Skills of the future
As the needs of our members change, the capabilities of our people will need to adapt. Ensuring we have the right skills now and in the future is central to our success and ability to provide members with the right outcomes.
This area of our website offers information about some of the things we do as a responsible business. Find out more about working for Nationwide on our careers site (opens in a new window).
What's on this page
Our areas of focus
We’re planning for the future by identifying the capabilities we'll need, and building those through new, existing or external talent.
As a result, we have 2 areas of focus:
- Workforce composition in terms of both diversity and contractual engagement
- The ongoing development and planning of a growth mindset and learning culture; embedding new skills that focus on adaptability, agility, analytical and critical thinking and digital awareness.
Attracting and managing talent
In 2023 we revised our talent management approach to include core components of strategic workforce planning, talent identification, acquisition and development, and succession planning – ensuring all aligned to enable a focused and targeted approach.
Through talent management, we seek to attract, deploy, develop, and retain our people at all career stages. This maximises our organisational capability, supports individual growth and makes sure we can deliver the best outcomes for our customers and deliver on the Society’s goals.
Strategic workforce planning
At Nationwide, we combine human resource and business data to create views of workforce trends, to forecast for the future. We split metrics across categories such as shape of the workforce (demographics, diversity etc), cost, skills, and timing (time to hire, vacancy attraction rates etc). The combined trends and metrics help inform different business areas of potential challenges for their strategy, and ultimately the impact on delivering to our members.
Using people analytics for strategic planning ensures that our data informs and drives the right size, shape, cost, skills, and location of our workforce. Analysing the data means we can act in a timely manner that ensures we execute our long-term business strategy.
The growing foresight, particularly in areas such as skills, is enabling us to monitor how we’re hiring and developing the future skills we need. We’ve also improved the way we consider reskilling options for our colleagues by accessing different sourcing approaches and using tools such as internal talent marketplaces and learning experience platforms.
Our strategic workforce planning, and engagement with the Financial Services Skills Commission, has informed our understanding and planning for the skills, including digital skills, that we will need in the future, and we will support the development and upskilling of our people accordingly. Training material is being built into all our key learning offerings. We have also broadened our branch colleagues’ skills, so they can serve more of customers in different ways. As at 4 April 2023, more than 400 colleagues had undertaken this training, spanning over 90 branches.
Leadership talent management
We provide stretch to those who have the potential and aspire to broaden their leadership skills and knowledge. Leaders in stretch opportunities have bespoke development plans that are dynamic and intended to accelerate their path to success. In 2023, we introduced a new leadership development programme, focused on developing commercial and business leadership skills, and equipping our leaders with the skills they need to develop further, aligned to our new strategy.
We have implemented succession plans across several key roles and support our leadership talent pipeline in stretch roles, including supporting them in stepping up to cover vacant roles in high profile areas. We have an aspiration to reach over 2,000 leaders through our leadership development programme by December 2024.
We have annual emerging talent programmes that help us develop people at the start of their careers, build our own capability and increase the diversity of the Society.
We also support emerging talent, developing those early in their careers. Over 2022/23, we supported 53 colleagues through our graduate programme, 71 colleagues through internships, 45 through apprenticeships and 19 through industrial placements. We also ran our accelerator programme, an 18-month, on-the-job training programme for graduates, recent graduates and career changers who want to develop their way into a career in IT. Over 2022/23, 45 colleagues were supported through our accelerator programme. In total, 98 graduates, apprentices and accelerator participants combined were hired on permanent contracts following their respective placements.
Our learning strategy is focused on preparing our colleagues and our Society for the future – especially around the skills, knowledge, and behaviours we’ll need to develop to ensure we thrive.
Creating a learning culture is key. We’re committed to enabling our colleagues to reach their full potential; focused on creating the right environment for colleagues to reskill, upskill, learn and embrace opportunities.
All our employees have opportunities to grow and develop their careers. In 2022, we improved our approach to personal development through our new online learning and opportunities platform, Grow. This offers bite-sized learning across a range of subject matters, and provides links to internal mentors, secondments and job shadowing in the organisation. Grow is key to our learning strategy as it is always ‘on’ and can support colleagues’ learning through their normal course of work. We also launched an internal talent marketplace tool on Grow, where colleagues can update their skills and capabilities, which are then matched to relevant job, secondment, and mentoring opportunities around the Society that support their skills and development areas. Since April 2023, all colleagues have the opportunity to use Grow to support and evidence their development goals.
Over 2022/23, over 745,000 total learning hours (equating to, on average, 40 hours per person) were completed through Grow. Of these, the key themes were technical and role-specific learning (49% of hours), regulated essential learning (23%) and role-specific new-joiner learning (18%). Through our Grow platform, over 620,000 records were made of colleagues taking professional development opportunities, attending conferences and webinars, and participating in network memberships. Over the year, we invested around £210 per head in external training, professional development and coaching.
Balance of employee contract types
We’re proud to offer dynamic working arrangements to suit the needs of our employees. And the introduction of location-agnostic roles has helped to further improve the work-life balance of our people.
Some are directly employed while others are contractors, temporary workers, or work for our partner suppliers.
We offer our directly employed workforce various contractual arrangements. Full-time employees are typically contracted for a 35-hour week, spread over a 5 or 6-day week from Monday to Saturday. As of January 2022, a total of 24% of our workforce have opted for part-time hours to suit their personal circumstances, 95% of whom are female. Additional hours over and above contracted hours can be recompensed using time off in lieu or overtime payments. And many of our colleagues have opted to work condensed hours, such as full-time hours over 4 or 9 days, which allows them to create more personal time, with full time pay.
A closer look at our workforce
Workforce size and structure
As at 4 April 2023, we had 18,517 permanent employees and 4,985 contingent workers (consisting of temporary and contract workers).
We offer a choice of working patterns, providing flexibility to our colleagues. Of our permanent employees, 77% work full time. Of the 23% of colleagues working part-time, 93% were female and 7% were male. In total, 30% of female colleagues and 3% of male colleagues work part-time. Our approach to flexible working is supportive of our diversity and inclusion ambitions.
More detail on the composition of our workforce by age is provided below.
|Age group||Proportion of workforce|
We've made good progress this year on our diversity measures, with the majority showing growth. A focused campaign aligned to the #Wethe15 (opens in new window) led to disclosures resulting in disabled colleagues within the senior population more than doubling, from 2.2% to 4.9%.
Our employee diversity split, as at the end of the 22/23 FY, at the All-Society and Senior (Grade 3-5) levels are shown below;
|Diversity||Level||Proportion of workforce|
|Gender (Female)||All Society||60.6%|
|Ethnically Diverse||All Society||12.1%|
Our employee age group splits are shown below;
Turnover and absence
Over the year, our total average turnover of colleagues was 1.1 % (2021/22: [13.5%]), of which 0.9% (2021/22: [10.6]%) was voluntary turnover. Our total average voluntary turnover of colleagues who had been with Nationwide for less than 12 months, was 2.1% (2021/22: [20.8]%).Our average absence rate over 2023/24 was 4.3% (2022/23: [4.6]%)
Last updated: November 2023