Corporate culture

Goal 8 - Decent work and economic growth

Our corporate culture is founded on values and ethical standards that build trust and lasting loyalty among employees, customers, shareholders and local communities. It is closely linked to the bank's business strategy.

  • GRI:
  • 103-1 Explanation of the material topics and their boundaries For the topic: Values and ethics

    Wyjaśnienie tematów zidentyfikowanych jako istotne wraz ze wskazaniem ograniczeń dla tematu raportowania: Wartości i etyka
    Explanation of the material topics and their boundaries For the topic: Values and ethics

    Wyjaśnienie tematów zidentyfikowanych jako istotne wraz ze wskazaniem ograniczeń dla tematu raportowania: Wartości i etyka
  • 103-2 The management approach to topics identified as material For the topic: Values and ethics

    Podejście do zarządzania tematami zidentyfikowanymi jako istotne dla tematu raportowania: Wartości i etyka
    The management approach to topics identified as material For the topic: Values and ethics

    Podejście do zarządzania tematami zidentyfikowanymi jako istotne dla tematu raportowania: Wartości i etyka
  • 102-16 Values, principles, standards and norms of behaviour
    Values, principles, standards and norms of behaviour
  • ESG: S – Society Our approach to Social Responsibility
    Our approach to Social Responsibility
  • ESG: G –Government Our approach to corporate governance
    Our approach to corporate governance

The following values are at the heart of our corporate culture:

  • Simple

  • Personal

  • Fair

The „Simple, Personal, Fair” statement summarises the Group’s operating philosophy, including the principles that guide our decision-making. This is also how we interact with employees, customers and other stakeholders. By acting in accordance with the aforementioned values, we strive not only to fulfil our business commitments and comply with regulations, but also aspire to exceed our stakeholders’ expectations.

The bank’s internal procedures and rules are transparent and understandable, because we are committed to being friendly to our employee. We treat everyone equally and fairly. We strive to make every employee feel special and valued.

We promote 8 standards of behaviours among employees, which are also reflected in the employee performance evaluation:

  • Show respect

  • Listen attentively

  • Speak openly

  • Keep promises

  • Support others

  • Be part of change

  • Cooperate actively

  • Work with passion

Our corporate behaviour standards apply to every employee, and we also expect all leaders (managers) to act in line with their leadership commitments.

As a responsible leader in the Group I commit to:

  • being open and inclusive

  • inspiring and implementing change

  • encouraging my team to succeed

  • setting an example.

An integral part of our corporate culture is the Risk Pro culture based on the 5 principles obliging each employee to manage risk:

  • accountability
  • resilience
  • simplicity
  • challenge
  • customer focus

For more information about the risk culture, see section Risks and impact in the Governance chapter.


We have described our key values and behaviour standards in our General Code of Conduct, which is a comprehensive set of guidelines for all employees, regardless of their roles. The Code sets standards of performance and shapes desirable attitudes in many dimensions of the organisation.

The provisions of the Code are supplemented by additional regulations, including, among others:

  • Code of Conduct for Securities Markets,
  • Anti-Money Laundering Policy,
  • Anti-Corruption Programme,
  • Conflict of Interest Policy, and many others.

The formal framework of our corporate culture also includes the „Sustainability Policy” which emphasises the key role of employees in building the bank’s success. In the document we indicate the need to maintain relations with employees based on mutual trust and loyalty. We declare measures that will make employees feel motivated, involved and rewarded. Furthermore, in the policy we commit to:

  • promoting employment stability, flexibility of work and work-life balance and taking care of the health and safety of employees at the workplace;
  • ensuring that employees adhere to principles of ethics and responsible behaviour based on the „General Code of Conduct” in force;
  • encouraging employees to participate in corporate volunteering to support the development of local communities and strengthen employees’ sense of pride in belonging to the organisation.

Internal communication

An important element of our corporate culture is open communication aimed at all employees. As part of our regular activities, we prepare:

  • publications on the home page of the intranet – every day we post there daily news from the bank, provide business and employee information, promote charity campaigns, etc;
  • newsletters – on Wednesdays we circulate a newsletter on staff matters, and on Fridays we sum up the most important events in the bank that happened during the week;
  • „In Touch” – this phrase is used by Michał Gajewski, CEO of Santander Bank Polska S.A., as a topic of emails regularly sent to all employees of the bank. The messages concern important events and strategic directions.

Key initiatives in 2020:

  • We launched a weekly newsletter for managers. In the publication we gather the most important information needed to manage teams and build leadership.
  • We held an online all-employee meeting with the bank’s top management. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the financial results for the first half of 2020. The Management Board also had the opportunity to thank everyone for their commitment and hard work during the difficult period of time.
  • We launched an intranet page, 'Extreme Leadership’, where we provide the most important information from the managers’ point of view related to the pandemic, safety rules, current restrictions and advice on how to cope with this difficult situation.
  • we kept employees up to date by means of mailings, special issues of newsletters and other publications;
  • we prepared a special form to monitor infections among our employees and contacts with infected people;
  • we launched the intranet page „Coronavirus – Recommendations” where all the news on the bank’s activities to protect employees and improve safety can be found;
  • we started a new newsletter which provides information on wellbeing, promotes an attitude of balance and caring for physical and menta health and for relationships and financial education;
  • #SmallGestures – we published a series of videos about the charitable actions of our employees supporting local communities during this difficult time;
  • OneTeam – in order to keep the team spirit alive and to support our colleagues, we prepared a collage of photos showing our staff and management;
  • we regularly communicated changes in working practices, safety rules for people coming into the offices;
  • on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Children’s Day, we produced films showing the perspective of our employees – working parents during the pandemic;
  • we prepared a guide for parents to support them in juggling work and family responsibilities (e.g. how to obtain additional childcare allowance, ideas for spending time with a child, as well as stories to read to children as part of the „Reading stories” campaign).

All the time we requested feedback from employees to address their needs and increase the effectiveness of the conducted activities.

Our priorities in 2020

We continued to develop our strategy to build a positive employee experience in pursuit of the strategic objective of achieving market leadership from a customer and employee perspective.

Main lines of activity in human resources management:

  • Defining strategic HR development areas.
  • Development of HR processes and structures – priority was given to simplifying processes and digitalisation.
  • Activities fostering inclusiveness.
  • Talent management.
  • Promotion of the bank’s image as an employer (employer branding).

Actions implemented in 2020

  • Since June, we have been measuring the effectiveness of our HR activities in a quarterly employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) survey.
  • We continued the transformation towards the Agile model and the centralisation of competences using various methodologies, such as Customer Design, Design Thinking and HCM.
  • The next edition of the #SantanderWomen project took place. In 2020, it was a series of educational and development workshops („You Have the Power” and „Mastermind”) inspiring women to develop their leadership competences, learn about their strengths and exchange experiences.
  • We entered into partnership with the Vital Voices Foundation in supporting the development of women’s competencies for leadership roles.
  • We continued our activities within the framework of profiled development programmes designed for representatives of different management levels and managers of the future.
  • PowerUp – we implemented an ambassador programme bringing together employees who undertake initiatives to promote the image of the bank as their employer. Participants promoted us in various communication channels, describing many dimensions of employee functioning (wellbeing, corporate culture or remote working culture).
  • We conducted a series of training sessions for bank employees on personal branding and image promotion.
  • We adapted the employer branding strategy to the new normalcy – based on external and internal research, we identified the employer brand attributes and competitive advantages in the post-pandemic reality.
  • „Internal mobility” – we implemented a programme aimed at promoting development opportunities for employees inside the bank, dispelling myths related to participation in internal recruitment processes and defining the key principles of the process.

We did not implement the employee engagement survey in 2020 due to the pandemic. The decision to postpone the „Global Engagement Survey” to May 2021 was taken at the Santander Group level.

We were recognised for our effective performance. In 2020 we found ourselves among the best employers, as confirmed, among others, by the Top Employer certificate.

Other awards and recognitions for employee-related activities in 2020.

  • 10,671

    Employees of the bank.1

  • 13,158

    Employees of the Santander Bank Polska Group.2

  • 11 years

    Average length of employment with the bank.3

  • 40 years

    Average age of our employees

  • 132

    Employees with

  • 12%

    Employee turnover 5

1,2 Number of persons employed in Santander Bank Polska / in the Santander Bank Polska Group, full-time or part-time and regardless of the  employment status as at 31 December, 2020.
3 The average length of service with the bank is 11.38 years as at 31 December, 2020, according to the employment status.
4 The number of persons with disabilities employed by the bank under an employment contract as at 31 December, 2020.
5 Turnover calculated as number of terminated employment contracts in 2020/average employment in 2020.

Plans for the coming years:

One of our goals for 2021-2023 is to win the sustained loyalty of employees, customers, shareholders and society. In line with our strategic vision:

  • We will continue to create a working environment that strengthens employee commitment through cooperation, communication and grassroots initiatives arising in the bank’s units.
  • We will increase efficiency and streamline internal processes through the currently implemented Agile ways of work.