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


Keeping our employees physically and mentally healthy is a big part of making RBS a great place to work. In the ‘our view’ colleague survey, our wellbeing scores remained strong and above the Global Financial Services average.


Here’s how we helped our colleagues stay well in 2016:


Physical Health


We won the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) World Most Active Organisation Gold Award.


This was the second year we’ve done the challenge, and over 50,000 employees signed up. Over 7,500 of them took a personal health check through the health kiosks we set up in our main hub locations.


Mental health and social wellbeing


We launched several mindfulness support tools this year, with over 4,000 colleagues having face-to-face mindfulness sessions. This was part of our support for Time to Change (the UK’s biggest programme to challenge mental health stigma), which we’ve supported since 2014.


Around 1,000 of our managers completed our Mental Health Awareness training in 2016. 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 seen 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.


  • Over 18,000 colleagues involved in flexible working projects in 2016.
  • Support and guidance offered to all colleagues through a web portal.
  • The exit of 135 Bishopsgate 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 in existing buildings around London making it easier for colleagues to work closer to home and closer to customers.

Developing our colleagues’ skills and careers

We’ve continued with ‘Determined to lead’, our core management system for the bank which we launched in 2015.  It’s how our leaders put our values into practice every day and is transforming the way we operate by improving the competence of our leaders.  In 2016 almost 16,000 leaders participated in the programme.


We launched Service Excellence training, our new customer service programme. The first module covers our Core Service Behaviours and provides an awareness of the tools and techniques that will help us to deliver the best possible service, every time. Since October, over 34,000 colleagues have completed this module.


Professionalising our colleagues is important to us. We work closely with the Chartered Banker Institute (CBI) and Chartered Banker Professional Standards Board (CB:PSB) to improve professional standards across the industry. In 2016 over 8,000 of our colleagues completed their CBI qualification and 95% of have achieved the Foundation Standard.


We also offer a broad range of learning which can be mandatory, role specific or related to personal development. Our mandatory learning has to be completed by everyone and is focused on keeping our colleagues, our customers and the bank safe.


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 2016, we delivered our ‘leading potential’ programme to 150 high-potential colleagues. We offered them tailored development options and networking opportunities.  We plan to launch a one-bank talent development experience in 2017, based on what we’ve learned from running ‘leading potential’.


All our CEOs and their leadership teams have reviewed their succession plans, both individually and collectively. The Bank Executive Committee had two deep-dive sessions during 2016 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. 


2016 facts and figures:


  • We hired 254 graduates and 283 apprentices. We filled 14 of those positions with disadvantaged young people, though our pilot work experience scheme with Princes Trust and Barnardo’s.
  • We hired around 250 interns onto our summer internship scheme.
  • To align with our inclusion gender goals, over 40% of our graduates and apprentices are female hires.
  • We developed our ‘female insight week’, from which 85% of became summer interns.
  • We climbed 16 places to 35th in the Times Top 100 employers for graduates.
  • The BPP University awards named us the ‘large employer of the year’ award.




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 2016:


  • We made 7,367 redundancies. More than 4,000 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.
  • As of late 2016, we’ve been aiming 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.


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