The situation: Ulster Bank Group, as the third largest bank in Ireland, employs over 4,700 employees across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The banking market is moving fast and they face a rash of new competitors eager to take a share.
Ulster Bank conducted an internal survey that showed that while 61% of employees could say what the organization’s mission was, they were unable to really grasp its meaning or importance. And while 83% recognized the importance of knowing where their job fitted with the organization’s aims, they didn’t have a full understanding of the ‘bigger picture’.
The approach: After forming a partnership with BlessingWhite Ulster Bank began implementing a strategic approach to their challenges. They began to define and refine a set of non-negotiable values that would stand the test of time. Seven values were identified: leadership by example; innovation and creativity; our people; performance and achievement; fair and honest; added value for our customers; shared purpose and individual responsibility. From this, they have now built a new Vision for the future, to become the ‘preferred financial services group on the island of Ireland’. How? Through people and through values.
These values were then systematically communicated company-wide to individual employees through a process which helps people discover where their personal values connect with those of the organization. This was far more than just a workshop. They were creating active cultures; ones where individuals who really live the vision can connect to the organization.
The results: This work provided a catalyst for individual—and consequently, organizational—change for the bank. Using these principles and processes, Ulster Bank was able to more effectively communicate and implement its values, vision and strategy.