Employee listening to inform strategy

TSB Employee Listening


In Spring 2018, TSB employees (known as Partners) were working in challenging conditions for prolonged periods of time, due to IT system issues that caused significant disruption for some customers.

TSB needed to better understand how their Partners were navigating the disruption and how the bank could support them during a difficult time.


• Employee Listening explores the individual and collective understanding in a workplace, providing vital evidence to inform strategy and action around the business and its pinch points.

• We created a platform, and two separate Employee Listening activities, where Partners could share their experiences, to involve them in creating solutions.

• This enabled us to create a conduit through which employees could communicate effectively and openly with the bank’s leadership team.


The disruption caused by TSB’s digital migration issues meant TSB Partners were dealing regularly with distraught customers coming into the branches, and had to do everything they could to help them. The experience was traumatic for the Partners, many of whom felt helpless to support their customers.

We were dealing with a group of employees who had been through an experience that had severely affected their mental wellbeing. There was also a type of brand grief – people felt that the brand had broken and needed a safe environment where they could express their feelings.

We created an environment where the Partners could quickly feedback what was happening in branch and make their voice heard, with their comments being delivered to TSB’s Executive Team.

This became a regular listening programme that meant the employees’ voice was reaching the bank’s leadership within days, helping them to react and respond quickly.


Our 15-minute exercises were led by team managers. Bespoke visual cards were used to encourage team members to discuss how they were feeling and to talk about their experiences, as well as identify factors that had helped them navigate the challenges.

Our second exercise was a longer, 90-minute in-person session. TSB facilitators were trained to take Partners through three exercises designed to uncover individual experiences, so that the bank could better understand the support that Partners required.

All feedback was collected and analysed by The Team, and the findings reported back to TSB’s leadership team for action on a weekly basis.

The analysis helped inform ongoing activities, including the development of a new Partner Value Proposition, and showed the Partners that the bank’s leadership was listening and acting at a vital time.

The Team helped TSB craft suitable listening exercises that could be executed easily at scale. In a fast-changing environment, they were then able to help us analyse results and present them back as recommendations quickly.

Sarah McPake, Head of Talent, Insights & Inclusion at TSB