TSB won this year’s Change Management Award for a resolution initiative in partnership with TCM Group. We look at the winning entry and those of the other finalists in this category.
TSB in partnership with the TCM Group
A strategic move to a ‘resolution first’ approach for solving conflict, complaints and concerns was one of the key actions taken by TSB bank as part of its Do What Matters Plan and was delivered in close collaboration with management and HR transformation consultancy The TCM Group.
The Do What Matters plan provides a new framework to support TSB’s existing ambition to create a truly inclusive workplace for its 6,000 employees. It has five key pillars – doing what matters for customers, businesses, colleagues, communities and the environment.
The move to a resolution first approach was an integral part of the “do what matters for colleagues” pillar. Through effective conversations and mediation, the aim is for TSB colleagues to develop enduring, productive, and respectful workplace relationships.
Internal analysis highlighted two key issues which suggested a need to take a different approach to workplace conflict, supporting colleagues to deal with issues concerning them. Firstly, TSB had an unusually low number of grievances for an organisation of its size. The bank’s colleague engagement survey revealed there were pockets of disengagement in certain parts of the business. The issue was that colleagues were being put off by TSB’s formal policies for dealing with grievances, bullying and harassment, and feared there would be negative consequences if they raised a complaint.
The second issue was that TSB’s HR data showed that 80% of those grievances raised were not being upheld, resulting in irreparable relationships, and that the formal process took a significant amount of time to complete.
With TCM, TSB has moved away from divisive and unwieldy formal policies, towards a Resolution Framework. This alternative approach provides a collaborative and robust system for resolving complaints, grievance and disciplinary issues fairly, and wherever possible, informally, through open, honest dialogue, facilitated conversations and mediation. Recourse to formal sanctions is still available in the rare instances where these may be required. The two recognised unions, Accord and Unite, fully supported the concept of giving colleagues the opportunity to address issues openly.
TSB says the new approach to managing conflict is proving to be transformational. In its latest ‘Your Say Matters’ survey, 82% of respondents said, ‘where I work colleagues are treated fairly and with respect’. 76% said ‘where I work, people are held accountable for their behaviours (up 5 points since 2019) and 67% agreed people can share their opinion without fear of negative consequences (up 5 points from 2019). Confidence levels in managers who have completed training has increased and overall engagement scores are up 3 points since Nov 2019, despite Covid. In 2020, since the Resolution Framework was introduced, the number of conflict scenarios has reduced to 16.
The judges were particularly impressed by the way the programme was adapted to suit the needs of staff, managers and trade unions.
Bank of Ireland
In 2018 Bank of Ireland set out a strategy to transform itself but suffered from a relative lack of investment post-financial crisis, requiring a transformation of systems, processes, and culture to achieve its purpose of enabling colleagues, customers, and communities to thrive. As an indication of the work required, colleague engagement was measured for the first time in over a decade at just 49%, culture was measured as 55% positive. In 2020 a programme was put in place to verify business initiatives impacting roles, introduce a voluntary-only leaving programme to match the business change. It was essential to support colleagues consider career and life options (during a pandemic), while addressing reduced headcount brought about further cultural improvement.
The approach was guided by clear principles, among them the need for alignment to BoI’s purpose and values, with complete transparency on rationale and approach, and to maximise voluntary redundancy, removing the need for compulsory redundancy. There had to be operational excellence in management of departures, with exceptional career transition support to ensure colleagues felt positive about BoI.
The programme was implemented during the global pandemic, as a result colleague wellbeing was the number one priority. Although BoI needed to reduce headcount, it needed to balance a growth agenda specifically in technical skills due to transformation to a digital bank. Therefore, a talent and critical capability exercise was implemented across all divisions.
The programme was implemented over five months, colleagues were advised of outcomes within three weeks of the closing date, with exits being managed over 18-month time frame for customer service continuity. Material voluntary departures agreed, aligning with reductions required, supporting strategic communications to the market (to date over 1,000 colleagues have departed, ultimately rising to a 15% reduction). Compulsory exits have been avoided. The company’s culture was strengthened because of the transparent/voluntary approach with engagement index scores rising from 49% in 2017 to 67% in 2021, +5% during programme and the culture transformation index rising from 55% in 2018 to 77% in 2021, ahead of global benchmark, and +11% during programme.80% of leavers recommend BOI as a place to work.
The bank recognised during the pandemic that it needed to explore how it managed change in relation to its employees in order to continue to attract and retain diverse talent, and be ready for the future.
A survey in March 2021 sent to 15,000 employees told it that most staff people had enjoyed working flexibly and remotely and would prefer not to return to office-based ways of working typical before Covid-19. But they also missed face-to-face human interaction. The bank wants to provide choice and flexibility in how, where and when its employees work, but with a sense of community and collaboration. To this end, it created a Future of Work (FoW) programme.
The programme has identified three areas for key changes:
• Human – providing principles and frameworks that enable flexibility and wellbeing
• Digital – enhancing virtual and workplace technology which is critical to improving colleague experience and customer outcomes
• Physical – establishing a clear role for the workplace and providing clarity on different activities that lend themselves to different workspaces.
HSBC says it measures outcomes against three people priorities: working flexibly; protecting productivity; and customer experience. It has asked each of its businesses and functions to consider what the FoW means for them and how they propose working together in future. To support this, HR produced a “role categorisation” tool to help teams understand which roles may be suitable for four defined workstyles: office-worker, flexible office-worker, flexible home-worker, home-worker. This has been completed for the entire UK population (38,000 employees).
For information about this year’s Personnel Today Awards, click here.
Policies and processes have been reviewed to enable consistency, equity and clarity for employees. This includes creating a company car proposition that is sustainable.
Tools and support for people managers have been developed that offer clarity and consistency in approach, including principles, toolkits and videos explaining our new vision.
To further understand FoW survey insights, HSBC has held focus groups with its Employee Resource Groups to help it ensure it avoids proximity bias and remains inclusion-focused. The bank expects its FoW programme – which also includes a new approach to wellbeing and the environment – will create a better future for employees, customers, the business and the community.
Norfolk County Council
An engagement survey was implemented in May 2019 to better understand staff’s motivation and engagement. Managers and Unison were involved in the survey which enabled leaders to facilitate change with staff. A second survey was conducted March-April 2020, and this is now an established part of the annual calendar. Two of the council’s principles are to be evidence-led and for data to drive action. Following the May 2019 survey, it was approached by the Local Government Association (LGA) to provide a first stage case study.
It was 10 days into the survey when the decision to work from home because of the pandemic was taken. This involved nuanced messaging in the very early days of the pandemic and extending the survey. There was a reduced response rate of 31% (down from 50% in 2019); with an extended deadline, 43/46 service areas achieved statistically viable results. Lessons learnt from 2019 resulted in, among other things, in-house attractive slides developed for service managers to use with their teams.
HR researched survey options to propose solutions, built senior sponsorship of the survey through dialogue and connecting survey data with targeted actions and adapted reports and listened to feedback on question areas and worked with leaders/managers to achieve pragmatic solutions on response rates for hard to reach groups. The identified key drivers helped Norfolk to focus where it could make the biggest difference in leadership and management practice.
These confirmed that performance development conversations (NCC’s appraisal approach) together with clarity of vision were key drivers for staff engagement. This led to staff briefings by the leader and head of paid service on Norfolk’s six-year plan.
The survey results, which placed the council in the top quartile of public sector organisations (benchmark of 30,000+), were used by the LGA Peer Review in their assessment of Norfolk as “an increasingly constructive organisation”. The impact of actions in 2019 led to improved scores in perceived organisation support.