The British Business Bank has over 320 colleagues each of whom plays a role in the successful delivery of our objectives and strategy.
People are at the heart of what we do. Over the past year we have created 84 new roles and promoted 18 colleagues. To achieve success for our business, we manage our people’s performance, developing and bringing through talent while ensuring we operate as efficiently as possible. We share common values that inform and guide our behaviour to achieve our goals in the right way.
Our people strategy, developed in 2018 to complement our business plan, sets out the key actions that improve the way we recruit, train and develop our people.
The strategy has three pillars: culture & engagement, leadership and recognition.
Together, these pillars support our desire to achieve outstanding performance with inspired and fulfilled people.
Culture and engagement
It is important for us to have the right corporate culture, as we believe our long-term success depends on achieving our strategic goals in the right way – which means looking after and championing the best interests of our people, smaller businesses, our delivery partners, and other stakeholders.
Our annual Colleague Engagement Survey is an important tool to build an actively engaged and committed workforce. It helps us measure and assess how our people feel about working at the Bank, and to put in place actions for continuous improvements based on their responses.
April 2018’s survey had a response rate of 66%, with an overall engagement score of 76%. We communicated the detailed results to all Bank colleagues in May 2018.
At a Bank level, the main areas of focus were career development, recognition, reward and leadership, and we have made good progress with each of these.
For our 2019 survey, which ran from mid-March to early April, we had a 91% response rate and an increase in employee engagement score to 77%. We are putting action plans in place, managed and owned by our leadership team, and driving higher engagement to enhance our people’s experience.
In a growing organisation such as ours, there is an increasing need for good colleague communications. As part of that, we held two all-colleague ‘One Team’ conferences in 2018/19 – events that give us the opportunity to tell the story of our business as we evolve, ensuring all our people understand where we’re going and the role they play.
Capability for performance
Driving a performance culture is a key objective for the Bank. In 2018/19 we made several enhancements to our performance management cycle to clarify responsibilities, drive fairness and consistency, and equip colleagues and managers to understand and maximise the value of the process. We have also placed more emphasis on managers taking more accountability for the performance and development of their people. At the end of the performance year, facilitated moderation sessions fostered a more consistent application of performance ratings, which realistically reflected the Bank’s overall performance.
For the start of the 2019/20 performance year, we have made further enhancements to drive closer alignment of each colleague’s objectives with the Bank’s objectives, encourage a developmental mindset, and incorporate clear measures of success, for both ‘What’ our people do and ‘How’ they do it. The latter is set out in a newly created leadership framework.
We have processes in place for understanding and responding to colleagues’ needs through surveys and regular performance and development reviews. We continue, therefore, to work towards improving our communication to colleagues to ensure they are engaged with the decisions we make, and so we can respond to their feedback.
We also have a colleague forum consisting of people from all levels of our organisation which provides input into policies and working practices to ensure we support our Bank colleagues’ employment needs.
Business developments are communicated frequently to keep colleagues well informed about the progress of the Bank and to understand the Bank’s objectives.
Wellbeing support to colleagues has continued to be a focus in 2018/19 which has included appointing mental health first-aiders, introducing a cycle to work scheme, providing fruit for colleagues and offering flu jabs and holding events to promote general wellbeing.