The development of human capital was one of the key pillars of the 2022 transformation strategy. In 2020, human capital development was implemented under the theme of building a performance based culture, and motivating the entire cadre of staff to achieve organisational goals. Despite the challenges we faced during the year, we were able to complete the implementation of the Human Capital (HC) Division strategy. The task of culture transformation cascaded into filling three gaps; improved accountability, better communication and becoming more outcome-focused.

The broad picture in numbers

Workforce analysis (Riyad Bank employees only)

2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
Total No. of Staff 5,214 5,146 5,335 5,567 5,722
% Female employees 25.5% 25.0% 25.9% 25.8% 25.6%
% Saudi Employees 94.2% 93.7% 93.7% 94.1% 93.6%


Learning and development analysis

In today’s banking environment, which is changing with dizzying rapidity, it is essential that staff be equipped with the necessary skills to stay abreast of the changes. Digitalisation is coming to the forefront and creates a need for continuous training, in order to serve customers better.

2020 2019 2018
Sessions 400 380 826
Courses 146 184 227
Offerings without online 12,338 4,741 8,360
Online attendance 27,886 30,332 8,094
Training Days without online 19,361 9,754 14,350
Training Days with online 47,247 40,086 22,444
Training hours (6 hours per day) 283,482 240,516 134,664
Attendance 9,410 4,330 8,087


Males Females
Mandatory 24,811 148,866 5,590 73% 27%
Non-Mandatory 19,361 116,166 4,634 73% 27%
e-Learning 2,823 16,938 2,667 80% 20%


Dealing with the pandemic

However, in the year under review we were faced with an unexpected and unprecedented challenge – that of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. A three-phase program was mounted to meet this challenge. In the initial phase of the response a few governance committees were put in place to draw up and implement counter-measures. In this phase both managerial and operational precautions were taken. Business continuity measures were implemented and business recovery plans were tested. All employees performing critical functions were provided with the Citrix application and communication tools. COVID-19 awareness programs were commenced and employees and customers were provided with personal protection equipment (PPE).

In the next phase, new platforms and working procedures were put in place to execute the normal operations without interruption while keeping to safety guidelines. Work at the premises was initially confined to 92 critical employees. The Human Capital Division issued permits for employees to commute to and from their homes to premises. The permits, which numbered 150 initially, gradually increased to 4,297. The Citrix license access was expanded to include all employees within weeks. The new working procedures were made more robust and initiatives were launched to keep employees engaged and prevent deterioration of morale.

In the third phase, a gradual return to normal work was executed within the framework of a workplace safety plan. The execution was staggered in five stages. Through an awareness program, employees were educated regarding mitigating risks and safe work practices. At each stage employee attendance was strictly monitored. Flexibility initiatives were conducted to manage the traffic and conform to the distancing protocol. A contingency plan was also drawn up to cope with a possible second phase.

Maintaining employee morale

The pandemic created an unprecedented situation where almost all business had to be conducted remotely. This posed major challenges particularly in keeping the employees committed, engaged and productive. The following were some of the innovative measures taken to adapt to the new working environment.

EVPs Coffee Breaks – “Let’s meet and catch up” These were informal meetings hosted for EVPs to catch up with team members and swap stories on coping with the pandemic.

No. of sessions – 73

Employee wellness and leadership communication

  • A series of wellness programs for employees was commenced featuring a tip of the day.
  • Team leaders were encouraged to have continuous and transparent communication with team members. This included communication of changes and other Bank news.

Virtual Competitions

This is an initiative to entertain employees during quarantine by simple competitions conducted online.

The following were the types of competitions:

  • Be the chef
  • A day in our life
  • Calculate your daily steps
  • Best home office set up
  • Fifa league

Your home is your gym

Staff were motivated to work out twice a week at home guided by an online trainer.

Oud and guitar nights

This was a weekly musical entertainment event to relieve boredom of employees and their families during quarantine.

Fawazer Ramadan

This was initiated during the Ramadan period and valuable gifts were given weekly.

Working arrangements for the “new normal”

A flexible workplace plan has been developed to be implemented during the post- COVID-19 “new normal”. The different job functions are being carefully studied to identify which can be converted to full-time remote work and which employees can work remotely on some days. All employees will be eligible for six remote working days a month, unless the nature of their job functions specifically excludes remote working. Special working arrangements are also made for women immediately after childbirth to ease the return to work. They are allowed one week telecommunicating after maternity leave, followed by three days telecommuting for two weeks, and then two days telecommuting for one week.

Human capital initiatives

Human Capital Roadshow

In 2019, the Human Capital Team conducted a Roadshow for the Bank staff. The Roadshow visited all the Bank’s Regional Offices and Branches and introduced the new strategies, plans and services the Human Capital division has. In 2019, the total attendance at these sessions was over 2,000. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic it was planned to conduct the Roadshow virtually in 2020 using the communication technology.

  • The participation was over 83%.
  • Total registrations – 3,586
  • Total participants – 2,979
  • Several new HC Applications were launched during the year which leveraged technology to facilitate connectivity and remote working.

MyHC Application

This application, which was launched on June 11, 2020 facilitated employee engagement and other activities across the Bank. It operated on a mobile platform and facilitated two-way communications and interactions. A total of 2,900 users have accessed the application which has total coverage of all HC services as well as performance and talent services.

Riyadh Knights program

The Riyadh Knights Program is one of the main initiatives to enhance the public perception about the competitive position of Riyad Bank, which was at the forefront of the news that was circulated on social media, specifically the Twitter platform. The training program aims primarily to create job opportunities for recent graduates, and it has succeeded in attracting more than 12,000 applicants. With absolute care, and through the specialized testing centres and the selection and appointment processes of the Bank, 20 male candidates were selected to participate in the program, which extended over a whole year. During this time the focus was on developing the capabilities of the program participants and enriching their knowledge in the behavioural aspects, specialized job skills, project management and other specialized training paths, with the aim of creating a new generation of entrepreneurs in Riyad Bank.

Talent management

The Human Capital Division conducted a number of executive and leadership development programmes in partnership with top-ranked business schools and consulting firms in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East. These programmes included workshops for the executive managers, leadership programmes for senior managers, and strategic programmes for potential managers. We ensure business continuity and manage risks of loss of key talent through a rigorous and well-planned succession management process. We also motivate our employees by keeping them informed of their potential career paths with the support of professional career counsellors. Employees can avail themselves of the training opportunities available through our Riyad Bank Academy.

Riyad Bank Academy

The Riyad Bank Academy pays special attention to training and developing the Bank’s employees with the aim of providing qualified human cadres who are trained in all that is new in the banking arena, and have the skills to enable them to provide high quality services in a way that contributes to facing competition in the local and international banking environment.

The Riyad Bank Academy philosophy at the bank is as follows:

  • Providing qualified human cadres to face developments in the banking industry and achieve distinction over competitors by providing distinguished quality training, considering that training is an investment and not a spending.
  • Providing employees with the skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to cover gaps in performance by comparing desired performance levels with current levels of performance.
  • Developing employees’ skills in a way that contributes to reducing work procedures and thus reducing operating costs, improving productivity, and raising operational efficiency.
  • Contribute to building future leadership for managing the Bank.

The Bank is working to meet the training needs of its employees by holding internal training courses at the headquarters of Riyad Bank Academy bank in addition to holding them during the year 2020 through the virtual remote training technology in line with the exceptional situations that accompanied the Corona pandemic, in addition to nominating a number of Employees to participate in courses organised by local and international training institutes and to participate in conferences and courses organised outside the Kingdom by well-known Arab and foreign advisory and training bodies and bodies that were held for this year by default .

The bank has also adopted a policy of teaching English to its employees with the aim of developing their linguistic abilities in a way that enables them to conduct the communication process with external clients and inform them of the latest developments in the banking industry and thus contribute to improving their language levels in the field of Business English.

In addition to the above, the Bank has pursued a policy of developing the professional qualifications of its employees with the aim of raising the professional and technical level and spreading knowledge of banking, theoretical and applied sciences among employees in addition to providing banking cadres with various scientific and professional specializations that meet the needs of work in different sectors and contribute to the development of work methods and procedures at the Bank.

Managing career path and succession programs

The Human Capital Department has adopted a policy of modernizing and developing the regulatory frameworks that govern the work of career paths and succession work in Riyad Bank. A careful review of the behavioural competencies at all organisational levels of the Bank was completed, aimed at providing an integrated business model that takes into account reducing risks and developing current adopted practices. During this year, a series of initiatives were worked out, the most prominent of which was the expansion of the role of the line manager to include guidance and development for employees, which were designed and implemented in cooperation between all sectors of the Bank and talent management. In a related development, the organisational framework for the personal development of employees was launched in order to assess gaps and put together personal development plans for each employee at the Bank. These steps were conducted in a manner that ensures integration between talent management and performance management, which is considered one of the main axes of the human capital sector.

Motivational programs for employees in 2020:

Statement Investment (SAR ’000)
The employee’s
The Bank’s
Balance as at the beginning of the year 42,291 15,365 57,656
Added during the year 2020 15,002 5,087 20,089
Excluded during the year 2020 (7,064) (2,121) (9,185)
Balance at the end of the year 50,229 18,331 68,560