Our Employees

Empowering Our People

2023 challenged our teammates in many ways. Through it all, providing them the support and resources needed to thrive remained Bank of Hawaii’s top priority. Our intention is to ensure our organization remains a place where everyone’s voice matters, and our teammates can deliver lasting benefits to customers and the community.

Watch the video Get to know Chris Otto, a leader in Bankoh Investment Services, Inc., who helps families plan for whatever the future may bring.

Employee Benefits and Recognition

New Paid Parental Leave

In 2023, Bank of Hawaii introduced a new paid parental leave benefit that gives paid time off for employees to care for and bond with their child during the first 12 months following birth, adoption or foster care placement.

Employee Assistance Loan Program

Bank of Hawaii offered a new personal loan option to employees. Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $10,000 over a 36-month repayment term and offer a discounted interest rate with the loan fee waived. This program was especially helpful to teammates and their families affected by the Maui wildfires.

Celebrating Employee Accomplishments

We demonstrate our appreciation for our employees through several recognition and engagement programs: SHINE!, an app launched in 2022, encourages employees to give shout-outs to colleagues, send birthday wishes, or acknowledge an anniversary. The app now averages 1,600 monthly visits.

Our quarterly Bankoh’s Best Award provides employees the opportunity to nominate their teammates for contributions that go above and beyond what is expected.

Our annual Chairman’s Circle Award recognizes stellar colleagues and contributors who exemplify our core values and whose body of work positively impacts the advancement of strategic initiatives, customer desires, and/or community interests.

Keeping Employees Engaged

Staying connected with employees is more challenging in a post-pandemic environment. We rely on different methods to keep everyone connected, up-to-date, and informed.

Launch of Company Podcast

In July 2023, we launched an employee podcast, hosted by CEO Peter Ho and Director of Culture and Employee Experience Shauna Pantohan, that features meaningful conversations with employees about some of the latest happenings around the bank. For example, one heartfelt episode revealed personal stories from our Maui employees who were directly impacted by the wildfires and shared the bank’s response and many resources. The podcasts are well received, and employees are able to submit topic ideas, story suggestions and questions.

Ongoing Employee Feedback

We introduced Employee Experience (EX) panels in April 2023, bringing teammates from different areas of the bank together to discuss their views and provide feedback on work issues and topics that affect employees’ daily work lives. These EX panels—in addition to our biannual employee surveys—are safe spaces for collaboration and innovative thinking.

Special Focus on Mental Health

While Bank of Hawaii has always recognized the importance of supporting mental health awareness, 2023 was the first year we provided a variety of activities and educational sessions for Mental Health Awareness Month in May. Most activities were accessible online and included informative sessions with health providers, guided meditations, and yoga. Our Blue Brigade and Women Inspired employee resource groups provided additional activities to relieve stress, with a focus on mental health and self-care. Based on positive employee feedback, we continued the focus on mental health throughout the year with regular lunch-and-learn sessions hosted by the Blue Brigade.

Hale o Kapolei employee wear green for Mental Health Awareness Month Hale o Kapolei employee wear green for Mental Health Awareness Month
Employees across the bank, including at Hale o Kapolei, wore green on May 19 in support of Mental Health Awareness Month.

100% Free College Tuition

In May, four employees earned their bachelor’s degrees from Chaminade University of Honolulu thanks to the Bank of Hawaii College Assistance Program. It pays 100% full tuition toward an associate or bachelor’s degree from Chaminade or the University of Hawaii’s Community Colleges. To date, 21 employees have earned degrees.

Starting in 2023, employees can now enroll at any time of the year instead of the traditional academic semester timeframes.

The Next Generation

The Bank of Hawaii Foundation Scholarship program marked its 10th class of scholars in 2023. Since its inception, it has provided $960,750 to fund 275 scholarships to help with the cost of higher education for the children and grandchildren of Bank of Hawaii employees.

Bank of Hawaii employee Linda Yoshimoto receiving her diploma Bank of Hawaii employee Linda Yoshimoto receiving her diploma
Linda Yoshimoto received her diploma in May, paid by the bank’s College Assistance Program.

Employee Development Programs

We provide a variety of programs to hone employees’ skills, advance their careers and expand their connections within the business community.

Summer Intern Program

June 12–August 4
33 Summer interns spent 8 weeks in 21 departments.

Pathways to Professional Excellence

July 10–December 6
37 employees, representing 9 business units, were nominated by their managers and selected to take part in this highly regarded leadership program.

Customer Experience Advocates

January 19–December 31
48 employees, representing 95% of departments, completed specialized training from a global research and advisory firm to receive certification as CX advocates for improving customer experience, employee experience and operational excellence.

Movers and Shakas

April 15–May 18 (Spring) and September 30–November 2 (Fall)
2 participants from Hawaii businesses built relationships through cultural education, community service, and networking opportunities to strengthen their understanding of Hawaii.

College Mentorship Program

March 6–April 17 (Spring) and October 2–November 13 (Fall)
21 students from Chaminade University, Hawaii Pacific University, and UH Shidler College of Business student clubs (Business Executive Society of Tomorrow, Financial Management Association, and Information Technology Management Association) gained insights into corporate work environments, the financial industry, and Bank of Hawaii while receiving assistance with professional development.

New Branch Banking Uniforms Unveiled

Light and comfortable new uniforms were custom designed by our Brand Team and fashioned by Tori Richard. They feature the Bank of Hawaii petals, used in many of our brand designs, which represent our spirit and strength as we move forward, stronger together.

employee wearing new Bank of Hawaii uniform

Employee Resource Groups Take the Lead

Our Employee Resource Groups offer employees ways to connect and share specialized interests through fellowship, volunteerism and career development opportunities.

Group photo of Na Oiwi Aloha community service day Group photo of Na Oiwi Aloha community service day
Na Oiwi Aloha held a community service event for “Make a Difference Day” to benefit Puuhonua O Waianae.
crowd listening at EmpowHER Forum crowd listening at EmpowHER Forum
Our Women Inspired ERG hosted their forum, “EmpowHER: Thriving in Times of Change,” featuring practical workshops for professionals balancing home and work.
employees at Heeia Fishpond event employees at Heeia Fishpond event
Bank of Hawaii employees came together to help restore the Heeia Fishpond on Oahu
Pride Parade float Pride Parade float
More than 150 employees and ohana walked in the Honolulu Pride Parade & Festival in Waikiki.

Here are some of the 2023 highlights:

Na Oiwi Aloha

Our Native Hawaiian ERG hosted “We are Bank of Hawaii,” a discussion with special guests who shared various perspectives and viewpoints on what it means to be Native Hawaiian and how to best support Native Hawaiians at Bank of Hawaii. In November, the group led a community service event at Puuhonua O Waianae, a self-organized village on Leeward Oahu of about 250 houseless individuals, the majority of whom are Native Hawaiian.

Blue Brigade

With a special focus on Military Appreciation Month and Mental Health Awareness Month, our Military ERG kicked off a year-long series of events around well-being and mental health. One discussion, “It’s OK to not be OK,” explored the stigma around treatment for mental health, while another shared insights about the unique challenges facing military families and spouses.

Women Inspired

The Women Inspired Mentorship Program returned in July to empower teammates to share new learning and insights. In November, the group organized and facilitated the half-day “EmpowHER Forum: Thriving
in Times of Change.” It included workshops and panel discussions about career development, financial skills and acumen, and work-life balance, with a special keynote address from combat veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth.


The LGBTQIA+ ERG shared employee stories of intersectionality throughout the year, and in October, more than 150 volunteers marched in the 2023 Honolulu Pride Parade & Festival. The annual community event honors the rich history and culture of queer individuals in Hawaii.

2023 Annual Report

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