“After seeing the damage caused by traditional procedures, we got wind that a lot of organisations were introducing alternative dispute resolution frameworks. We were cognisant that our grievance process was acting as a counterculture to the people-led values we upheld as a building society. The Resolution Framework was right for us to undergo this cultural journey.”
KIRSTY KNIGHT, SENIOR HR BUSINESS PARTNER AT NATIONWIDE BUILDING SOCIETY
Nationwide Building Society is a British financial institution and currently stands as the largest building society in the world. They’re not a bank: they’re mutually owned by their members and run solely to help the communities they serve.
With this in mind, their institutional ethos is one of mutual respect – fostering collaboration in a compassionate way is at the forefront of everything Nationwide does. For the People and Culture team at Nationwide, the internal systems of the society should carry this impetus too: cue the implementation of the Resolution Framework™.
Like many organisations, Nationwide Building Society had rigid processes for staff to follow when filing a complaint or grievance. Formal litigation was the favoured option, but it cost the organ isation £828,456 annually. Using TCM’s cost calculator, by transitioning to an informal mediation framework, it would cost the organisation just £80,000. The difference was staggering.
Finances aside, traditional policies don’t take into account the human value: morale, wellbeing and productivity were hugely – and negatively – impacted by the trials and tribulations of costly courtrooms.
After engaging with unions, stakeholders and staff, Stephen developed a bespoke strategy to fully transition to a Resolution Framework™.
Stephen provides an insight into the flexible, tailored plan of action for Nationwide:
Making the move to restorative resolution exceeded the organisation’s expectations. The collaborative attitude between client, consultant and colleague allowed everyone to work together and cultivate team synergy. Since the programme went live on 4th October 2021, after being piloted as a soft launch to a HR team, cases have been low – proving the effectiveness of nipping issues in the bud at an early stage. By having courageous, critical and compassionate conversations, concerns have failed to escalate to become formal grievances.
Resolution has had such an impact in the few short months sincelaunch that advocacy has begun to be built outside of Kirsty’s direct staff. Employee Champions and Healthy Mind Champions, organisational bodies dedicated to protecting employee wellbeing, have joined the revolution and now spread the message of the cause for constructive conflict.
Across the organisation, people have been vocally grateful of the time invested back into their peace, productivity and prosperity. It’s a true sign of the mutual respect that Nationwide values so much.