Two International Gold Awards for İşbank’s HR Practices

3 September 2020 – Making significant investments in both banking operations and human resources in the fields of technological innovation and digitalization, İşbank has been awarded two gold awards at “Brandon Hall Group Human Capital Management (HCM) Excellence 2020 Awards”, an industry-leading international award program.

The award-winning practices were the Development Center in the “Management Development for the Future” program in “Use of Assessment Practices Guiding Talent Decisions” category under “Talent Management”, and the “Branch Management Learning Journey” extending from the Deputy Branch Manager Development Program to Branch Manager Development Program in “Succession and Career Development” category.

In his statement, Burak Seyrek, Deputy CEO at İşbank, emphasized that they were very pleased and proud on behalf of both our country and our Bank that the talent development practices by İşbank, which had thus far trained all its managers in-house starting from the recruitment phase, received the said international awards. “The learning agility of our employees, who will carry our bank into the future, and their innovative practices in all areas that will improve our services, particularly in technology, are of great importance. We have meticulous and extremely comprehensive in-house learning and development processes for the development and transformation of talent to meet the new generation needs required by both the profession and the age we are in.”

Reminding that they had received two gold awards in the field of digital education applications for their “İş’te Gerçeklik” and “İşGame” learning applications at Brandon Hall Human Capital Management (HCM) Excellence Awards in 2019, Seyrek said the digitalization process, which was one of the key agenda items for the finance sector, brought along various in-house learning events to contribute to the Bank’s projects and improve employee knowledge, competence and awareness on digital concepts and innovation. Noting that they had constantly been updating the relevant work, Seyrek stated that the action taken during the pandemic marked an important milestone to that end.

“We combine our ‘people first’ approach with technology”

Seyrek emphasized that, as a national organization that believed in a collective working culture and collective wisdom and internalized such values, they had always acted with a “people first” approach and that occupational health and safety was always their top priority. “Throughout the pandemic, we have never compromised on this approach in terms of both our employees and public health. Even before the pandemic started in our country, we provided our employees with detailed written and visual information. We updated our pandemic and crisis management plans and took some preventive measures. We have worked hard to successfully manage this extraordinary process, which affects the entire world, from early days on, adopting a ‘people first’ approach and employing collective wisdom, in a way that will set a precedent for other organizations. We never hesitated to make and implement extremely far-reaching decisions in a very short time. Immediately after the first case was declared in our country and during the early days of the pandemic, we launched tens of different practices including but not limited to granting administrative leaves to all colleagues who have chronic diseases, are pregnant or have infants and toddlers to care for, starting telecommuting practices in turns, applying flexible working hours, making supplementary payments due to the pandemic to colleagues who are physically at the workplace, launching a 24/7 pandemic hotline that enables all employees to have direct access to our HSE Teams and to senior management including the CEO, providing psychological and medical support and information, granting the freedom to switch to a smart casual dress code in all departments and units including Branches, initiating digital training and safety practices, and taking comprehensive measures regarding cleaning, the use of masks and gloves, ventilation, and hygiene. We have procured more than 4 thousand laptops in a very short time. Leveraged by our strong digital and technical infrastructure and the devoted support of our relevant teams, we have rapidly established a technical infrastructure enabling 15,000 colleagues to work from home seamlessly and continue offering services to customers. As we have proven during the pandemic, we combine our ‘people first’ approach with technology. On one hand, we continue to support the development of our employees through digital training events, gamified applications and videos. On the other, we make proactive and radical decisions to launch practices that are tailored for needs and facilitate the lives of our employees.”

Burak Seyrek highlighted the requirement for employees to develop their skills in various fields in consideration of new digital competences. He stated that the pandemic clearly showed the importance of İşbank’s digital transformation efforts which had accelerated since 2015-2016 and put technology beside people, not before people, in a structural sense that spans human resources and organizational models.

Burak Seyrek underscored that, in these challenging times, besides the comprehensive measures we had been implementing to support our employees and particularly our country’s economic life, the real sector and households, we never stopped fulfilling our responsibilities to the society. “Recently, we have announced that we would be supporting İşbank Infectious Diseases Research Center, which has been established at Koç University, for 5 years. This Research Center conforms to universal norms. Bayındır Health Group, an İşbank affiliate, will also contribute to the work at the Center, which is an extremely powerful and trailblazing initiative in terms of both national research studies into infectious diseases and reducing foreign dependency on vaccines and medication. Furthermore, in February this year, we collaborated with Koç University and launched ‘Koç University İşbank Artificial Intelligence Practice and Research Center’, where advanced studies will be conducted in the field of artificial intelligence and digitalization. The Center will make a significant contribution to international scientific studies and technological developments in our country, and marks the first of its kind in our country in the field of artificial intelligence.”


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Mike Cooke

Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group Mike Cooke Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Mike Cooke was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AC Growth. Mike held leadership and executive positions for the majority of his career, at which he was responsible for steering sales and marketing teams to drive results and profitability. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and operations in the research, consulting, software and technology industries. Mike has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management having worked for several early high-growth emerging businesses and has implemented technology systems to support various critical sales, finance, marketing and client service functions. He is especially skilled in organizing the sales and service strategy to fully support a company’s growth strategy. The concept of growth was an absolute to Mike and a motivator in starting AC Growth, in order to help organizations achieve research driven results. Most recently, Mike was the VP and General Manager of Field Operations at Bersin & Associates, a global analyst and consulting services firm focused on all areas of enterprise learning, talent management and talent acquisition. Tasked with leading the company’s global expansion, Mike led all sales operations worldwide. During Mike’s tenure, the company has grown into a multi-national firm, conducting business in over 45 countries with over 4,500 multi-national organizations. Mike started his career at MicroVideo Learning Systems in 1992, eventually holding a senior management position and leading all corporate sales before founding Dynamic Minds. Mike was CEO and Co-Founder of Dynamic Minds, a custom developer of software programs, working with clients like Goldman Sachs, Prentice Hall, McGraw Hill and Merrill Lynch. Also, Mike worked for Oddcast, a leading provider of customer experience and marketing solutions, where he held a senior management position leading the company into new markets across various industries. Mike also serves on the Advisory Board for Carbon Solutions America, an independent sustainability consulting and carbon management firm that specializes in the design and implementation of greenhouse reduction and sustainability plans as well as managing the generation of carbon and renewal energy and energy efficiency credits. Mike attended University of Phoenix, studying Business Administration and Finance. He has also completed executive training at the Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.

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