RBS talent management and leadership plans will boost performance


The Royal Bank of Scotland’s HR director has said he hopes to address the ailing bank’s problems through a rigorous overhaul of talent management and leadership programmes.

Neil Roden, group HR director for RBS, told Personnel Today that ensuring the bank had the best people doing the right jobs and strong leadership was crucial to its future success.

Since being saved from collapse by the government, RBS has cut over 7,000 UK jobs this year.

Roden said: “Our strategy is clear, it’s to turn around the organisation over the next five years. It’s clear to us that to turn around the organisation leadership is key and having the best people to drive that change is also key.”

To do this the bank recently launched an executive performance management system involving both financial and non-financial rewards, and a 360-degree feedback programme examining the behaviours needed from executives to achieve objectives – including risk management, collaboration and people management.

The RBS talent watch programme has also been revamped to help HR identify key talent within the organisation. Roden said the revamp would extend the initiative to all levels of the organisation.

“Making performance management as effective as possible seems like a good thing to do in this environment,” he said.

Speaking at the Economist’s Talent Management Conference on Friday (26 June), Roden added that he would increasingly plan to develop people internally to save on recruitment costs and improve leadership.

He said: “In the good times we just though we could buy who we wanted as we had as much money as everyone else. We are now going to change that. To do that we need to change leadership development and do more growing of our own.

“It’s the quality of the leadership that you have that will drive success so we need to invest in that.”

To improve leadership the bank will re-launch its executive education programme and focus on both internal coaching and mentoring, as well as distributing guides to HR about how to advise line managers on leadership and talent management.

The bank will run an employee survey in September to gauge the success of its new programmes.

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