In June 2011, we invited all Friends Life colleagues to take part in ‘Have your say’, our employee opinion survey. We achieved a response rate of 79% and an overall engagement index of 52%.
The engagement index is a measure of people’s commitment to Friends Life and can be defined as willingness to invest personal effort in the success of the organisation. Our overall engagement score was lower than our industry average. We would expect this during a year of significant ongoing change across the business, and subsequent high levels of uncertainty among employees. The Friends Life Group (FLG) executive management team has set itself the task of increasing the engagement index by ten percentage points in the next survey scheduled for April–May 2012.
Survey results highlighted some key strengths for the business:
- 94% of people believe customers are treated fairly by their team
- 86% consider treating customers fairly to be a priority for Friends Life
- 85% said the people in their team work together to achieve results.
Areas for improvement include the way we manage change, visibility of leadership and people feeling a strong sense of belonging to the organisation.
We are driving improvements through action plans focused on four key areas:
- making people feel valued
- senior leadership and change
- personal development and growth
- making people feel they have done something worthwhile.
Raising organisational capability and retaining talent will be a priority during 2012 and beyond. We will be launching a new Learning, Performance and Talent management system early in 2012, providing access to all mandatory learning and a learning library. This will be followed later in the year by online performance management.
Case study – Sustainable Friends Network
Friends Life is supported by a network of ‘Sustainable Friends’ at our Friends Centre in Bristol. Our Friends Centre is our most energy-intensive site and one of our largest offices, housing around 2,500 employees. The Sustainable Friends help us identify improvements and engage colleagues to reduce our environmental impact. The programme has involved all teams working on site. It has improved relationships with key contractors and suppliers and helped to develop better environmental knowledge, team working, innovation, communication and leadership among employees. During 2012, the Sustainable Friends Network will continue to operate in Bristol and will extend to other office sites, commencing with our London-based headquarters.