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 of our people


Wellbeing is a strong pillar in making the bank a great place to work. It’s closely aligned with Our Values, Our Ambition and helps our employees bring the best of themselves to work. With full senior executive support we’ve rolled out our wellbeing programme across three main pillars: Physical, Mental and Social and we have started to put in place support against our fourth area of Financial Wellbeing. 


Our wellbeing engagement scores have increased by 10% over the last three years and will continue to build our wellbeing programme by offering support, resources, personal stories and engaging tools. 


Here’s how we helped our colleagues stay well in 2017:


Physical health


We won the Global Challenge 1st Most Active Organisation - Financial Industry.


This was the third year we’ve taken part in the challenge, and this year over 34,000 employees signed up. Over 20,000 personal health checks were undertaken through the health kiosks we set up in our main locations.


Mental health and social wellbeing


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’ve supported since 2014.


Our Workplace Wellbeing Group has c.26,000 members and in May we ran the #1in4 Mental Health Awareness campaign with unprecedented results. 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’re better at spotting signs of mental health issues at work and giving support to the colleagues who need it.


We’ve also continued to see a high number of colleagues using our Employee Assistance Programme, which teaches them ways of dealing with change and building their resilience.



Flexible working


To help our colleagues develop a 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 patterns.


  • Support and guidance offered to all colleagues through a web portal
  • The exit of Premier Place again reduced the size of our London offices, enabled by flexible working and the design of collaborative workspaces in our other buildings
  • 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’ve continued to deliver ‘Determined to lead’, our core management system for the bank to support our leaders putting our values into practice every day, transforming the way we operate by improving the competence of our leaders. In 2017, almost 3,000 further leaders participated in the programme.


We launched the next stage in Service Excellence training, our customer service programme. Level Two delves deeper into the Relationship Techniques and Core Service Behaviours from our Service Model. It reinforces many of the concepts from the Level One programme and introduces some important new ones. In 2017, over 16,000 colleagues completed Level One.


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. In 2017, more than 3,000 of our colleagues completed their CBI qualification and over 64,600 staff underwent training by the Chartered Banker Professional Standards Board (CB:PSB), with 94% of applicable colleagues* achieving the CB:PSB Foundation Standard.


We also offer a broad range of learning which can be mandatory, role specific or related to personal development.


We continued with our ‘career development days’. We held four face-to-face events, with over 2,000 attendees and over 450 colleagues signing up for job shadowing. We also held four virtual events, with over 41,000 colleagues accessing the online information. Over 1,000 colleagues benefited from one to one CV advice.




Identifying talent

We continue to monitor colleagues who show potential to move up to more senior roles. As part of our cross-bank talent segmentation framework, each business area has a talent review at least once a year.  The outcomes are used as part of wider career development conversations.


In 2017, we launched our new Talent programme ‘NextGen’. NextGen is a unique pan bank talent experience aimed at identifying and developing our potential senior leaders for the future.


It will offer distinct internal and external experiences and learning opportunities. These align to the key capabilities we’ve identified as being critical for leading the future RBS.


All our CEOs and their leadership teams have reviewed their succession plans, both individually and collectively. The Bank Executive Committee held a deep-dive session during 2017 to focus on development for their successors.



Early Careers

We continue to provide a number of options to help people get one step ahead in the early stages of their career. 


2017 facts and figures:


  • We hired 216 graduates and 255 apprentices. 230 Apprentices completed their programme in 2017 and moved into permanent roles
  • We hired around 150 interns onto our summer internship scheme. This remains a strong pipeline of talent for the 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 moved to 4th in 2017/2018 Top 100 Employer in Rate My Apprenticeship rankings, Top Financial Services & Accountancy Employer in the UK
  • In the last two years we’ve moved up 17 places in the Times Top 100 employers list. We’re currently 34th
  • The BPP University awards named us the ‘large employer of the year’ award
  • We’ve successfully introduced Video Assessment into our hiring process
  • We’re validating psychometrics gamification so we can look to enhance our candidate experience even more, whilst maintaining robust assessment




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 2017:


  • We made 5,765 redundancies. More than 2,542 of these colleagues used our redeployment and outplacement service in the UK and Ireland
  • We supported almost 200 change projects and held frequent business-as-usual meetings with trade unions and works councils
  • We continue to aim to hire more colleagues from within the business, to help reduce redundancies. We set up job alerts for ‘at risk’ colleagues and invite them to join our talent network


*Limited assurance provided by Ernst & Young.
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