February 5, 2014 in Events (live blogging), HR Directors Business Summit 2014

The banking culture – Changing it and rebuilding trust

Kate Moughtin, HR Director, Barclays


Kate talked about her dislike for the buzzword ‘culture change’ and prefers to talk about it as doing things differently and refers to Barclays having a ‘moment’ which necessitated change.


Employee engagement scores were high, and Kate described how staff really care about the bank so they were even more concerned when there was a crisis. There always seems to be a debate about the role of HR and Kate made a very valid point that it depends… HR needs to take a different stance at different times.


Barclays started by creating a set of values. This wasn’t new for them, but it was the first time they had one set of values which applied, without deviation, across the whole business. After getting buy-in from the senior leaders (and getting the ultimate buy-in by getting them to develop the values), there were a whole series of immersion events where staff participated in events and looked at how to translate the values into action. Values champions then gave feedback to the Board about the learning from the immersion events and the priorities for making this all work.


The values are: respect, integrity, service, excellence, stewardship


One of the blockers that was identified was around performance reviews where it was felt that there was a lot of using processes as an excuse to avoid difficult conversations. The performance management process is now being simplified significantly with an increased emphasis on having high quality conversations.


Barclays also held a ‘jam’ where technology was used to allow a broad discussion and dialogue. This worked really well and was one of their first steps towards using social media internally.


There has also been a big shift in what gets measured, with a holistic balanced scorecard being used to make sure that not only is there measurement of what gets done, but equal weighting is given to how it gets done (hence, alignment with values). Incentive schemes have also been changed so that front-line staff no longer have incentives linked to sales targets.


There has also been a change in the recruitment approach, with a drive to look for people who are really passionate about customers. This has shifted the emphasis away from just looking for people who already work for a bank, and has made a great, positive impact on diversity.


Kate highlighted the the high levels of youth unemployment, and the number of people classed as ‘NEET’. In response to this, Barclays launched their apprenticeship scheme and have seen good success, including a great change in the diversity (including the age profile) of their workforce. Barclays have also launched LifeSkills to help young people.

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