TSB’s engagement scores were so bad the Bank is refusing to publish the results at departmental level. Teams are being given little bits of information about their results but staff are being denied access to “the full detail of the survey results”. In trying to respond to a question about this at a recent ‘stand up’, Jatin Patel, Products Director, sounded like a politician trying to explain the Government’s latest proposals on the Irish backstop. He should have simply said that TSB will publish the full results and by department. Instead he obfuscated and tried to answer a different question to the one actually put by the member of staff. Staff are not stupid – they can see right through what’s going on.

Instead of being open and honest with staff about the scale of the issues, TSB hides or tries to divert attention away from the real issues. And that goes for the latest idea, and I use that word very loosely, that’s come from HR. In a recent press release Rachel Lock, outgoing HR Director, trumpeted the epoch-making decision to allow the employee advisory panel, Link, to speak to the Board, wait for it, once a year. The fact that HR thought that such drivel was worthy of a press release confirms the scale of TSB’s problems. The press release was picked up by the Aberdeen Evening Express!

So, that’s it, once a year the big wigs on the TSB Board, who between them created the biggest IT meltdown in corporate history and then sat and watched the biggest PR disaster ever, will listen to the views of staff. Rachel Lock said: “It has always been part of our culture to give Partners the opportunity to speak up and be involved in the decision-making and direction of the Bank. Our experience has shown that talking to and listening to our Partners about their views on how we run the Bank and serve our customers is critical”.

We don’t seem to recall the Board or BEC involving staff in the decision to do away with their bonuses. Did the Board listen to or talk to staff about that decision? No, they didn’t. Did the Board or BEC talk to or listen to staff when they said the IT system wasn’t ready for roll out or that the training wasn’t very good? No, they didn’t. The fact is the Board are not interested in the views of staff on the big decisions that really affect their lives and it’s wrong for the likes of Accord and Unite to pretend that they do.

If allowing the Link group to speak to the board for 30 minutes once a year is HR’s big idea for rebuilding trust between staff and senior management then the sooner the HR Director goes the better. To paraphrase the famous quote, there are times when one has to dispense one’s contempt economically because there are so many who need it. But the fact is that the TSB Board and BEC are collectively past their sell by date and both groups are worthy of all out contempt. We have no doubt that the new Chief Executive will see this as corporate twaddle and will want to ensure that she’s got an executive team that’s fit for purpose. Equally, we can only hope that the new HR Director will be someone with the humility to see the scale of the problems and the strategic vision to put things right. The sooner both of them arrive, the better for everyone in TSB.

Members can let us know their views on the big idea by contacting us at 24hours@tbuonline.co.uk.

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