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The bank's needs are broader than cut downs

The management sends many years of experience out the door when they lay off skilled employees. The bank's need for improvements is broader than just finances.

26. jan 2021
3 min
Af Kirsten Ebbe Brich, Formand
kebb@danskebank.dk

Let me say it right away: I fully recognise that Danske Bank's management needs to sharpen the company, clean up the mess that previous managements have left us with and make Danske Bank a competitive company again. But I have a concern that the management's focus on cut downs has become too dominant over other possible ways to improve.

The number (1,600) has burned into the retinas of the employees, and today's redundancies make another step on the way to a goal we cannot see nor know the status of. A great effort is done to avoid dismissals by natural departures and reassignments, but it still creates uncertainty among the employees to wonder whether there is a board somewhere in the management corridor, which today gets 68 new chalk lines. 68 lines covering 68 destinies that might as well be our own.

I cannot help but think that 68 layoffs are 68 missed opportunities to develop and re-train some amazing employees to become a part of the bank's future rather than its past. It will take years to rebuild the experience they take with them, and in my opinion, it is not a particularly sustainable approach to workforce planning.

Danske Bank needs to become a better bank. But we still cannot cut our way to improvements. There are other needs to consider that should be more important. For example, I can mention:

  • A workload so high, that managers are asking for local overtime agreements - even in departments where employees have recently been laid off. We should at least expect the management to make sure that the workforce matches the amount of tasks. Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case at the moment.
  • An image under pressure that can only be reversed by getting better - not cheaper to operate. If our customers and the world around us are to learn to love us again, it requires skilled employees who know how to put the customers first. Fortunately, we have many of them, but they also need the right conditions to flourish.
  • An organization that is changing so fast that the employees can barely keep up. With Better Ways of Working, I hope we get some peace of mind to get used to the new ways of working and a proper chance to perform under the new conditions before we once again introduced to something new.

It is very important to me that Danske Bank knows and recognizes the value of its employees. Therefore, I can also guarantee that my colleagues in Finansforbundet i Danske Bank and myself take the above points with us when we meet with the management and the bank's board.

To the 68 colleagues who will no longer be with us: Thank you for your efforts. We wish you all the best of luck in the future. We will do our best to ensure that those of you who are members move along in your career as well as possible. We will be in touch.