Employment practices | RBS

Employment practices

To support our colleagues to serve customers well, we need to create the best working environment possible. We support our colleagues through responsible employment practices. 



Wellbeing is key to making the bank a great place to work. It’s closely aligned with Our Values, Our Ambition and helps our colleagues bring the best of themselves to work. With full senior executive support, we’ve rolled out our programme across four main pillars: Physical, Mental, Financial and Social Wellbeing. 


In 2018 our wellbeing engagement scores increased again and we continue to build our wellbeing programme by offering support, resources, personal stories and engaging tools. 


Here’s how we helped our colleagues stay well:


Physical health


Over 9,000 colleagues actively participated in our global digital wellbeing platform, which is designed to support and encourage personal wellbeing goals. More than 22,000 personal health checks were carried out through the health kiosks we set up in our main locations.


Mental health


We continued to promote our mental health support and resources including mindfulness and our mental health toolkit. This remains part of our support for Time to Change (the UK’s biggest programme to challenge mental health stigma), which we have supported since 2014.


Our Workplace Wellbeing Group has c. 26,000 members and in 2018 we ran our second Mental Health Awareness campaigns to support Mental Health Awareness week in May and World Mental Health Day in October. We also hosted our second Mental Health Conference in Edinburgh and were joined by colleagues, customers and those with a passion for moving the mental health agenda forward. Through our campaigns, many of our colleagues shared their personal stories and experiences and we continue to see our managers complete our Mental Health Awareness training. Now, they are better at spotting signs of mental health issues at work and giving support to the colleagues and customers who need it.


We have also continued to see a high number of colleagues using our Employee Assistance Programme, which supports them in with dealing with change and building resilience.

Financial Wellbeing

Our financial wellbeing initiatives are now well established and continuing to build momentum, through Money & Me workshops for colleagues. Through our engagement strategy we are encouraging colleagues to save well and be proactive.


Social Wellbeing

Through our Great Place to Work and Do Good Feel Good campaigns we continue to promote healthy wellbeing by supporting our communities, charity involvement and volunteering.

Flexible working

To help our colleagues develop a healthy work-life balance, to create an inclusive, flexible working culture and to help us focus on our customers’ needs, we offer choice in working locations and working patterns -

  • Support and guidance is offered to all colleagues through a web portal

  • We set up a number of ‘spoke sites’ across the country making it easier for colleagues to work closer to home and closer to customers



Developing our colleagues’ skills and careers

We are continuing to develop great leaders and support the development of talent across the bank. We’ve remained committed to delivering and embedding our flagship leadership programme – Determined to lead (Dtl). By the end of 2018, more than 10,700 leaders had completed their Dtl journey.


We remain committed to embedding a strong service mindset through our Service Excellence training – our pan-bank customer service programme that sits at the heart of achieving our ambition to be number one for customer service, trust and advocacy. More than 36,500 colleagues have already completed the first level of training and over 38,000 have a personal service profile. In 2018, RBS was awarded a Princess Royal Training Award for its Service Excellence programme.


In 2018 we launched our bank-wide sales programme, Sales Excellence. It teaches the tools and techniques that enable those in sales roles to be the best at ethical, needs-based selling. It covers both core and advanced techniques that help to uncover the full financial needs and goals of customers, and present compelling options on the ways we can help. Over 60% of the appropriate colleagues have already completed a Sales Knowledge Assessment level 1, with training for all front-line sales colleagues, sales specialists and sales leaders underway.


Professionalising our colleagues is important to us. We continue to work closely with the Chartered Banker Institute (CBI) and Chartered Banker Professional Standards Board (CB:PSB) to improve professional standards across the industry.


We continue to offer a well-developed range of learning to support core and common capability needs which are available in a variety of formats (e.g. classroom, webinar, e-learning and video) to support personal development, individual capability or prepare people for future roles. Our colleagues can also access relevant learning provided by external partners.



Identifying talent

In 2018, we launched the NextGen talent development programme for high-potential colleagues at managerial level, helping them become the future leaders we need. The learning opportunities available align to the bank’s Critical People Capabilities. There are five people capabilities that we have identified that will help build the right knowledge, skills and behaviours, and help the bank to be successful now and in the future. We have developed a Capability Checker to support our colleagues in identifying the capabilities most relevant to their current and future roles, aligning learning to those capabilities.


We also have a number of initiatives to support the development of talent across the organisation. Our Female Development Programmes focus on supporting women to reach their full potential and manage their careers effectively. They support our aspiration to be gender balanced by 2030.


All our CEOs and their leadership teams have reviewed their succession plans, both individually and collectively. The Bank Executive Committee held several deep-dive sessions during 2018 to focus on development for their successors.



Early Careers

We attract, select and hire the best apprentices, interns and graduates we can. This helps us build the skills and capabilities we need now and for the future. 


In 2018:


  • We hired 231 graduates and 285 apprentices. In addition, 173 apprentices completed their programme and moved into permanent roles. More than 500 apprentices have successfully completed their programme with us since 2015

  • We hired over 150 interns onto our summer internship scheme. This ten-week paid work experience programme remains a strong pipeline of talent for our graduate programme

  • We ran ‘female insight weeks’ in some of our key business areas including CPB, COO and CAO. Over 50 students attended and we’ll look to convert 60%+ into our 2018 summer intern programme. This is a successful initiative which has helped increase our female hiring ratio

  • We continued to move up the Times Top 100 Graduate employers list for the third consecutive year – we’re now in 31st position

  • We continued to make good progress towards a 50/50 male and female hiring ratio: Graduate hiring (53% male/47%female),  Intern hiring (44%/54%),  Apprenticeship hiring (44%/54%). The remaining % prefer not to specify their gender

  • We make sure we attract and recruit an ethnically diverse workforce that reflects our customer base is critical for us. Our 2018 hiring shows that 35% of our graduates, 44% of our interns and 19% of our apprentices, came from a non-white background



Managing change and redundancies

When things change or we need to make redundancies, we always want our colleagues to feel supported and know we’ll do everything we can to help them.


Approximately 76% of our colleagues bank wide are covered by a collective agreement and/or local employee representative arrangements. Our aim is to engage our employee representatives at the right time, in the right way and on a no-surprise basis.


In 2018:


  • We made 4,361 redundancies. More than 1330 of these employees used our redeployment and outplacement service in the UK and Ireland

  • We supported 120 change projects and held frequent business-as-usual meetings with trade unions and works councils

  • We continue to aim to hire more people from within the business, to help reduce redundancies. We set up job alerts for ‘at risk’ employees and invite them to join our talent network


Set Tab for lightbox