Quick-Fire Chats with Triodos Bank: An Inside Look at One of the UK’s Happiest Places to Work

Crowned last year’s most desirable place to live in the UK by the Sunday Times, Bristol enjoys a “glamorous, creative and hi-tech” job market. So where in the country’s happiest city can we find the happiest employees?

In December 2017, Triodos Bank was named the best medium to large organisation to work for in the South West for employee wellbeing. From office yoga to lunch and learn sessions, Triodos have it all! Resourcing Manager Dan Foster will join our Bristol In-house Recruitment Conference on 19 April 2018 to coach us on attracting and retaining an engaged workforce. But first he stops by for a quick chat…

When Dan joined Triodos Bank in 2015, things looked different. Vacancies were only advertised on the Triodos careers site, employer branding was nearly nonexistent and attrition levels were the worst in the entire banking group. “To me, this spoke volumes of something being fundamentally wrong with our recruitment process. Because of the heavy attrition, almost half our roles were sourced through an external agency,” Dan says.

So Dan’s team decided to take an active approach in shaping the organisation’s image both internally and externally. “We did a complete overhaul of our resourcing strategy. We shifted our attention to candidates who not just met the technical requirements of the role but also had a strong affiliation with our company values and what we stand for,” Dan explains.

“We gave line managers more control over the assessment and hiring of talent because it is ultimately their area of expertise so who better than them to know what an ideal candidate looks like? We were there to support and guide them through the process instead of making decisions for them.”

Giving internal talent a voice was essential to building a strong employer brand for Triodos, Dan adds. “I wanted us to sell what it’s like to work inside the bank so we created profiles of our co-worker population, catering to as many business areas as possible.” The employee profiles below are just a few examples of Triodos’ efforts to overturn popular preconceptions around bankers and focus on the diversity of its people.

Within the space of 12 months, Dan’s team managed to reduce Triodos’ attrition rate from 32% to 10.4% and the number of outsourced roles from 44 to 3.

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How does Triodos Bank do it? Dan shares some of the award-winning tactics he employed to ensure employees feel happy and cared for in the workplace:

1. Listen

Run regular co-worker surveys to get an idea of the areas of the business that need improving. Create efficiency champions at local levels to make sure positive change is being implemented.

2. Think about the benefits

In a post-financial crisis world, more individuals are leaning towards benefits packages instead of remuneration. Consider increased holiday allowance, private medical insurance or health cash plans, private pensions, flexible work opportunities.

3. Invest in mental health

Invest in qualifying volunteers within your organisation to become mental health first aiders. Make sure you get representation from all levels, business areas, and cultures so employees feel comfortable talking to them.

4. Bring passions to work

Your staff probably have a number of exciting passions and hobbies that the rest of you could benefit from (think yoga, meditation, knitting or drawing). Whatever they may be, invite them to run workshops at work in an attempt to bring everyone closer together.

5. Lunch and learn

Bring in expert speakers during lunch breaks to hold motivational or educational talks to offer your team some food for thought. But make sure you provide some actual food as well.

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Dan’s talk focused on “How to attract and retain an engaged workforce” at the Bristol In-house Recruitment Conference on 19 April 2018.

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