Age-Friendly Business Award 2021
Employee Wellbeing & Inclusion

Age-Friendly Business Award

Bank of Ireland (BOI) strives to achieve industry leading inclusion and diversity practices and procedures that are supported by senior leaders, strategic goals, communication and engagement.

What Bank of Ireland

Two of the Bank’s four strategic pillars – increasing Workforce Diversity and Fostering Inclusive Experience – include specific measures around older colleagues.

High level strategic goals and specific elements in relation to age inclusion and culture are communicated both internally and externally, and the Bank has a specific colleague led Network (the Intergenerational Network) dedicated to promoting greater understanding, appreciation, and engagement among colleagues of all generations to drive an age inclusive agenda.

Senior leaders attend the Intergenerational Network monthly meetings, and their involvement ensures support for and rapid execution of Network initiatives, as well as providing ongoing internal challenge to the Network to drive excellence.

On-going initiatives involving the Intergenerational Network include: development and launch of a “Life Stages Framework” – a detailed guide categorising life stages and the employment cycle with various supports and initiatives to support colleagues; Mid-Career Reviews for colleagues aged 50+; Planning for Retirement – to support colleagues in the run up to, during and following retirement; an online menopause hub; reverse mentoring of senior leadership team by younger colleagues; and a graduate co-chair initiative where graduates gain leadership/networking skills by co-chairing individual Networks with more senior colleagues.

I&D is measured within the workforce through a twice yearly anonymous ‘Open View’ survey and use the outputs to identify areas for improvement, and the Bank held its first ever Inclusion and Diversity Day in March 2021 organised and hosted by graduate co-chairs.

Bank of Ireland provides thought leadership and seek to learn from the best practice of others through involvement in local and national groups including Age NI, Carers NI and Women in Business.

Impacts and Outcomes

  • Developed relationships with relevant external partners such as Age NI; Carers UK and the Menopause Hub
  • Pivoted to digital, providing personalised support through our BOI Wellbeing App; dedicated intranet hubs; Zoom presentations; on-line career pathways and career development training; podcasts etc. all of which are recorded and available for colleagues to watch in their own time
  • An improved perception of BoI – 3% increase in brand consideration (from 17% to 20% of people likely to consider BOI first for their next financial product) and a 4% increase in brand drivers over the past two years
  • Recruitment charter launched, to clearly set out commitment to diverse hiring and attract talent into the organisation
  • Rising engagement scores in colleagues aged 55+
  • Older colleagues have the highest scores in the bank for culture embedding, promoter scores for Bank of Ireland products and are more positive about BOI’s support for their health and wellbeing than younger colleagues
  • The company is reflective of its customer base and the community it serves
  • 82% of colleagues have adopted flexible working since the Bank launched its modern ways of working programme, allowing them to accommodate caring and other responsibilities
  • 16 colleagues in NI benefited directly from a mid-career review with a further 16 colleagues receiving dedicated pensions advice
  • Provided payment breaks to customers and simplified processes making it easier for older and vulnerable customers to nominate family members/friend to use our facilities

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The Judges said

Bank of Ireland has demonstrated its commitment as an age-inclusive employer. The Bank’s approach to age is clearly leadership driven and all levels of the business are included in its strategy, both staff and customers.

There is a long-term approach to age inclusion and the reporting procedures and mechanisms in place ensure that staff feedback influences change.

Bank of Ireland has adapted to the challenges of COVID-19 to provide innovative ways to support staff and customers.