management and staff at all levels, and encourage employees to take full ownership of their role in our business success.

We support our people in managing their personal and professional commitments through flexible work arrangements and other family friendly policies. We provide opportunities for our staff to become more involved in the development of the community in which they live and work through our Bank Volunteer team activities.

Our efforts have been independently acknowledged with our recognition as the ‘Most Attractive Employer in Hong Kongin the banking and financial services category in the 2013 Randstad Award.

We are one of Hong Kong’s largest listed companies with a full-time equivalent staff of 9,680 (as at 31 December 2012).

The Bank has a well-established system for appraising and enhancing employee performance at all levels.

Every year, managers and their reporting employees will take shared responsibility for setting individual employee career development plans and clear, measureable work objectives that are challenging but achievable. Two-way communication is maintained throughout the year to support the employee’s progress, and at least two formal performance reviews are arranged in which the employee’s manager will provide comments and feedback on the employee's development and progress, including a formal rating in accordance with our employee performance rating scale.

Training and Development

Our intranet provides staff members with convenient access to information about our online and in-person training and career planning solutions, with different teaching methods that allow employees to learn in a way that best suits their needs. Our wide range of programmes includes financial and product knowledge, selling and sales management skills, leadership and management skills, and language and professional development. We respond quickly to changing training needs to ensure our people meet regulatory requirements and are well equipped to explore new avenues for business growth.

Additional opportunities for skills acquisition are provided through job rotations, secondments and cross-posting programmes. We also operate an award scheme to encourage employees to pursue professional or academic qualifications that will enhance their job performance and career advancement prospects.

Our average number of training days per full-time member of staff in 2012 was six the same as in 2011.

Training 2012
No. of days training per year per employee 6

No. of hours training per year per employee (by gender)

- Male 50
- Female 44

No. of hours training per year per employee (by employee category)

- Executive 35
- Officer 55
- General staff 41

Cultivating Leaders and Nurturing Talent

We help enhance the capabilities and skills of employees by providing a wide range of training programmes to our staff at all levels. Such training facilitates improved job performance and offers support for career advancement. Our programmes include training in areas such as leadership and management issues, selling and negotiation, customer service, computer literacy and language skills. We aim to cultivate a positive performance management culture by ensuring line managers provide their staff with the knowledge and support to appropriately reflect on their career aspirations and set goals that will enhance their long-term growth.

Beyond our internal training programmes, we have a staff education and professional qualification award scheme that supports individuals who wish to attain higher education and/or professional qualifications such as bachelors or masters degrees, and CFA, CFP and CFMP accreditation.

Building Better Leaders

The retention and development of top talent supports the sustainable growth of our business. Examples of the specialised training provided under our Leadership and Management Development programme include:

Effective Career Conversation Training to help managers with people responsibilities to enhance their ability to engage in effective career development dialogue with their staff.
Values Our value-based performance management workshops help managers learn how to reinforce desirable behaviours and practices of their team.
Core Leadership Programmes A series of workshops and leadership talks (Leadership Challenge Programme, Leadership Transition Programme and Leader in You) to help leaders at different levels to strengthen their leadership skills.

Management Trainee Programmes

Our Management Trainee programmes give graduates in Hong Kong and mainland China intensive training and exposure to different business segments with the objective of grooming participants to take up future management roles.

Beyond the workplace

To encourage increased awareness and discussion of broader societal issues as well as to support our corporate responsibility initiatives, we organised two staff CSR forums in 2012, with two invited speakers sharing their thoughts and experience on giving back to society through active participation in community development and on environmental developments of concern to Hong Kong.

Pay and Compensation

We offer competitive pay and employee benefits to attract talented staff and use a performance-based remuneration system to motivate and reward them in line with their contributions to growing our business.

Additional incentivisation is generated through the use of a variable pay scheme that is based on the performance of the Bank as well as that of the individual employee. As part of our staff retention programme, we regularly review packages and career advancement opportunities, particularly for key positions, to ensure continuing market competitiveness.

Equal pay for equal work

We strictly adhere to the principle of equal remuneration for work of equal value. Entry-level salaries for men and women in each employee category or job function are not differentiated by gender.

Turnover Rate

Our voluntary turnover rate in Hong Kong for 2012 was 11.7%.


Employee Engagement and Communication

Effective communication is crucial in building a motivated, engaged workforce. Since 2007, we have conducted a staff survey to measure the engagement level of our staff and gain their insights into how we are progressing against our stated objectives and strategy. The results of this survey also enable our senior management and line managers to better understand the motivators and barriers to improved performance and take appropriate action.

Information relating to employment matters, the Bank’s business direction, strategies and factors affecting the Bank’s performance are conveyed to staff via different channels, including business briefings, circulars, e-mails, and our in-house intranet, staff magazine and internal morning broadcasts.

Significant operational changes are communicated to staff in a clear and timely manner to allow sufficient time for successful implementation.

Our employees have an invaluable role to play in helping to form and enhance our strategic direction and policies. We promote a 'listening and speaking up' culture as part of our emphasis on open dialogue, resulting in more effective communication and improved service across all levels of our organisation. Members of staff are also encouraged to contribute their ideas during work improvement programmes, cross-team projects and suggestion schemes. Employees can engage in two-way communication with senior management or provide feedback through such initiatives as Chief Executive's Mailbox and Post-results Business Briefings.


Equal Opportunities, Diversity and Inclusion

In championing a diverse and inclusive workplace, we expect all members of our team to demonstrate appreciation, care and respect for each other, regardless of position, background, gender or age.

Our employment practices do not discriminate on the grounds of sex, marital status or pregnancy, family status, race, religion, national or ethnic origin, or disability. We are committed to protecting human rights in the workplace, as guided by our Equal Opportunities Policy as laid out in our Human Resources Manual.

Training is in place as a precaution to minimise the risk of related incidents. Training on diversity and inclusion is incorporated in our New Joiners programme, which is mandatory for all new members of staff. It promotes diversity and inclusion across the Bank and guides employees in practising inclusive behaviours in the workplace. Managers with people responsibilities are also required to complete our ‘Unconscious Bias Learning for Managers (UB)course, which reinforces the importance of dismantling any workplace barriers that exclude people and of supporting a culture that is free from bias.

In 2012, we provided around 22,000 hours of training on human rights policies, procedures and awareness building that is relevant to our work environment and operations. Issues covered include data privacy protection, diversity and inclusion, equal opportunities, racial discrimination, business ethics and staff code of conduct.


Occupational Health and Safety

With regard to occupational health and safety (OHS), our workforce is represented by the Safety Management Committee (SMC) a formally established committee that includes and is jointly operated by members of management and other employees.

The SMC was established as part of our Bank-wide implementation of a BS OHSAS 18001:2007 compliant Occupational Health Safety Management System (OHSMS). Senior management representatives help monitor and advise on OHS programmes, while about 300 members of staff serve as Job Hazards Analysis (JHA) team members and /or Internal Safety Assessors, with middle management representatives forming the SMC Working Team of SMC, a secondary tier SMC committee that reports to SMC senior management.

As part of our BS OHSAS 18001:2007 - OHSMS certification, all employees are free to become actively involved in formal and labour-management type agreements that govern OHS management arrangements. (see box: OHS: Everyone’s Business)

OHS: Everyone’s Business

Under our BS OHSAS 18001:2007 - OHSMS certification, we have established processes for addressing a broad range of OHS issues at both Bank-wide and functional levels.

Issues discussed at a functional level include:

  • Personal protective equipment
  • Organisation and operation of the SMC
  • Staff representative participation in health and safety inspections, audits and accident investigations
  • OHS training and education
  • Complaints and reporting mechanisms
  • Safe workplace rights

Issues discussed at a Bank-wide level include:

  • Compliance with the International Labour Ordinance as required under the internationally recognised BS OHSAS 18001:2007 certification standards
  • Arrangements and systems for resolving OHS-related problems
  • Commitments regarding target performance standards and levels of practice to apply

Occupational Health and Safety Statistics 2012

Lost day rate 3%
Occupational injury rate 0.18%
Absenteeism rate # 1.79%*

# Includes Hang Seng Hong Kong operations and others. ‘Othersincludes Macau/overseas and other
(~0.7% of total headcount of Hang Seng Group)
* Includes sick leave & compensation sick leave days in 2012


Business Principles and Values

Our stringent principles of business conduct based on external regulations and internally established standards and values hold our people to high standards of integrity. Our key principle is the concept of 'courageous integrity(see box: Acting with Courageous Integrity), under which we empower all our employees with the courage and capability to do the right thing without compromising ethical standards or personal integrity, and to act in an honest and upright way in everything they do. These principles and values are reinforced through training.

Acting with Courageous Integrity

We empower our employees to always act in accordance with our core value of ‘courageous integrityand to be dependable, open and connected in all that they do.

Dependable do the right thing

  • Stand firm for what is right, deliver on commitments, be resilient and trustworthy
  • Take personal responsibility, be decisive, use good judgment and common sense
  • Empower others

Open to different ideas and cultures

  • Communicate openly, honestly and transparently, embrace challenges, learn from mistakes
  • Listen, treat people fairly, be inclusive, value different perspectives

Connected to customers, communities, regulators and each other

  • Build connections, be aware of external issues, collaborate across boundaries
  • Care about other people and their progress, show respect, be supportive and responsive


Work-Life Balance

Staff who enjoy a good work-life balance are better equipped to give their best performance. We support our people in effectively managing their work and life commitments through initiatives including flexi-time arrangements, adoption leave and volunteer leave.

As part of our efforts to be a family-friendly employer, in 2008 we implemented a paternity leave scheme that gives fathers the chance to offer greater support to their wives in the days following the arrival of a new baby. Some 96 male employees benefitted from this initiative in 2012, while 179 female employees took their statutory entitlements for maternity leave under Hong Kong’s Employment Ordinance. The return-to-work rate and retention rate following parental leave was close to 100%.

To encourage healthy lifestyles, a passionate spirit and broad-ranging interests among our employees, we organise a wide range of recreational and sporting activities. In 2012, these included a family fun day and six sporting competitions badminton, 10-pin bowling, table tennis, golf, basketball and football under the Hang Seng Cup. Over 21,000 participants took part in the sporting activities we organised for members of staff and their families and friends in 2012.

A Statistical Snapshot of Our People

Headcount by Employment Type (in FTE)

  Hang Seng Bank
& Others #
Hang Seng China Total
Headcount (%) Headcount (%) Headcount (%)
Full-time Permanent Staff 7,702 (98.8%) 1,750 (92.9%) 9,452 (97.6%)
Full-time Contract Staff 55 (0.7%) 133 (7.1%) 188 (1.9%)
Part-time Staff 27.18 (0.3%) - - 27.18 (0.3%)
Temporary Staff 12.73 (0.2%) - - 12.73 (0.1%)
Total 7,796.91 (100.0%) 1,883.00 (100.0%) 9,679.91 (100.0%)

Headcount by Gender*

  Executive Officer Clerical / Non-clerical staff Total (%)
Hang Seng Bank & Others #
Male 621 1,547 1,026 3,194 (41.2%)
Female 569 1,898 2,096 4,563 (58.8%)
Hang Seng Bank & Others # Total : 1,190 3,445 3,122 7,757 (100.0%)
Hang Seng China
Male 147 236 229 612 (32.5%)
Female 156 472 643 1,271 (67.5%)
Hang Seng China Total : 303 708 872 1,883 (100.0%)
Male 768 1,783 1,255 3,806 (39.5%)
Female 725 2,370 2,739 5,834 (60.5%)
Overall Total 1,493 4,153 3,994 9,640 (100.0%)

Average Age*

  Executive Officer Clerical /
Non-clerical staff
Hang Seng Bank & Others# 42 36 39 38
Hang Seng China 38 32 28 31
Overall 41 36 36 37

Average Years of Service*

  Executive Officer Clerical /
Non-clerical staff
Hang Seng Bank & Others# 12 12 14 13
Hang Seng China 6 3 2 3
Overall 11 10 11 11

New Hires by Age and Gender Group*

  Male Female Total (%)
Below 30 359 449 808 (84.0%)
30 to 39 62 46 108 (11.2%)
40 to 49 16 16 32 (3.3%)
50 to 59 10 4 14 (1.5%)
60 to Above - - - -
Total 447 515 962 (100.0%)

New Hires who left the Bank by Age and Gender Group*

  Voluntary Involuntary Total (%)
  Male Female Male Female    
Below 30 33 46 19 32 130 (91.5%)
30 to 39 3 2 3 1 9 (6.3%)
40 to 49 - - - 2 2 (1.4%)
50 to 59 - - 1 - 1 (0.7%)
60 to Above - - - - - -
Total 36 48 23 35 142 (100.0%)
Grand Total 84 58    

Employees who left the Bank by Age and Gender Group*

  Voluntary Involuntary Total (%)
  Male Female Male Female    
  Headcount Turnover Rate (%) Headcount Turnover Rate (%) Headcount Turnover Rate (%) Headcount Turnover Rate (%)    
Below 30 246 3.1% 358 4.5% 35 0.4% 55 0.7% 694 (56.5%)
30 to 39 70 0.9% 129 1.6% 22 0.3% 32 0.4% 253 (20.6%)
40 to 49 22 0.3% 44 0.6% 16 0.2% 32 0.4% 114 (9.3%)
50 to 59 27 0.3% 18 0.2% 33 0.4% 34 0.4% 112 (9.1%)
60 to Above 2 - - - 44 0.6% 9 0.1% 55 (4.5%)
Total 367 4.7% 549 7.0% 150 1.9% 162 2.1% 1228 (100.0%)
Grand Total 916 11.7% 312 4.0%    

* Excludes part-time and temporary staff.
# Others includes staff in Macau/overseas and in Hang Seng Bank's Mainland operations including Hang Seng Bank (China) Limited (~0.7% of the total headcount of the Hang Seng Group).