In 2016, Societe Generale Group launched a Culture & Conduct Programme, headed by Ian Fisher, and which aims to build confidence among the Group’s stakeholders, especially its clients, and accelerate Societe Generale's cultural transformation by placing values, leadership quality and behavioural integrity at the very heart of the Group’s activities.
What is the programme Culture & Conduct
The Culture & Conduct Programme aims to reinforce the highest standards of service quality, integrity and behaviour.
The overall objective is to make our culture a differentiating factor, and so contribute to Societe Generale’s performance and attractiveness.
With the launch of the Culture & Conduct programme in 2016, Societe Generale seekst to go one step further by building on the accomplishments of the last few years to lay the groundwork for a strong culture and accelerate its transformation. This strategic programme aims to build confidence among all its stakeholders, especially its customers, and to accelerate Societe Generale’s cultural transformation by placing values, leadership quality and behavioural integrity at the heart of its activities and thus achieve the highest standards of service quality, integrity and behaviour.
This initiative is based on the recommendations of the “G30”, an international advisory group on economic and monetary policy which are expressed in their two reports and address five key themes: development of the perception of culture; governance and responsibilities of the governing bodies; performance management and incentives; staff development and training; and effectiveness of the three lines of defence.
The Programme is also part of the broader Culture of responsibility, restated during our recent Investor Day whereby the Group’s ambition is translated into five strategic and operational priorities: “grow; accelerate the transformation of our businesses, particularly in digital; maintain strict cost discipline; complete the refocusing of the Group; and foster a culture of responsibility at every level of the company” ; as well as in the continuity of the different actions undertaken during the past years to strengthen the Group’s culture (ERM programme Culture RISK, restatement of the values, leadership model).
Programme achievements since 2017
- Worldwide staff appropriation of the Group Code of Conduct, which gives the guiding principles for collective and individual behavior for all employees, through:
- In person workshops across all businesses and geographies, with a current participation rate of around 90% of active employees (around 120,000 people through 15,000 workshops). These have allowed the different business and service units to identify their main misconduct risk zones, as well as define action plans to mitigate these risk zones,
- a compulsory distance training module to further embed comprehension of the Code of Conduct, distributed to all employees and validated by 95 % of staff.
- Improving the manner in which conduct risks are identified, assessed and mitigated across the Group, through:
- the broadening of our definition of conduct risk and incorporating this new definition into the overall Group risk management framework,
- preparing operational risk and compliance teams for the first internal risk assessment taking conduct risk into account.
- The implementation of an annual management dashboard composed of indicators on conduct and culture which increases visibility on the main risks in our businesses and defines necessary action plans to improve the management of these risks,
- Continuing the alignment of the main human resources management processes with the Group's ambitions for culture and conduct, particularly in managing inappropriate behaviour, as well as disciplinary sanctions,
- Regular awareness actions for our leaders on culture and conduct challenges, and, more broadly, regular Group communications that aim to remind all employees of the importance of ethics and culture in their daily activities.
Prorities for 2019
2019 will be devoted to:
- Supporting our business and service units to achieve full ownership and appropriation of culture and conduct topics
- Completing the Culture & Conduct Programme’s core deliverables, with a particular emphasis on
- renewing our training to staff on the Code of Conduct and how to address dilemmas and grey zones, as well as supporting business and service units in their action plans to address these issues;
- measuring and mitigating our conduct risk through a first risk assessment taking into account conduct risk and the culture and conduct dashboard ;
- training and awareness on our sanctions and inappropriate behaviours policy, as well as working on aligning our induction process and continuing to support actions on a speak up culture and cultural transformation;
- developing the necessary governance to ensure that culture and conduct topics continue to hold a key place in the Group’s strategy beyond the life of the Programme.
Group disciplinary principles
Since 2015, the Group’s disciplinary principles have been presented to the members of its various management committees. In 2016, a shadow reporting exercise was carried out within the Global Banking and Investor Solutions scope to serve as the basis for future deployment throughout all Group entities.
For 2018, the Culture & Conduct Programme, through continued work on the management culture, aims to increase awareness and assist managers and the HR function to establish appropriate disciplinary measures.
Societe Generale group is strengthening its set-up for recording and processing alerts. The new mechanism, in compliance with the obligations defined by French legislation, allows staff to report serious matters that do not comply with the rules governing the conduct of the Group’s activities. Open to staff, external and temporary members of staff or service providers with whom an established commercial relationship exists (subcontractors or suppliers), it is based on a secure external platform that guarantees the protection of personal data and the strict confidentiality of information. It is accessible in French and English via the link below. The multilingual version will be deployed during 2019.
A reminder of the terms and conditions can be found in the GROUP’S CODE OF CONDUCT.