A Nationwide change in Performance Management

Established in the nineteenth century, and following numerous mergers, Nationwide is the now the world's largest mutual financial institution, the UK's third largest mortgage lender, and one of the UK's largest savings providers.


As the credit crunch started to bite, the Nationwide's leadership recognised the need to build on existing performance management processes and practices if the organisation was to truly engage its people and achieve its corporate goals in a rapidly changing marketplace.

The organisation was 'comfortable' and paternalistic. With a squeeze on margins and poor public perspective of the financial services sector in general, Nationwide's ability to be more commercial and yet maintain its reputation for good customer service was paramount.

There was also a need to deliver a much more consistent performance management approach for staff such as cashiers, customer service advisors and mortgage specialists who were spread across a distributed network. Their approach had to be aligned with that of the customer contact centres and two Head Office sites.

With a need to deliver and introduce the revised performance management approach to 22,000 employees and 2,800 managers across the UK Nationwide asked Change Associates to help.

What we did

A working group was established to ensure end user input and an Executive Sponsor worked closely with the project team to provide strategic guidance and sign off allowing the work to progress at pace.

The key project outcomes were agreed as

  • A clear and consistent approach to performance management across the organisation, balancing the 'what' (task objectives), with the 'how' (specific behaviours).
  • A common understanding of policy and practice
  • Focus on the quality of the conversation not the process
  • Adult-to-adult conversations
  • Clear line of sight to corporate objectives to individual objectives
  • An understanding of the need to change to face a changing marketplace
  • Ownership of PM plans and development plans by employees.
  • Feedback as a day to day activity with positive intent
  • Managing underperformance whilst ensuring PM was seen as a positive management tool
  • Staff Association (Union) engagement and support.

Deliverables included

  • A clear communication and engagement approach for all staff, managers and staff representatives
  • Support materials e.g. managers guides, clear performance management plans, staff communications cascades
  • Standard PM plans and objectives for volume roles
  • Training courses to upskill managers
  • Clear links to annual corporate objectives and regulatory requirements
  • A performance related pay and bonus scheme for staff in customer facing role.

The results

Working with the Nationwide in-house team we delivered all the training and materials within 12 weeks and within an overall budget of less than £1 million.

If you want to ensure engagement in your Performance Management process, send us an Email, call 0207 1011 979 or fill in our contact form. Or click here to download our free report, Performance Management - What's the Point?


Last updated: 10 Jan 2019