OneSavings Bank (OSB) has grown exponentially in the past eight years, from 200 to 1,205 employees across Kent, Hampshire, London and Bangalore, India. But this growth has meant a number of challenges. Culture, behaviours and motivation depended on location, team and managerial style; OSB’s mission was little known nor understood; and, to top it all, their results in the 2017 British Banking Standards survey fell well short of the Executive team’s expectations, particularly around the organisation’s purpose, values and the sense of ownership throughout the organisation. It was time to act.
"It has embedded values to drive fairer customer financial solutions"
The Executive team set ambitious objectives, including generating company-wide understanding of their new mission, vision and values (80% achievement by end 2019), putting improved customer-centricity and experience at the heart of its internal behavioural changes and becoming a company of choice to work for. OSB commissioned Culture Consultancy to help them understand the existing culture (including enablers and inhibitors of performance), and to work collaboratively with the business to define a mission, vision and values. They then developed behavioural competencies and fine-tuned their employee value proposition, before embedding the newly defined culture throughout the organisation.
Through engaging internal communications, values immersion days, and embedding the new values and behaviours into day-to-day work practices like job descriptions, performance management, talent development, procurement, governance and audit, the bank has over-achieved its targets. Its employee survey showed 95.54% understood the mission and values and 94.73% the vision; 81.26% found the immersive activities useful in helping them understand what it means to them and their role, rising to 86.4% in India. On top of that, OSB then went on to make the Sunday Times Top UK 100 Companies to Work For, while OSB India won the Great Place to Work award 2019.
Moreover, it has embedded the values into external initiatives to drive fairer customer financial solutions, including ‘listening panels’ to create more customer centric solutions and case-by-case underwriting of mortgages –a fairer solution to competitors’ one-size-fits-all algorithms.