Capabilities of the future

As the needs of our members change, the capabilities of our people will also need to change. Ensuring Nationwide has the right capabilities now and in the future is central to our success and ability to provide members with the right outcomes. In its broadest sense this is all about 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 of a growth mindset and learning culture, embedding new skills that focus on adaptability, agility, analytical and critical thinking and digital awareness.

Note:

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.

Talent management at Nationwide

At Nationwide, we see everyone as talent – and we all play our part in the Society’s success. For us, talent is the unique set of skills and abilities possessed by an individual and how they add value to the organisation.

All employees at Nationwide have opportunities to grow and develop their careers, whether they work directly with our members, in a specialist technical role or in a broader leadership role.

For us, talent management is about the attraction, deployment, development and retention of all our people to maximise our capability, support individual growth and make sure we can deliver the best outcomes for our members.

Our talent management approach aims to understand an individual’s potential and ambition, so that everyone can get the support and career development that’s right for them.

To help us do this we use a framework called ‘Know, Flow, Grow’.


  • Know - Identifying and assessing potential, and understanding the appetite and capability of our people to progress
  • Flow - Facilitating opportunities to progress, and deploying talent across the Society to where they can add most value, broaden their experience and stretch and develop their capabilities
  • Grow - Enabling our talent to grow their careers, broaden their skills, and accelerate the progression of those individuals with the most potential

Leadership talent management

In support of our leaders we’ve used the same ‘Know, Flow, Grow’ principles to provide stretch to those who have the potential and aspiration to broaden their skills and knowledge. Leaders in stretch opportunities have bespoke development plans that are dynamic and intended to accelerate their path to success. We also use our approach to leadership development to focus on diversity in our talent pipeline and are upskilling a broad range of individuals to be our leaders of the future.

An example of a stretch opportunity for our future leaders is the creation of a Shadow Executive Risk Committee (ERC). The shadow committee, which runs in parallel to the main Executive Risk Committee, enables colleagues to prepare for and experience exposure to director-level and Board issues. This enables us to increase diversity of thought, prepares future leaders and supports in creating strategies and deliverables more representative of employee views.

Shadow ERC members have found this a great platform for networking, as well as providing developmental stretch through opportunities to consider Society-wide topics, present to the ERC and helping to influence through bespoke projects.


Emerging talent

At Nationwide we have annual emerging talent programmes that help us build our own capability and increase the diversity of the Society.

We have 2 programmes, Discover and Explore, which are specifically designed to develop emerging talent.


  • Discover is our industrial placement and apprenticeship programme made up of a new intake every year.
  • Explore is made up of our graduate intake and internal Nationwide colleagues with high potential.

Both the Discover and Explore programmes aim to help fast track personal development and career growth. We recruit for potential with a view to building skills capability for the future. The programmes also serve to provide the Society with fresh thinking and ensure we have a robust talent pipeline for the future.


Learning strategy

Our learning strategy is focused on preparing our colleagues and our Society for the future, with both eyes firmly on the capabilities that 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 but in turn we also ask our people to commit to their own development. 

We’re focused on creating the right environment for colleagues to become ‘infinite learners’.  Supporting our people to focus on the skills they need to succeed in a changing world will ensure both they and our Society prosper.

 Our 2021 Learning Strategy has 3 main focus areas:


  • to invest in lifelong learning and tools, enable development and support reskilling and upskilling across the Society
  • to develop the right capabilities to be fit for the future
  • to create the mindset and deliver the tools for dynamic learning and growth, enabling a continuous learning culture.

Technical and knowledge-based training

At Nationwide, we recognise it’s essential for our people to be able to keep their role-related skills and knowledge up to date.

Technical training and development are offered where this learning is essential to their role. Our Continued Professional Development offering also helps to maintain and enhance the knowledge, skills and experience related to our colleagues’ professions, following completion of their formal training.

The support we offer our colleagues is based on their individual needs and circumstances, and may include courses, workshops, or online learning through approved external providers. An approved list of professional qualifications supports further professional development, helping our people to achieve the next steps in their careers.

Sometimes it’s not a course or a qualification that is needed, quite often it's help with completing a task or finding expert advice. Our Sourcing Skills platform enables our people to post requests for advice or support on how to perform a task when they need it in the moment.

It’s also just as important that our people are in touch with external developments, and we offer support with attending conferences, webinars, network memberships and subscriptions at a local level.


Professional development

Nationwide recognises that professional qualifications play a part in learning and development and considers sponsoring employees where it is relevant to their role or agreed career progression and where there are clearly identified benefits for both the business and the individual. These are all industry recognised qualifications and include Masters sponsorship ‐ and in the last 2 years we have supported over 100 colleagues to begin a professional qualification.


Balance of employee contract types

We’re proud to offer dynamic working arrangements to suit the needs of Nationwide employees, and the recent introduction of location-agnostic roles will help to further improve the work / life balance of our people.

At Nationwide people work in different ways, some are directly employed or contractors, temporary workers, or work for our partner suppliers. We’ve continued to make progress to decrease our reliance on contingent workers (such as contractors and consultants) by a further 6% on the previous calendar year, increasing the proportion of our permanent capability as a result.

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 2021, a total of 25% 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. 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.