Nationwide shows HR drives up sales levels

Nationwide has launched a groundbreaking HR tool that proves
a direct link between HR and sales.

The building society’s planning and development team
discovered the link between people management and its product sales after
analysing data from a mix of HR indicators, a staff attitude survey, sales
figures and extensive customer research.

The findings are already being used to overhaul the
company’s training strategy and John Wrighthouse, Nationwide’s head of planning
and development, claims the project represents a significant step forward in
the use of HR metrics.

“People talk about metrics and the links between staff and
customer satisfaction, but we’ve found a direct link between HR measures and

“I went to the board last month and I was able to show them
the value of personnel and the effect HR measures were having in numerical and
financial terms,” he said.

Nationwide has been collecting data on HR since 1993 in
areas such as staff retention, training and length of service but it is only
over the last year that it has carried out more detailed analysis to
demonstrate HR’s impact on sales.

Wrighthouse said HR will be able to use the figures from the
project, called Genome, to justify investment in areas that might not otherwise
be considered to add value.

The company has already made changes to its training courses
for area managers in response to Genome data showing that a 1 per cent increase
in staff satisfaction with training and development equates to a 2.3 per cent
increase in sales of personal loans.

“We found that if our branch staff were satisfied with
training, for example, they sold more personal loans and according to the
findings if we increase our average length of stay we can expect sales to rise
by as much as 11 per cent,” said Wrighthouse.

By Ross Wigham

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