• Why we believe our bank benefits from regular conversations

Having regular conversations underpins the bank’s progress in 2020

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Michael Ilgner

It is important that employees understand what is expected from them and are empowered to speak up. Regular conversations between employees and their managers build trust and shape our workplace.

Michael Ilgner, Global Head of HR

We know that our employees need to be heard, included, recognized, cared for and provided with positive leadership to promote a productive and engaging working environment.

As a result, HR has focused on raising awareness of the importance of regular conversations, a concept that underpins the Bank’s approach to managing performance more holistically (Total Performance). Total Performance encourages regular dialog and reflection between employees and their managers, helping to build trust and an environment where employees feel motivated and enabled to carry out their job.

We offer our employees feedback tools to foster an open environment – employees can proactively reach out for feedback or receive feedback from their colleagues anytime. Feedback tools are integrated in our systems making them easy to find and use.

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Anytime Feedback

Get Feedback

colleagues can proactively recognize the contributions of others across the organization, regardless of where they are. employees can request feedback from others, in addition to allowing managers to request feedback on their behalf

Regular employee surveys track our progress

We know from years of research that employees need a sense of purpose and an environment that supports productivity. This is why engaging with employees and measuring that engagement is so important. Asking for and providing feedback is also a critical part of a healthy speak-up culture.

The bank runs different survey types, helping us move towards continuous listening with real time results.

A quarterly Feedback Culture survey continues to track progress on how our employees perceive the feedback culture in their teams. The results of the survey are included in the Management Board’s “Balanced Scorecard”, which feed into performance evaluations.

In addition, divisions and regions are able to run their own self-service surveys on topics of specific interest at timely points throughout the year.

The annual People Survey 2021, our bank-wide flagship engagement survey, enables us to test organizational development and linkages. We focus on two key areas to measure engagement:

  • Commitment -
    how proud and motivated are our employees to be working at Deutsche Bank?
  • Enablement -
    do our employees have access to the right tools to get their job done?

In June 2020, all Deutsche Bank employees (including DWS) were invited to participate in the Spotlight People Survey 2020, where we saw significant improvement across all survey themes, despite challenges that came with facing a global pandemic.

With focus on people and the bank’s united and consistent response to COVID-19, we saw accelerated improvement in Commitment and Enablement, the strongest results we have seen in recent years.

87% of employees understood how their role contributed to delivering DB’s strategy (up 10 percentage points versus 2019), a key driver of both Commitment and Enablement.

At the most recent Global Leadership Offsite, which gathers the most senior leaders in the Bank, a poll among the attendees made it clear that people are valued as the Bank’s most important asset.

Run time:

Response Rates:


9 to 30 June 2020

2020: 55% (50.526 responses out of 91.515 invited); 2019: 47%; 2018: 50%

Over 153.000 comments (2.5 x increase versus 2019)

1. Highest Commitment since 2012 and historic high for Enablement:


2. All 55 items improving since 2019


11 y-o-y

CONTENT-Icon-pfeil 11 y-o-y since
CONTENT-Icon-pfeil 33 since last year

Impact of regular conversations

For the third consecutive year, the Spotlight People Survey results highlighted how having regular conversations positively impacted on how committed and enabled employees feel overall.

in percentage points Impact on CommitmentImpact on EnablementImpact on Speak Up
Receiving feedback +16 +21 +21
Being asked for feedback +19 +26 +27
Being appreciated +15 +19 +18
Attending team meetings +18 +25 +26

Through this report, 2019 scores include results of Postbank (unless otherwise specified). In order to provide a like-for-like measure of progress since the Deutsche Bank People Survey 2018, trends in 2018 at the bank's overall level exclude results of Postbank (unless otherwise specified).

Further information about progress made in the Spotlight People survey.