RBS sets up online system to spread HR best practice

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group hopes to improve the performance of its 20,000 UK call centre employees by launching an online contact centre ‘knowledge bank’, to measure their contribution.

The module, which is part of the bank’s existing human capital management (HCM) online tool-kit, will be used by 1,200 HR staff, and colleagues in other functions, to measure the contribution of the bank’s call centre employees across the company’s various brands, including NatWest, Direct Line and Coutts Bank.

The knowledge bank, which draws on information from 20 datawarehouse systems, will allow RBS to do cross-group staff analysis in areas such as absence, turnover, leadership and engagement.

It will create competition between the firm’s 50 UK call centres and highlight areas of best practice, according to Greig Aitken, head of HR research and measurement at RBS.

“We have got so many call centres, some operating best practice, and some not,” he told Personnel Today. “We can now identify what the best are doing well, and also what the poor ones are doing. We may need to change our proposition in some areas.”

As well as benchmarking standard HR metrics, the knowledge bank will allow managers to look at statistics for the location of call centres, such as local unemployment rates and the cost of property.

It is aspects like this which mean the knowledge bank, and the wider HCM toolkit, are supported by all areas of the business, Aitken said.

“The toolkit is seen as a business project, not simply an HR project,” he said. “What pleases me is when it gets raised at board meetings before I have even spoken.”

The challenge for companies attempting to do HCM is moving from purely measurement to management, according to Aitken. For example, simply measuring levels of employee engagement is not enough, he said.

“Our engagement stuff is aligned to a number of business drivers, not just the score itself,” he said.

RBS has 135,000 employees worldwide.

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