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The journey of the HR Department at Trusted Novus Bank which continuously strives to be the Best Working Place in Gibraltar.

HR Manager Yvette McElwee talks about what the role of the HR Department was in the past, how it is now and how it is envisaged to develop in the future.

Background to HR

With the goal of enriching the employee experience within our organisation the HR Department in Gibraltar was established 2008. At the time most personnel matters were managed by the Jyske Bank HR office in Denmark and local operational tasks were carried out in Gibraltar.

A HR role then, was traditionally seen as developing employee handbooks with policies and procedures, drawing up contracts for new employees, carrying out payroll tasks, managing employee benefits and handling grievances and complaints.


We are pleased to say that like many other organisations, we have been building on our HR department and have focused on transforming the HR value for the business, and for our employees. By applying some changes in our technology, enabling self-service digital tools, and working closely with leaders, HR has moved from transactional functions to being more resourceful in strategy matters and employee relations.

In TNB HR today we have some key focus areas, aligned to the essential new trends of the profession. We believe that having developed our approach and focus, we will contribute to the growth of our business and at the same time, offer opportunities to develop our employees. Currently we are working with following three focus areas:

Work-Life Balance

As we exit the pandemic, we recognise how important it is to provide support to our employees. As people, we know that employees require recognition and to be valued and supported in what matters to them. 

At our Bank, we have always offered flexibility based on a trusting relationship with our employees.  We believe this has supported our inhouse culture and has been aligned to our company values. Today, we are looking into ways of formalising and promoting a flexible work environment, offering the option of working remotely as well as in the office. Going forward this ensures there is better clarity on expectations, fairness and equality offered across our organisation.

Performance Management

We have invested in a new HR platform, offering not just a self-service digital tool to our employees, but also offering business analytics, automated and personalised workflows, anonymous surveys, and performance evaluations. The latter, which we have always referred to as “Focus Dialogues” is currently being developed and revamped in a new format.

Yearly reviews are something of the past now – according to all the recent case studies, regular feedback and performance evaluations has proven to motivate, engage and build a high performing team.  

Going forward leaders will meet regularly with their team members to focus on everyday activities related to the individual’s role, and to ensure objectives are being achieved that will ultimately have an impact on the growth of our business. This will provide an opportunity for feedback, discussions and agreements by both parties.

As employees, it is important for us to know our purpose in an organisation! How we, as individuals, can utilise our strengths and ultimately contribute to the business strategy and goals.

Learning Culture

Employees today are driven by both extrinsic and intrinsic elements.  Yes, a fair salary is important, but motivational drivers also include the sense of worth and belonging in an organisation.

In TNB we value our employees, we are conscious about equal opportunities and we believe that regardless of factors such as age, gender, or religion, it is all about working with people’s strengths and offering a means of opportunity. We believe that providing constructive feedback on a regular basis helps us as individuals to build trust, to realign our focus on business activities that matter, and to grow stronger and closer as a team.

For many years now, our organisation has offered financial opportunities to support our Learning & Development programme. We have seen colleagues grow as individuals, not only being promoted, but developing their skills and competencies to become better and even more efficient in their roles. Taking more responsibilities and becoming more involved within the business adds value at individual level too. 

Our Future

In TNB we embrace a feedback culture, and so as an organisation we are receptive to being assessed and to obtain external advice. For many years now we have embarked on a journey with Investors in People (IiP), which has helped us to benchmark ourselves against a standard on our working practices within our organisation. It has helped us widen our views and develop within areas that support our employees – our biggest assets. We believe that by investing in our employees, our business will continue to grow and we as an organisation, will continuously strive to be The Best Working Place in Gibraltar.