THE ISSUE

A number of structural and regulatory changes had rocked the engagement of this 600-strong middle-office function of the bank. Several global teams had been amalgamated and people were feeling unsettled and insecure.  

While morale was low generally, there were wide variations in the drivers of dissatisfaction between levels and regions. Pressure was on to integrate new regulatory changes, but key talent was starting to exit the business. While the bank understood that the situation wasn’t going to change overnight, they needed results…and quickly.

The Solution

Looking at the survey results, we saw the scale of the challenge and knew that a comprehensive, long-term partnership was necessary if we were going to help the group turn things around. 

  • Working with the leadership team over 18-months, we first of all dug behind their engagement results, holding focus groups in each region to understand how people were feeling. 
  • We immediately established a comprehensive communications strategy, so relevant parties could be kept in informed and involved at key stages. We didn’t want to launch ‘an engagement initiative’, rather allowing the results to speak for themselves, but people needed to know that the leadership team were acting on the results of the survey and eager to listen and support the engagement of the function. 
  • We worked to establish a clear mission statement, one that was aspirational, supported by the bank’s values, and that people could connect to. We then established a new behavioural framework to drive engagement and support. 
  • To support the roll out we elicited the managers already moonlighting as agents of change from across the business - the ones who understood the power of engagement and had the leadership and influencing skills to bring people with them. 
  • At the same time, we established an employee network, with its own intranet, regular social activities and opportunities for newly formed teams to connect in each territory. A global business challenge competition enabled us to connect messaging and provide exposure to teams from across the world.
  • We ran a series of sessions with the group of change agents over three months, inviting them to share the vision and providing opportunities for development and discussion, so they felt able to lead by example and influence fellow managers through the reinvigorated engagement of their teams. 
  • We also ran a series of workshops called Engaging Management, to support those managers whose survey report indicated were behind the curve on key management skills criteria. 
  • Finally we trained the change agent network to run The Power of Connection, a day-long workshop with groups of employees from across the function, in which they had the opportunity to discuss how teams could better work together to support the mission, and how their contribution could enable that. 
  • The goal of each session was to enable each individual to reconnect to their core drivers and where possible, align personal motivation to the goals of the organisation. The workshop provided an opportunity for people to step back and get a different perspective, to share their thoughts and ideas, to feel recognised and valued.

The result

By activating the agents of change network, engagement was owned locally and supported widely. Our comprehensive and long-term approach paid off, and the results, tracked via regular pulse surveys, happily tracked against the typical bell curve we were anticipating.

Our goal was to put the right frameworks and skillsets in place to ensure engagement could prosper and the teams and networks could continue to connect. After 18 months we were confident that managers had the skills and structure they needed to drive the continued engagement of the group. 

At the 2-year milestone, the next survey date, engagement was up over 50% across the group and staff turnover was by down 65%.  We’re pleased to stay in touch and are happy to say that the group has continued to prosper since.