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This article is brought to by Societe Generale.

Societe Generale’s Hong Kong office, opened in 1977, and currently with more than 1,200 employees, is its centre of operations in the Asia Pacific region. Some of its biggest strengths lie in adapting to the changing needs of the workforce.

From caring for employees, to leadership and talent development, it knows its most successful investment to date has been in its people.Here are five HR-led initiatives that offers a glimpse of how Societe Generale is nurturing promising and fulfilling careers for its staff.


‘Returnship’ programme

In 2021, Societe Generale launched the Returnship programme in Asia Pacific. It is a six-month paid contract designed for talent looking to reintegrate into the workforce and develop their skills. In the rapidly evolving banking industry, the Returnship programme offers a smooth and empowering transition back to work for experienced professionals who have been on an extended career break. The programme includes a tailored onboarding journey with training, mentoring, and networking events.

Family-friendly policy

Societe Generale has designed a robust and holistic benefits plan surrounding leave entitlements; flexible working arrangements, including remote working; an employee assistance programme; and parental transition support to assist its employees at different stages of their lives. Staff can enjoy up to 30 days of annual leave, 20 weeks of maternity leave, 15 days of paternity leave, and other personal leave entitlements. For prospective parents, parental transition support and coaching is provided. The employee assistance programme has a noble mission of supporting staff facing personal, family, or financial issues. Meanwhile, remote working has been in place at the firm since 2016. On top of that, its flexible working policies give staff the peace of mind they need to adapt to any personal circumstance. For example, once a month, staff can leave work two hours early to run errands.

‘Live My Life’ programme

The Live My Life programme enables employees to understand and discover job departments outside of their own, as well as access to cross-learning opportunities. Open to all APAC employees, the initiative includes meetings (in-person and online) with senior representatives, at least eight hours of job shadowing, lunch and learn sessions, and internal career fairs; thus, opening up a world of mobility and growth for the regional workforce.

Traditional, group, and reverse mentoring

A variety of mentorship programmes are designed to engage employees no matter the stage of their career journey. As part of the traditional programme, motivated employees can develop leadership skills, assume more responsibility, and gain visibility in the organisation. Group mentoring allows more communication, collaboration, and counselling among peers, while reversed mentoring swaps the traditional role of mentor and mentee to facilitate the exchange between different seniority levels.

‘Sponsorship’ programme

In its Sponsorship programme, senior management shares insider knowledge with their protégé on how to advance in the organisation, and fills any development gaps blocking their progress. The programme enables introductions to influential people in their network, provides high visibility opportunities and projects, and brings out a public advocate for their protégé.


ALSO READ: Case study: How Societe Generale is building a future talent pipeline


Photo / HRO HR Distinction Awards 2021

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