Course on HR Issues and Compliance

March 23, 2018

For the first time in many years, the JVI hosted a course on HR Issues and Compliance, taught jointly by staff from the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) and Deutsche Bundesbank (BBk). The course took place from March 5-9, 2018, with participants coming from throughout the JVI target region, working mainly in the HR unit of their central bank or ministry of finance, respectively.

Since employees are the most important asset of any organization, managing human resources properly is critical to providing an employee-oriented and productive work environment. Therefore, the aim of this course was to address a broad range of HR management aspects, using experience at the BBk and the OeNB to provide a platform for peer-to-peer exchange.

Once the ice breakers were out of the way, Andreas Furm-Hazivar (OeNB) started with an overview of the European System of Central Banks and the Single Supervisory Mechanism, which grants the European Central Bank a supervisory role to monitor the financial stability of banks based in participating nation states, giving participants an idea of the overall framework within which ESCB central banks must work.

Frank Elster (BBk) then covered HR strategy and policy implementation at the Bundesbank, with a lively discussion on what “strategy” meant for the course participants in practice. Mr. Elster summarised the role of an HR framework as aiming to support the effectiveness and efficiency of the core business units, which for a central bank tends to mean monetary policy, banking supervision, cash management, financial and monetary system, and payment systems.

Working groups were set up to discuss the next topic, namely corporate culture and change management. Participants had to work through ideas for how to overcome the main obstacles to modern leadership in their corporate cultures. What is modern leadership and is it even needed? Do we have different typical leadership styles, and can we accept them, or do we need a uniform understanding of a central bank leadership approach?

When it came to career planning there was quite a bit of divergence between the Bundesbank and Nationalbank, since Bundesbank staff are classed as civil servants, hence a rigid progression structure is handed down by the federal German government. But for both organizations, with Susanna Konrad-El Ghazi presenting the OeNB’s system, career progression and promotions are inextricably linked to performance, the appraisal system, staff development, and training, topics which were all covered during the week. These led back to recruitment in both organizations, which, although focused on internal mobility and promotion, does leave some room for external recruitment, especially in the OeNB.

Eva Graf and Claudia Klier devoted a day to covering the OeNB’s compliance function, explaining the thinking behind its organization, the laws forming its legal basis, as well as the rules that apply to staff. Although many aspects of compliance were not directly related to the daily tasks that the course participants were responsible for, there was some overlap, especially regarding the staff handbook and code of conduct.

Daniel Stirrat, HR/Admin Assistant, JVI

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