People Handbook

Our People Handbook introduces you to our history, culture and the way things work here at Danske Commodities. It’s a common point of reference, no matter if you’re a newbie or one of our longest-serving employees.

INTRODUCTION

GREAT - YOU'VE FOUND YOUR WAY HERE!

Since you’re here, you’ve most likely:

  1. been working here for a long time and need to brush up on the handbook’s content (because even though we’ve tried not to make the read a snooze, who actually remembers all of these things?)
  2. been offered a job at Danske Commodities (in that case: congratulations!) 
  3. been considering Danske Commodities as a potential future workplace (and we hope to meet you soon)

The purpose of our People Handbook is to introduce you to the way things work here at Danske Commodities. 

In some instances, we will refer to information provided in the expanded version of this handbook on our super cool intranet, which is only accessible if you work at Danske Commodities. Yet another reason to join us. Also, please note that paragraphs marked with an asterisk (*) only apply to DC Denmark.

OUR HISTORY

Danske Commodities (DC) was founded in 2004 by banker and entrepreneur Henrik Lind, who saw potential in bringing divided national energy markets together through international trade. Using his experience from a previous job in the energy sector, Henrik started trading electricity across the border between Germany and Denmark, with the first trade implemented on 1 November 2004. For several years, DC was a relatively small company with a handful of employees trading from a modest office at Ny Banegårdsgade in Aarhus.

2010 was the start of a tremendous period of growth for DC. Within three years, the company quadrupled its turnover, moved to new headquarters and tripled the number of employees. In 2014, a consolidation took place. The aim of the consolidation was to make the organisation leaner and more flexible and to reduce the cost of operations. As the markets matured, so did we. 12 business teams were merged into two overall business units to ensure greater efficiency in the organisation and thus provide customers and counterparties with even better services. And the company has continued to grow steadily ever since, achieving its best result ever in 2018.

What began as just a handful of people and a visionary idea is now a pioneering energy trading company with around 300 employees that trades power in 39 markets and gas in 22 markets. And as of 1 February 2019, we became part of the Norwegian energy company Equinor, positioning ourselves for further growth.

Early days at our first office in Ny Banegårdsgade, Aarhus.

OUR CULTURE

We don’t want to toot our own horn here, but the fact is that DC’s story is a tremendous story of success. It’s a story of a strong team effort that has turned DC into a strong organisation. Because our story started with a bright idea, bright ideas are still the foundation of our development. Conceiving new ideas and implementing them is a part of our daily life. Our openness also means we have room for diversity: more than 25 different nationalities and cultural backgrounds currently work at DC.

We enjoy spending time together - at work and outside of work - and we are known to work closely together across teams (always coming out among the ‘best in class’ in our employee satisfaction surveys when it comes to cooperation).

We expect you to take responsibility. If you see anything worth bettering, take initiative. You’re in charge of your own work, and you wouldn’t be here if you weren’t among the best at what you do!

HAVING A SENSE OF PURPOSE

We believe a common foundation and sense of purpose are key drivers for motivation. A few years ago, we created a strategic narrative – a one pager explaining not only what we do, but why we do it. Our narrative connects with the heart as well as the head and reflects on our existence in a broader context. You can find the narrative here.

OUR VALUES

Our values are the result of a team effort. People all across the organisation have contributed to defining them, which means that our values express the true DC culture. They are not simply a top-down statement telling our employees how we would like them to behave, but instead the guiding beliefs as to how we operate. 

ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE

Our organisation is structured in six overall units: Power Trading & Origination, Gas Trading & Origination, IT & Finance, Risk Management, Legal & Compliance and People & Culture. Each unit has its own Vice President. Besides the units, our Strategy & Communications team assists and supports the CEO and the organisation. Of course, there’s a little more to it than this, since we have many sub teams within the units, but you’ll get a more detailed overview once you’re part of Danske Commodities. 

WORKING AT DC

INTRODUCTION PROGRAMME

When joining DC, your manager will have prepared an individual introduction programme for you. The content of the programme will depend on the team you join and the role you will be taking on, but it will include both introductory courses as well as information on a more practical level (the really, really important stuff, such as how to find your way to the canteen).

After approximately three months, a meeting will be set up with your manager to evaluate your introduction and our working relationship in general. Also, you will be asked to evaluate the introduction programme, so you can help make us even better.

JUGGLING WORK AND LIFE

We don’t like micromanaging at DC and generally we give you the freedom, trust and responsibility you need to thrive. Flexibility works both ways, and you can expect that there will be periods of time, where the workload can be high, and you will need to work extra hard. But we want you to maintain a sustainable balance between time at work – and time off work. Otherwise it’s just no fun.

INTERNAL RECRUITMENT

As a DC employee, you can apply for any open position in DC on the same terms as external candidates. Your application will be treated with confidentiality by the hiring manager or director. You will also have access to Equinor’s job portal, where internal and external positions around the world will be advertised on a regular basis.

MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES

In DC we operate with five management principles:

  1. Set clear expectations and ambitious targets
  2. Follow up on performance and give feedback
  3. Acknowledge, stretch and reward key players
  4. Develop low performers
  5. Celebrate success

These principles help ensure that you will continuously receive feedback and be able to align expectations with your immediate manager. You'll do this both informally, on a daily basis, but also once a month in a 1:1 meeting. 

People development

TAKING YOU TO THE NEXT LEVEL

It is important to us that you stay motivated and are given the best prerequisites to develop and grow.

We offer learning activities to build professional and personal skills through a blended approach (it’s a thing – just google it). To facilitate this, we have our in-house 'university', which is established with the sole purpose of developing our people. You can find our DC University course overview on the intranet.  ​

Mia Busk Hedegaard and Andreas Schwartz

If you find an interesting external course or event, by all means, sign up for it. Just make sure your manager approves the costs involved and time spent in advance.

You know best what it requires for you to be inspired and stay on top of your game, which is why we encourage you to take responsibility for your own development in close cooperation with your direct manager. Our key tool for development discussions and planning is the Individual Development Plan (IDP), which is offered to all DC employees. Through a series of meetings and exercises, the IDP will help answer questions such as where you see yourself in three to five years from now, what you’ll be working with, what kind of person you want to be, and even: will you still be with DC in the future, or do you plan on your career taking you somewhere else? This may feel very transgressive to talk about and requires an incredibly open approach from both you and your manager, but we promise it’s some soul-searching that is worth doing.

PARTNERS FOR LIFE... WHILE YOU'RE AT DC

In DC, we have an HR Partner setup to ensure that all people, managers and employees have one point of entry to the People & Culture team.

You can contact your HR Partner to discuss and get advice regarding terms and conditions of your employment or use them as a sparring partner relating to more personal matters that may affect your work. The setting can be formal or informal – it’s up to you. Just know that they’re here to help.

Benefits

THE SIMPLE (BUT REALLY GOOD) STUFF

Of course, our benefits aren’t the main reason you’re here, but it doesn’t hurt that we have a lot of them, does it? Let’s just mention a few:

Experience Aarhus’ sights with free passes to ARoS, Moesgaard Museum and Tivoli Friheden. Chill out or crank up the volume and party with a free Spotify Premium account. Get your dry-cleaning on with reduced prices and a drop-off and pick-up service at the office. Receive reimbursement when buying eyewear or join a sports club without paying a fortune. To keep you balanced, we offer reductions on massages and free access to Headspace – a cool meditation app. Namaste. Enjoy the sweet life while you are off work, with discounts at restaurants and a corporate program giving you access to reduced prices at selected hotels.

And did we mention that most of our full-time employees are entitled to a paid home internet connection? Naturally, we’ll also provide you with a laptop, phone and state-of the art workstation with several screens. And there’s more, but you’ll have to find the rest, and the details on the aforementioned benefits, on our intranet.

company yoga
eating ice cream at the office
employees on ski slope

CURING YOUR CRAVINGS

We’re foodies here at DC and like to start our day off with a variety of yoghurts and cereals, which are served in the kitchens around our offices along with really good coffee. On Mondays, we also serve freshly baked rolls.

Lunch is offered in our canteen Monday through Friday from 11.15 am to 1.15 pm. DC offers gourmet quality food - so you really have something to look forward to.

An evening meal is offered when working after 6.00 pm Monday through Thursday, and we’ll also make sure you are well taken care of if working weekend shifts. There are some practicalities connected to this, which you can read more about on our intranet.

On Fridays you can enjoy a soft drink in connection with your lunch or during the afternoon. Also, we celebrate the beginning of the weekend by having cake at 2.00 pm (and just a heads up, we tend to serve cake a LOT within many of the DC teams as well – so there goes the diet). 

A monthly amount will be deducted from your salary to cover some of the lunch expenses. Student employees will pay for a prorated amount based on their working hours.

BECOME A SHAREHOLDER

All monthly paid DC employees are offered the opportunity to be included in Equinor’s share savings programme. As a monthly paid employee, you can use up to 5% of your base salary to buy shares in Equinor. Once you’ve been part of the share savings programme for two full years, Equinor will double your number of shares. Wowza.

THE SERIOUS STUFF: PENSION, HEALTH CARE AND INSURANCE

You can rest assured that we have established all necessary insurances, to make you feel as secure as possible. Danica’s health insurance is mandatory for all employees and covers costs related to treatments at private hospitals, physiotherapy, psychologists and much more. We’ll cover most of the costs, while you have to cover a minor amount yourself.    

Our pension with Danica Pension includes cover for loss of working capacity, critical illness, group life insurance and health insurance. The scheme is mandatory for all DC people in a permanent monthly paid position. If and when you are included in the pension scheme, we’ll add a monthly payment of 10% of your base salary to your pension savings, making sure there’s room for a rainy day in the future. The exact provisions regarding DC’s contribution and your mandatory contribution follow from your employment contract.

HEALTHY LIVING

We care about your wellbeing, which is why we’ve established DC Sports and DC Health (also, it compensates a bit for all the cake and yummy food we eat). DC Sports organises more than 50 activities and events throughout the year, ranging from pre-booked badminton courts to one-off events such as yoga, paddle boarding and the likes. Did we mention that most of us are a teeny tiny bit (read: crazy) competitive? You’ll see. DC Health provides employees with inputs to a healthy lifestyle, and tips and tricks to use in your daily life at the office and hosting events focusing on health-related topics.

CE-LE-BRATE GOOD TIMES, COME ON

We love spending time together in- and outside the office and have been known to throw some epic parties at fun venues around Aarhus. Recurring events include: our Christmas party, the End of Season Gathering (where children and spouses are welcome to join), our summer party (just because) and a few Friday bars with varying themes. There are also often several team events and social gatherings throughout the year.

If you’re passionate about coordinating an event you think would add value socially or professionally, our People & Culture team is open to any suggestions you may have. Cheers!

 

GUIDELINES

COMPANY POLICIES AND GUIDELINES

We offer a lot of freedom at DC, but we still believe it makes sense to have some policies, guidelines and a code of conduct to adhere to. We won’t go in to details here, but you’ll be able to find them online and on the intranet. This way you can read them of your own accord. The overview is mainly to let you know that we are actually doing what we can to make DC an ethical and safe place to work, which is always nice, right?

  • Code of conduct
  • Anti-bribery and corruption policy
  • Rules on receiving gifts from external parties
  • Rules regarding hospitality
  • IT security policy
  • Processing of personal data
  • VAT fraud guideline
  • Anti-money laundering guideline
  • Social media guideline
  • Rules related to working with relatives and dating relationships (sounds like a bore, but actually makes sense)
  • Work Environment Organisation and Policy

DRESS IT UP

There’s some swag to wearing business attire – it forces you to put in a little bit more of an effort and helps us maintain a professional environment in-house as well as externally. We follow the concept ‘Casual Friday’, which means that we wear a business outfit from Mondays to Thursdays and more casual outfits on Fridays.

ABSENCE*

SICKNESS

If you’re feeling under the weather and need a day at home to recuperate, we expect that you let us know about it as soon as possible - preferably no later than at 8.00 am. The same goes if your child is sick. We’ll give you 10 days with payment per calendar year due to absence in case of your tot’s sickness and/or planned doctor visits (regardless of the number of children you may have). These 10 days can be planned as you wish and may include more days in a row.

PERSONAL ENGAGEMENTS

Of course you can visit the doctor, dentist, go to a funeral or take care of other personal errands during working hours - just make sure to inform your manager. Should you be in the unfortunate situation that one of your close relatives has passed (parents, siblings, partner, parents-in-law, grandparents), we’ll naturally give you a day off for the funeral and try our best to support you in whichever way we can.

THE EXPANSION OF YOUR BROOD

Nothing compares to having your own family, which is why we want to provide the best possible support for our moms and dads to be. As a female employee, you have the right to pregnancy leave starting four weeks before the expected date of birth. You will be entitled to a full salary until the birth of your child, and for 26 weeks after the little one has said hello to the world. Male employees are entitled to full salary during 14 days of paternity leave, starting the day after the birth. Absence on the day of birth will of course not be deducted from the salary either. They are also entitled to up to 14 additional weeks of parental leave with a full salary (yes, you read that right).

This is just the lowdown. There are many more work-related formalities in connection with child birth and adoption, so head over to our intranet for the full overview.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

Want to go whale watching off the coast of British Columbia for two weeks in May? Do it! Just try and take your team’s workload into consideration and make sure to receive approval of your plans by your manager.  

Here’s an overview of our paid holidays:

  • Easter: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday
  • General Prayer Day
  • Ascension Day
  • Whit Monday 
  • Constitution Day (5 June)
  • Christmas: Christmas Eve (24 December), Christmas Day (25 December), Boxing Day (26 December)
  • New Year’s: New Year’s Eve (31 December), New Year’s Day (1 January)
LASTLY

OTHER PRACTICALITIES

The reception and service team are always available to help you with office-related practicalities such as sending out letters (yes, people still do that), deliveries, ordering office supplies etc. If you feel there is anything missing in this handbook or have ideas for edits, we’d appreciate if you let the People & Culture team know.

Also, remember that besides the People & Culture team, you can always ask your manager or a colleague for help. Or go to the intranet, if this wasn’t already clear?

Get in touch

Ann-Sofie Frandsen Danske Commodities

ANN-SOFIE FRANDSEN
HR Partner

Want to know more about our vacancies, recruitment process or the likes? Ann-Sofie Frandsen can help answer any questions you may have.

CONTACT

Direct contact information:

Ann-Sofie Frandsen

T: +45 5360 0936

E: asf@danskecommodities.com

Thanks for your enquiry! We will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

Thor Sebastian Klose at work
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