Human resources

A company’s DNA is created by its history, values and will to make a difference to society. However, in a world where change is happening at a dizzying speed, a strong will must be accompanied by the ability to turn around more quickly than ever before.

DNB is therefore not the same as it was last year or five years ago. Instead, strategies, employees and the organisation are adapted to the only thing the future is guaranteed to bring: Change.

Today, DNB is a traditional bank with digital products, services and channels. DNB will continue to be a bank in the future, but being a bank will entail something else than it does today. It is necessary to think and act like a technology company in areas such as customer experiences, innovation, working methods, new business and cooperation models, use of data and skills mix.

Rapid changes require that all employees are proactive to make themselves relevant for tomorrow. Managers in DNB must dare to let go and give their employees more flexibility and latitude, while placing greater trust in specialists to bring out the best ideas.

Employees who learn faster than competitors will be one of the Group’s biggest competitive advantages.


Ensure engaged employees

To remain competitive in the future, the Group will need to attract new expertise and, not least, further develop the expertise it already has. Tomorrow’s employees will also require more of their employers. These factors must be taken into account when organising various tasks, and to ensure that the Group will continue to be an attractive employer.


Being employed in DNB should entail a safe and predictable work situation, which, among other things, is governed by the group policy for human resources and its associated standards.

In order to achieve its business goals and succeed in realising its new strategy, the Group is dependent on an organisation that understands the desired direction, and that actively takes responsibility to move in this direction. DNB needs highly engaged and motivated employees, an open culture and a flexible organisation that creates the most favourable conditions for reaching its goals as quickly as possible. The staff and support unit People & Operations has the main responsibility for this.

One of the measures which particularly contributed to a high level of engagement and a sound understanding of the Group’s strategic direction in 2017, was the introduction of the new purpose, new values and new strategy. These were launched at a common event for all employees in the Nordic region and Riga in September, with subsequent international events in London, New York and Singapore. The events, followed by extensive communication in physical meeting places as well as digital channels, have established a sound understanding of the new direction. The subsequent implementation activities have been instrumental in ensuring that all employees have a common understanding of future challenges and opportunities, and not least how they must work together to reach the Group’s goals.

DNB offers business-critical training in areas such as IT security, insurance and risk management to relevant units of the Group. The Group has also joined authorisation schemes according to industry requirements set by Finance Norway within financial advisory services and the sale of savings and non-life insurance products. DNB attaches great importance to strengthening employee knowledge and awareness of ethics, anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing.

The employees’ expertise will be an important competitive advantage in the times ahead, along with the ability to learn quickly and apply the learning in their daily work. DNB expects that each individual employee takes responsibility for his/her own development,  and actively promotes the employees’ efforts to improve their skills through internal and external training activities and, not least, through knowledge sharing at work. Opportunities for skills enhancement will be crucial for both employee engagement and long-term value creation. However, the most important arena for learning and ensuring that the Group has the right competences is each employee’s daily work tasks.

To ensure that all employees perform at the best possible level, a system is in place to facilitate a regular dialogue between managers and employees. It is expected that everyone in the organisation has a minimum of two annual meetings related to their targets and development. Regular dialogue is strongly encouraged to make sure that everyone is working towards common goals, and to stimulate individual development.


The Group’s employee engagement, change capacity and innovative power are measured three times a year through the PULSE employee survey. The results show that DNB generally has a high level of employee engagement, and that managers communicate well. The organisation has a high score when it comes to confidence in the group management team and shows clear progress in questions concerning perceived ethical standards and corporate responsibility. The PULSE surveys for 2017 paint a picture of a robust organisation that has fared well through significant restructuring. The employee engagement score was 85 on a scale with 100 as the maximum score. This is a satisfactory increase from the preceding year (84), and in line with the target set for 2017 (85). It is confirmed through the surveys that the involvement of individual employees increases motivation and engagement. 93 per cent of employees reported that they completed a performance dialogue with their immediate superior in 2017.


In 2018, DNB will continue to work with competence, culture and leadership, which are firmly ingrained in the new strategy. It will be neither possible nor desirable to cover the extensive need for future changes in the Group’s skills mix through recruitment alone. Therefore, systematic skills enhancement among existing employees will be a prioritised area.

To succeed with the strategy, DNB is dependent on managers who stand united and take a particular responsibility for ensuring that the priorities are in line with the new direction, and it will be necessary to make changes in how the manager role is performed. The Group needs managers who give their employees more flexibility and latitude, and who help make sure that decisions are made at the appropriate level. DNB aspires to cultivate a learning culture within the Group, and key organisational tools will be developed in order to further support the new direction. In 2018, this will include a new process for employee development, a new organisational survey and a new management development scheme.

The goal is to develop an organisation that is learning-oriented, focuses on customer needs and succeeds in motivating all employees to be curious, bold and responsible. By working together across units and making use of new working methods, DNB will succeed in reducing the time to market for new products.

Promote adaptability and change capacity

The speed and complexity of the changes that are currently hitting the industry, challenge DNB’s ability to drive development and skills enhancement fast enough, and makes it necessary to be fundamentally innovative.

Digitalisation increases the need for new knowledge in the period ahead. Technology forms the basis for changes in customer behaviour and creates a need for expertise within new technologies and new working methods, products and services.


The group policy for human resources is guiding for the work to promote adaptability and change capacity. This is elaborated on in the regulations for reorganisation and assignment processes, as well as in the standards for leadership and competence development and international assignments.

Learning takes place primarily through the employees’ daily tasks, i.e. by performing challenging tasks and projects, as well as through feedback on performance. In addition, learning is facilitated through digital learning tools and communication channels, giving everyone the opportunity to acquire relevant competence for the future. Managers are responsible for facilitating learning and ensuring that the competence acquired is used in the best interests of the individual and DNB. This is done systematically through DNB’s initiatives for competence development.

All activities related to working culture and competence development will underpin the group strategy, the new values and the new purpose. In practice, this means that DNB is working actively to develop the change capacity of the organisation to be as well prepared as possible to meet coming changes in the form of new customer expectations, a new competition climate, new regulations and new technologies. The values curious, bold and responsible will be guiding for the employees’ behaviour towards both customers and colleagues.

The rapid changes faced by the Group require that everyone is proactive in making themselves relevant for tomorrow. All employees must raise their level of digital expertise as required to carry out their work tasks. Efforts shall be made to ensure that all employees get the opportunity to develop relevant skills and expertise, but it is up to each individual to seize opportunities and be curious.

DNB’s Job Centre promotes mobility within the Group and helps and supports employees in their efforts to increase their change capacity and enhance their skills to further develop their career. The Job Centre helps employees become aware of their own skills and enables them to apply for relevant vacant positions in and outside DNB. The employees are offered guidance and coaching in connection with the choices they need to make, and internal and external periods of secondment are facilitated so that they can acquire new skills.


The development of competence and talents is the responsibility of the individual units, and is also facilitated internally through seminars, events and digital channels. On average, NOK 1 170 was spent on competence development per employee in 2017, which is half the amount spent in 2016. This can be explained by increased use of digital training. A total of 9 061 employees participated in the Group’s training initiatives, which is on a level with 2016. In addition to training, the Group arranged a number of seminars, podcasts and lectures, which were also streamed internally, as well as theme weeks linked to key topics such as emerging technologies and corporate responsibility. It is also emphasised that the most important learning takes place in the daily work and through extensive sharing of expertise across the Group. Many contribute actively to this, not least through the interaction platform Workplace (Facebook for companies). This enables individual employees to take responsibility for their own learning.

During 2017, a total of 236 employees visited the Job Centre to receive help and support. 45 employees chose to leave the Group, while 43 were offered a new job in DNB. The Job Centre assisted 395 employees with health-related challenges and is considered to be a positive initiative for strengthening employees’ change capacity.

The share of people leaving the Group by voluntary resignation in Norway, was 4.9 per cent. This shows a normal development, and is the same percentage as the previous year. 662 new employees were recruited in Norway, and 780 employees in total.


Skills enhancement is one of the main objectives of the new group strategy, which was launched in the autumn of 2017. In 2018, it will be particularly important to develop competence within critical areas such as data analysis, IT project management, security and various forms of design. Furthermore, it is essential to improve the digital expertise of all employees, and in 2018, a mobile learning tool was launched to facilitate efficient distribution of training and communicate relevant knowledge to all employees.

Attract and develop talents

The Group’s total competency profile is changing. This will affect those who already work in DNB, and also incites the Group to attract people with expertise in fields such as service design and new technological areas. DNB must become a more attractive employer for people with various specialist skills who do not have banking as their preferred sector. There is great demand for this type of competence.


The group policy for human resources describes the principles for how DNB will attract and develop talent, and this is elaborated on in the group standards for hiring new employees, leadership and competence development, performance management and remuneration.

DNB has gone new ways to attract new and business-critical expertise by, for example, arranging competitions among students that have resulted in new full-time and part-time employees and “summer interns”. In addition, DNB hosts and participates in venues for promoting innovation and development, among other things to meet people whose background matches the Group’s desired profiles.

Did you know…

Did you know that DNB is constantly seeking to increase the competence of its employees through measures such as special DNBtalks, pod­casts and a competence app?

2017 was the first year that DNB recruited candidates for a graduate programme instead of trainees. The candidates were employed directly in the business areas and support units, attending a one-year, group-wide programme. In total, 30 candidates were recruited through the programme and employed in all the Group’s business areas and support units. The graduate programme has attracted highly qualified talents, and is considered a success for both the candidates and DNB’s business areas. DNB had 72 students as “summer interns” in 2017, and has so far recruited 42 for the summer of 2018.

DNB is committed to retaining and developing competent employees. Talent reviews are conducted on an ongoing basis where performance and potential are evaluated in order to develop managers and employees to make them able to meet new challenges and tasks. The talent reviews are considered expedient to assess future potential. In the coming period, it will be even more important to succeed in developing own employees to meet the competence needs of tomorrow.

The Group is dependent on having sufficient access to both specialist professionals and good managers who succeed in creating change and developing their own units. DNB has facilitated development programmes aimed at both managers and management talents. The participants in these programmes have been evaluated and show a greater ability to take on more responsibility both during and after the programmes.

Remuneration schemes in DNB are designed in line with the Group’s standards and underpin the strategy, financial targets and values. It is a guiding principle in DNB that all remuneration should be based on an overall assessment of the individual employee’s contribution to the attainment of the Group’s, the unit’s and individual goals. Read more about the Group’s remuneration schemes in the chapter on corporate governance.


DNB is considered one of the most attractive employers in Norway and is rated among the top ten in three categories among those who have a few years of work experience. DNB is rated as the third most attractive employer for IT students and the fifth for those with some years’ work experience in IT. This shows that DNB has gained a stronger appeal for the new competence profiles the Group needs. DNB was also ranked number one by business students for the third consecutive year. DNB’s measures to attract and develop talent ensure that the Group generally has ample access to competence.


DNB’s ambition for 2018 is to remain the most attractive employer for students and for those with a few years of work experience, as well as for talents with digital expertise. The efforts to identify, retain and attract these profiles will continue in 2018. A programme called Aspire has been established, in which 32 selected management talents have undergone a process to identify their strengths and development areas. This is followed up with individual development initiatives and coaching throughout 2018.

Ensure equality and diversity

DNB believes that diversity is essential for ensuring innovation and value creation. Focusing on equality and diversity provides opportunities to attract and hire the best talents. As Norway’s largest bank and a major Norwegian employer, DNB also has a corporate responsibility to be at the forefront of the development and ensure equality and diversity at all levels of the organisation.


Equality and diversity are followed up in all parts of the company, and the Group’s regulations ensure diversity and equal treatment in recruitment and selection processes. Discrimination is not accepted. DNB complies with the local regulatory requirements of each country in which it has operations, and is committed to equal pay, regardless of gender, for the same work and performance. The Group will continue to differentiate pay based on performance, but works continuously to identify and close wage gaps that may be due to gender or other diversity aspects.

As in the previous year, DNB set aside an ‘equal pay pool’ of NOK 17 million in the 2017 wage settlement to equalise imbalances in the Norwegian part of the Group. A plan of action for equal pay has been drafted in cooperation with the trade unions. The action plan addresses, among other things, a balanced gender ratio as one of the job assignment criteria in reorganisation and employment processes, internal mentor and network schemes for women, mapping and analysis of pay levels and pay differences in units, instructions for the implementation of wage and bonus settlements and quality assurance in wage settlements.

DNB has great diversity in the Group’s international operations, and concrete measures have been initiated to increase diversity in the Group’s Norwegian operations. In recruitment initiatives targeting students, gender and ethnic background are emphasised. DNB is also working actively to attract employees from a broad selection of educational institutions and disciplines.

DNB has several targets to ensure gender equality in management and sufficient access to talented women managers: minimum 50 per cent female representation in internal management development and talent programmes, and minimum 40 per cent women candidates on lists for succession planning. Managers are required to identify potential talented women managers and use performance dialogues to motivate these to seek management challenges. Internal mentor and network schemes for talented women managers have also been established. In recruitment processes for management positions, the best qualified male and female candidates must be identified before the final choice is made. When recruiting managers, procedures must be in place to ensure that female candidates are identified, and these should be actively encouraged to apply for the positions. A balanced gender ratio should be one of the job assignment criteria in restructuring processes. When changing the composition of management teams, particular emphasis should be placed on achieving a better gender balance.

Did you know…

Did you know that DNB is recruiting 30 new graduates in 2018, the majority of whom are engineers, not business graduates?


As a result of the follow-up of wage and bonus settlements and the use of the ‘equal pay pool’, more women than men have been given individual raises in the last two years.

DNB has set a female representation target at the top four management levels of minimum 40 per cent. At the end of 2017, the percentage of women in management positions was 37.0 per cent, a rise from 33.5 per cent in 2016. The Group focused on measures to improve the gender balance at the various management levels in 2017, and they are well established in the business areas. The organisation is positive to the implementation of the measures, which has become reinforced by the positive attention received both in the media and from other businesses and research institutions.


DNB will increase its initiatives to promote individual development of leadership skills among selected women managers and management talents, and ensure a gender balance among managers and profiled key persons who speak on behalf of the company internally and externally. Important future targets will be to develop strategies and measures to ensure equal opportunities for men and women, and to increase diversity among employees and managers. This is especially true in the Norwegian part of the Group’s operations.

There is a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination on the basis of, for example, gender, ethnic background or functional ability, and DNB shall ensure good working conditions in all countries where the Group has operations.

1) The figure for 2017 reflects the new management team established on 11 December 2017.

Cheering on women with technology backgrounds in DNB

The financial services industry has undergone a massive digitalisation in recent years. DNB is competing with large and small technology companies across national borders to create the best customer experiences. The development of new products and services requires more technology competence, and even though the bank is developing such expertise internally, it must also join in the competition to recruit people with this highly sought-after background.

The pursuit of technology expertise presents new challenges when it comes to reaching gender equality goals. Among experienced IT professionals there is a predominance of men, who also make up the majority of the applicants for these positions.

There are currently not enough IT graduates, and the girls are in a clear minority in these studies, despite the fact that the demand for technologists is expected to be even stronger in the coming years. According to DNB Markets, an upswing is expected in oil investments. This may lead to a drastic increase in the demand for technologists in this sector. In addition, many technologists are behind the establishment of fin-tech companies.

Against this background, it is especially gratifying that DNB in 2017 was rated Norway’s third most attractive workplace for IT students, up as much as five places from 2016.

The Group is already benefiting from the fact that many students regard DNB as one of the top IT workplaces. Most of the 30 graduates who were recruited in the autumn of 2017, had an IT background. 15 of these are women, of whom 13 have a scientific or technological education.

DNB has managed to generate interest and engagement among technology students and especially among female IT engineer students on social media, where their opportunities in the bank are clearly shown. The bank has also succeeded in promoting the bank as an IT workplace through meeting places for female IT engineers such as “Girl Geek dinners”.

In addition, DNB has hired three people who specialise in recruiting technologists with previous work experience. The level of engagement among technology students led to over 800 applicants to the graduate programme, and this allowed DNB to choose between a number of highly qualified candidates, many of whom were women.

So although there are still clearly fewer women than men among graduating technologists, DNB is succeeding in attracting almost as many female as male graduates with a technology background.

Ensure safe working conditions and a positive working environment

Safe working conditions and a positive working environment are essential to prevent and reduce health risk factors. Health, safety and environment (HS&E) are therefore important elements in the DNB Group’s policy for human resources. DNB is committed to preventive working environment measures that promote employees’ safety, health, well-being and job satisfaction.


The governing document is the group policy for human resources. The policy is elaborated on in the group standard for health, environment and safety. Cooperation between management, safety representatives and employees shall ensure that efforts to improve the working environment are future-oriented and an integral part of daily operations.

DNB managers shall be updated on HS&E issues. In addition, managers are trained in how to handle sickness absence. DNB has a separate specialist unit that supports managers in the follow-up of employees who are absent due to sickness. First aid expertise is continually assured among the employees through courses and films.

DNB places importance on having an inclusive working environment. DNB’s targets specified in the inclusive workplace agreement are: sickness absence reductions, special adaptation for employees with reduced capacity for work and an increase in the average retirement age. The targets are regularly discussed with the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV). The inclusive workplace agreement applies until the end of 2018.

In DNB’s operations in Norway, the physical and ergonomic working environment is surveyed annually, together with knowledge related to the Group’s environmental goals and physical security. Through this HS&E survey, employees can provide feedback about their own working environment.

To counteract the consequences of sedentary work, there is good access to adjustable height desks and the possibility for ergonomic advice via the company health service. In Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim, facilitating physical activity through DNB training and exercise classes is an important preventive measure.

DNB makes special adaptations for employees with reduced capacity for work. The number of disabled parking spaces has been adapted to the actual requirements in each building. The Group has procedures for the handling of bullying, sexual harassment and other improper conduct. The procedures shall ensure that a reported event is assessed swiftly, predictably and consistently.

The risk of robbery has been practically eliminated due to the transition to cashless branch offices, however, there has been an increase in the number of threats and violence against employees. These cases are handled by DNB Group Security.


DNB is still working actively to ensure that managers and safety representatives have relevant HS&E expertise. Knowledge of working environment factors, special adaptation and preventive measures are fundamental elements in the Group’s systematic HS&E work. Safety representatives in the Norwegian part of the Group’s operations are given HS&E training, and in 2017, a total of 43 new safety representatives completed the HS&E training programme. The inclusive workplace agreement is upheld through good cooperation with NAV, and the follow-up of sickness absence has high priority.

A survey is carried out among the employees every year concerning the physical working environment, external environment and security situation, as well as procedures related to these. As in preceding years, the 2017 results showed a very high degree of satisfaction with the psychosocial working environment. Workplace accidents in 2017 were reported in a structured manner, and it was ensured that occupational injuries were reported to NAV and DNB Livsforsikring where applicable.

24 employees in the Norwegian part of the Group were exposed to threats or violence in 2017, and witness support was given to three employees.

210 employees participated in courses on threat management, security and fire protection during the year.

Nine accidents and injuries during working hours or in connection with travel to or from work were recorded, but none were serious. Workplace accidents are recorded in the Group’s incident database and reported to NAV as occupational injuries. The incidents are reported to the Group’s working environment committee, and serious incidents are reported to the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority.


DNB will continue its efforts to develop health-promoting and preventive working environment measures that contribute to the employees’ safety, health, well-being and job satisfaction. The Group will continue to use the social media platform Workplace (Facebook for companies) and nano-learning (short intensive courses) to create a good working environment, provide training in specific areas such as ergonomics and offer general training within HS&E.

Key figures

wdt_ID Categories 2017 2016
1 General
2 Total number of employees in the Group 9 561 11 459
3 - number of employees in Norway 8 157 8 244
4 Engagement index 85 84
5 Recruitment and mobility
6 Total number of external employees recruited 780 816
7 - number of women 321 401
8 Total number of external employees recruited in Norway 662 641
9 - number of women 263 306
10 Average age of new employees 32 30

1) The figure for 2017 reflects the new management team established on 11 December 2017.