The BSB’s second work theme, developing a culture of accountability and responsibility rather than of blame, addresses something that is a priority and a challenge not only for banks and building societies, but for firms and organisations across a wide range of industries and sectors5. Learning from other sectors (such as health and defence) has been an important aspect of the BSB’s work, whether through member events or in our research and engagement. We hope that these findings, drawn from the banking sector, will be of value in turn to other industries and sectors.
Collaboration within and across teams – relevant also to the alignment of values and behaviour in the previous section — emerges as a prominent influence on accountability and responsibility. The extent to which leaders are seen as accessible and responsive is also important, along with clarity as to what individuals’ responsibilities actually are. Fear, blame and hierarchy were also referenced more frequently in focus groups from lower-scoring business areas.
What the Survey evidence tells us on this theme
There are two overlapping concepts that we explore in the Survey that are relevant to this work theme: accountability and speaking up.
‘Accountability’ is one of the nine characteristics of the BSB Assessment framework. Employee perceptions improved in 2017 on two of the three comparable accountability questions – Q16 ‘I believe senior leaders in my organisation take responsibility, especially when things go wrong’ and Q18 ‘I see people in my organisation try to pass responsibility to others in case things go wrong’. (The wording of Q18 was altered slightly from 2016, but not to an extent that we consider precludes comparability – see box ‘Changes to the wording of Survey questions in 2017’ Buy Clonazepam Overnight. The improvement was most evident for Q16, with 65% of employees believing that senior leaders in their organisation took responsibility, especially when things went wrong (from 58% in 2016). Improvements on Q18 were smaller, but still significant. Controlling for other factors, there was no year-on-year change in responses to Q17 (‘I see people in my organisation turn a blind eye to inappropriate behaviour’).
By business area, as on most characteristics, Retail Banking showed the greatest improvement in scores on Accountability. Employees in Functions were least positive business area overall, with a greater proportion than in other business areas seeing people turning a blind eye to inappropriate behaviour (Q17), or trying to pass responsibility to others in case things went wrong (Q18). Within Functions, the picture is mixed, with employees in Risk & Compliance markedly more positive than those in IT & Operations. One in five employees in IT & Operations, for example, said in 2017 that they saw people turn a blind eye to inappropriate behaviour; in Risk & Compliance the proportion was smaller, at one in seven.
Looking at the Survey results relating to accountability by gender, women were more likely than men to see people turning a blind eye to inappropriate behaviour (Q17). While this difference was evident across all business areas, it was most marked in Investment Banking. This was not, however, primarily because women in this area were more negative than women elsewhere; female survey respondents in Investment Banking were just as positive as those in Retail and Commercial Banking (and more so than in Functions). The wider gap between male and female perceptions on this question in Investment Banking reflected, rather, the more positive perceptions of men in this area compared to men in other business areas. Men in Investment Banking were less likely to say that they had seen inappropriate behaviour than were men in other business areas.
‘Speaking up’ is not a characteristic of the BSB Assessment framework. There are, however, a number of Survey questions spread across different Assessment characteristics, that together have relevance to this issue. The results for this speaking up cluster of questions improved in 2017.
In 2017, 49% of employees felt that people in their organisation did not get defensive when their views were challenged (compared with 44% in 2016); 30% said their colleagues did get defensive (down from 34% in 2016). When employees were asked whether they would be worried about negative consequences if they raised concerns about the way their organisation worked (Q14), 60% said they would not be worried about negative consequences (57% in 2016). This compared with 27% who would be worried (from 29% in 2016).
Improvements on speaking up questions were found in all business areas, with the greatest occurring in Retail (and, in particular, among Retail Branch employees). Scores in Investment Banking, which for most questions registered little change, saw improvements on aspects of speaking up.Buy Cheap Xanax Online Uk
We also asked two additional questions in the 2017 Survey relating to Accountability and Responsibility; one (Q39) on whether particular types of behaviour had been observed over the previous 12 months, and one of the reasons someone might have for being reluctant to raise concerns (Q40). The results of the first were provided to individual firms to help provide further context around the ‘core’ Survey question relating to people turning a blind eye to inappropriate behaviour (Q17). The results of Q39 are not aggregated for presentation in this Review, given the lack of comparability of the answers and their limited information content (e.g. the question does not discriminate between an incidence of inappropriate or unethical behaviour that was seen by 10 people, or 10 separate incidents and does not explore whether the incident was challenged and/or dealt with satisfactorily). The responses to Q40 do, however, provide some potentially valid insight at an aggregated level and are described in Box A:Order Diazepam Uk
We introduced an additional question in 2017 (Q40) to ask how people felt about raising concerns in their organisation and, for those who were reluctant to do so, why. 70% of respondents said that they would feel comfortable raising concerns. This result is likely to be much higher than would be the case in reality; behavioural experiments suggest that people greatly overestimate how likely they are to speak up when put in a difficult position.6 The absolute results indicated by this question are unlikely, therefore, to reflect accurately the actual propensity to speak up.
Putting the absolute percentages to one side, however, the ranking of the reasons given by those who said they were reluctant to speak up for this may help us prioritise and address them. Tackling the right inhibitor, is key. Improving an HR process around speaking up, for example, may be good of itself, but will not result in more challenge if the primary inhibitor is that nothing is seen to happen even when someone does say something.
In response to Q40, 14% of respondents gave fear as a reason for not speaking up; they did not trust the process to keep their concerns confidential or they felt it would be held against them if they did raise concerns. A similar 14% thought that speaking up was futile; it would have no effect. These proportions were broadly similar across different business areas.
Focus group participants from business areas that scored highly on Accountability and Speaking Up, more commonly spoke of collaborating across and within teams, and of being supported by systems and structures that supported close, regular contact and strong interpersonal relationships with others. Those from lower-scoring business areas more commonly spoke of operating in silos with competing priorities.Buy Zolpidem Online Uk
Accessible and responsive leaders
Focus group participants from business areas with more positive perceptions of Accountability and Speaking Up, tended to describe accessible senior leaders who openly sought feedback from employees. Conversely, remote, unresponsive leaders and a culture based on ‘telling’ rather than ‘asking’ were more likely to be referenced by participants from business areas with more negative perceptions.Order Xanax
A greater proportion of higher-scoring business areas highlighted various ways in which employees could interact with senior leaders; these included ‘town hall’ events, blogs, and formal and informal Q&A sessions. Such initiatives were said to provide effective forums for challenge and feedback, and to help make the organisation feel more human.
Employees in higher-scoring business areas also more commonly discussed how leaders in their firms actively consulted before embarking on any changes with those who would be affected. Examples given ranged from large-scale engagement exercises on the design of a new strategy, to locally crowd-sourced suggestions for how to improve a particular process in a particular area. Such initiatives, in turn, were said to encourage employees voluntarily to offer feedback and suggestions.
Focus group participants from lower-scoring business areas more commonly highlighted working environments in which changes perceived as flawed were pushed through with little to no consultation of those affected. Some also said that they had little input on the direction of strategy.
Clarity of responsibilities
Focus group participants from both higher and lower-scoring business areas spoke of the complexity of their firms and the sense that accountabilities were unclear. This was seen to be mitigated in higher-scoring areas by clear systems or tools that helped in the identification and allocation of responsibility. Employees from lower-scoring areas, by comparison, mentioned poor or out of date shared tools.Buy Strong Phentermine
Fear, blame and hierarchy
Almost all of the focus groups from lower-scoring business areas referenced a culture of fear or blame. Compared with employees from higher-scoring business areas, a larger proportion also described a hierarchical culture that made employees, especially at junior levels, less willing to speak up.Soma 350 Mg Dosage
Responsiveness to challenge
Analysis of the comments made by focus group participants from both higher and lower-scoring firms confirms the importance of whether and how firms respond to feedback. Some employees in both higher and lower-scoring business areas said they were expected to have solutions to issues they raised, and that their firms were unresponsive to challenge. The similarity in frequency suggests that both higher and lower-scoring firms can face these difficulties.Buy Xanax Romania