Barclays Bank’s Talent Management


The productivity of a company is dependent on its ability to proactively organise its human resource management strategy. As a matter of fact, labour is a vital factor of production that quantifies the performance, output, and goal achievement with optimal use of available inputs. The Barclays Bank in Stanford has successfully organised its human resource management approach to internalise the aspects of employee equity, remuneration, training, and maintenance as a function of the current talent management system. This treatise attempts to identify the bank’s current talent management strategy, regulatory factors, environmental factors, core position, and recommendations to improve the human resource management system.

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Staffing at the Barclays Bank

Staffing is an important element in human resource management since it captures the process of recruitment, selection, performance management, reward, training, and development of equality and diversity. At the Barclays bank, its staffing value emanates from a strategic employee recruitment process that is sensitive to building an active process for inter- and intrapersonal development. The process has been customised to include policies, quality management practices, and support services to ensure that employees are empowered to effectively serve the customers. At the Barclays bank, there is a systematic and continuous leadership tool that puts an emphasis on employee satisfaction, quality management, and customer satisfaction (Wilkinson, Redman & Dundon 2017).

Through the proper staffing process, the bank has been able to establish a consistent correlation between proactive performance and increased employee capability. The bank has designed a successful staffing appraisal procedure that encompasses and reflects the actual level of employee performance. Specifically, the appraisal module is interdepartmental with a centralised control unit, which constantly reviews the skill sets against actual performance feedback. Moreover, the procedure has a system for comparing the actual performance against set standards and any variation noted is adjusted through continuous training, talent development, and disciplinary actions to improve on future performance (Baruch 2003). At the Barclays bank, there is a clear hierarchical order that has a link for coordinating professionalism between the management team and the employees.

The personal selection approach at the bank involves a customised written test to establish the general work experience among potential candidates. This is followed by a series of personality and cognitive ability tests to ascertain a true picture of these candidates. Whenever there is a vacancy for recruitment of a new employee in a senior position, the bank gives priority to the current employees. This means that constant promotion from within the current employee ranks has enabled the bank to save on resources that could have been directed to carry out external recruitment (Wilkinson, Redman & Dundon 2017). Moreover, the selection process is designed to incorporate the external and internal traits that are desired from a potential employee. The interview process is carried out in three stages by internal and external interviewers mandated with the role of testing and confirming the desired dimension of potential talent. This, approach enables the bank to capture specific job-related and behavioural evaluation of potential candidates in terms of personality, knowledge, and cognition to guarantee optimal performance with minimal supervision.

Regulatory Factors: Employment Equity Legislation and Diversity

Equity and equality in employment encompass fairness in the allocation of duties, recruitment, promotion, and compensation. Factually, employee performance is the key ingredient to organisational success. Thus, workers should always be motivated and fairly treated, to guarantee proper execution of duties as part of effective human resource function. The Barclays Bank’s human resource department has rolled out a strategic policy guarding against any form of discrimination in the allocation of duties based on class, gender, and race among workers (Storey 2001). Specifically, the bank has a pay satisfaction policy which protects employees from unfair remuneration practices to promote equity. Besides, the bank has established the two-third gender rule to ensure that diversity is a strength in the management of labour as a function of production. The pay adequacy, diversity management, and equity have become important regulatory factors in the role allocation and performance evaluation at the bank.

The Barclays Bank’s employee equality policy has measures in place to ensure that an employee is constantly evaluated through “comparison of the ratio of his or her input and output with the ratio of input and output of other employees” (Wilkinson, Redman & Dundon 2017, p. 23). The inputs are in the form of personal contribution, extra role displayed, and job functions. At the bank, the annual pay increment is distributed uniformly by a ratio in all departments with extra bonuses for surpassing the yearly targets.

Environmental Factors: Employee Maintenance

The Barclays Bank has a strong personnel management system that is aligned with the unique organisational culture to promote proactive intra- and interpersonnel commitment. Thus, the employees are empowered to exist in successful formal and informal teamwork attitude in order to address any job-related challenges. Specifically, the human resource management team is active in reviewing suggestions originating from the employees and structures them into goals and policies for improving the labour function. For example, the “Family Team Program” and the ‘Annual Employee Run’ activities were generated from the suggestion of the employees. These programs are very effective in expanding the work environment and promoting positivity among the employees (Storey 2001).

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The personnel management team at the bank is also mandated with the role of internalising discipline, teamwork, and moral aspects of employee performance. These attributes are aligned with social benefits and direct labour management through balancing the expected organisational behaviour standards against the set goals. The behaviour standards of the bank are designed around motivation to defend, comprehend, bond, and acquire lifetime skills (Baruch 2003). As a result, most employees of the bank have internalised self consciousness in the delivery of quality services and defending the firm as members of the Barclays family.

The reward system at the bank has also been modified over the years to include monetary and non-monetary benefits. These rewards include medical and health benefits, confidential employee advice, paid holidays, pension funding, and a direct bonus for surpassing the annual targets (Pilbeam & Corbridge 2006). The human resource department has developed an interesting employee participation approach through the internalisation of participatory leadership in decision making. At the Barclays Bank, employees are empowered to actively participate in decision making, independent reasoning, and consultative culture in handling duties allocated. At present, the workers have internalised these attributes and “appreciate the need for free consultation rather than doing the same as a condition imposed on them by their superiors” (Wilkinson, Redman & Dundon 2017, p. 36). The consultative function has tuned the minds of the employees to adopt the desire for flexible decision making that is compatible with the vision and goals of the bank.

Core Positions: Desired Job Behaviour, Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes

The Barclays Bank has continuously endeavoured to create a pipeline of talent management as part of long-term effective employee goal achievement as part of the job description. The bank has effectively tailored development and training schemes created to facilitate its employees to fulfil their real potential. The development and training programs are tuned to function within the off-job and on-job levels. For example, the Barclays Bank’s ‘Lead to Succeed Program’ is built on core values and aligned to the primary business strategy of “developing skills that will support future growth of the bank” (Wilkinson, Redman & Dundon 2017, p. 23).

This program is created for senior and junior employees. Since its establishment in the year 2012, more than 9,000 employees have successfully completed the training. Reflectively, the training and development strategy of the bank is part and parcel of the organisational strategy aimed at formulating a standardised talent management pool. This program develops and merges different organisational and personal cultures, knowledge, and skills to address the current challenges (Reilly 1996). The Barclays Bank employees this program to nurture and improve on the talent of its employees to survive the competitive banking sector labour dynamics. The outcomes of these training initiatives are modified into policies by the human resource management team to guide the present and future decision making on transfers, promotion, staffing, and improving on efficiency.

The Barclays Bank has implemented several direct and indirect career development programs that are tailored to attract and retain the employees as part of personal specification strategy. These programs are aligned to a standardised compensation structure to support personal growth and organisational performance. The career development approach is matched to the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to create an environment for recognising, promoting, and allocating equal opportunities for career growth (Wilkinson, Redman & Dundon 2017). Over the years, the career development initiatives have catalysed the level of employee self-actualisation in the face of competing interests. In addition, the employees of the bank are motivated to acquire new work and personal development skills that improve their chances of getting promotions whenever there is an opening in any department.

The Barclays Bank carries out employee performance evaluation after every six months as part of the performance management criterion. This means that there are two reviews per financial year for all the workers. The departmental managers are tasked with the due to engaging the employees’ performance semi-annually. The performance ratings are based on a series of predefined competencies and proficiencies against the set standards (Storey 2001). Each employee is then allocated a rating for the competencies and skills exhibited over the period of evaluation. The departmental heads, then carry out a comparative analysis between the expected results and actual ratings for each worker. These appraisals are significant in helping the employees to understand their actual performance against the current and future expectations enclosed in the work contract (Wilkinson, Redman & Dundon 2017). In addition, the appraisals are instrumental to the bank in revealing the gaps that are inherent in executing performance efficiency plans that facilitate development and sustainability of an ideal work culture.

After the end of each period of appraisal, the human resource department formulates an evaluation plan that would be used in the next period of review. As part of personal career development, the employees of the bank are encouraged to set objectives on the basis of their performance feedback appraisal as a mandatory requirement. The entire appraisal process is very beneficial to the employees and the bank in developing and sustaining a vocational trail. At the Barclays Bank, appraisal process has been made interactive and realistic to facilitate acceptance and application in improving the performance of the human resource function. Any gap identified at the end of the review is closed through training and development programs. The training activities prepare the employees for future roles that match their set of skills (McKenna & Beech 2008). The entire performance review process is helpful to the management of the bank in implementing a well-organised, self-sustaining, motivational, and effectual human resource function.

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In the last three years, the appraisal procedure at the Barclays Bank has been modified to be all encompassing and reflective of the actual level of employee performance. The success could be attributed to its nature of involving the entire workforce, irrespective of the current position held by any employee. Apparently, the current employee performance management at the Barclays Bank is satisfactory since its strategic goals are proactively cascade across all the departments and at the individual level (Bratton & Gold 2007). Thus, the performance of each employee is a ratio of the bank’s strategic goal.

The Barclays Bank has effectively employed the 360 degree feedback system to manage different feedback channels in managing its human resources as part of the employee selection function. Also referred to as the multi-source assessment, this tool is ideal for building trust to guarantee full support of the review by the employees. In application at the bank, the 360-degree feedback appraisal could improve the employee productivity by almost 45% (Wilkinson, Redman & Dundon 2017). Moreover, the appraisal has instruments for identifying existing grievances, conflicts, and mismatches among the employees to create a standardised evaluation and measurement instrument for positive interrelationships. As a result, the bank has been able to increase on employee retention and minimise conflicts in the line of duty (Torrington et al. 2011). At present, the Barclays Bank is at the forefront in offering flexible and healthy working practices to all employees such as variable working, job sharing, part-time-study-leave working, and compressed working, especially in the audit and logistics departments. In addition, the bank has created an employee-centred help desk offering free advice on personal etiquette and career development (Baruch 2003). These flexibility practices could be attributed to the current high levels of talent attraction and retention. Moreover, employees at the bank are very committed and loyal to the Barclays Bank’s organisational culture.

Recommendations to Operationalise the HRM Strategies

Although the Barclays Bank has effective training strategies, there is a need to improve on the content and frequency. At present, the main training initiatives are influenced by the outcome of the two annual appraisal results, which may not be sufficient. Factually, continuous and periodic training programs would create a proactive and sustainable performance module that goes beyond the two annual appraisals. The proposed frequent training sessions will enable the bank to merge different social, organisational, and cultural skills of the employees to balance organisational and personal interests (Pilbeam & Corbridge 2006). As a result, the Barclays Bank will effectively and continuously manage the current talents and a social environment by encouraging optimal and complete levels of performance (Storey 2001). In addition, the bank may use the training outcomes to create a self-sustaining human resource management system that incorporates the technical, social, and personal elements of the business environment. Therefore, the bank should create customised training sessions to integrate social and collaborative conditions responsible for establishing a healthy work environment.

The proposed training programs should be tailored to incorporate inclusivity to create a smooth flow of ideas between trainers and employees (Schuler & Jackson 2007). When the proposed improvement in the training approach is adopted by the bank, it will be able to experience a paradigm shift from a linear process to an interactive model. The proposed model enables the bank and its employees to be active in exchanging information, which can boost the level of trust and confidence in execution of duties. Thus, the Barclays Bank will have a continuous and effective training program that incorporates instruments such as exclusivity, proactive interaction, and efficiency to foster effort-performance goal (Reilly 1996).

The bank should also improve on its existing communication channel by modifying the 360-degree feedback into a hybrid system called the LAMP, which promotes effective leadership evaluation. The LAMP (logistics, analytics, measures, and process) framework promotes all-round and holistic performance expectancy (McKenna & Beech 2008). Although the managers are effective in their roles, the aspect of expectancy appraisal is not sustainable in the competitive banking labour market. There is a need to improve on the effectiveness of the managers in order to promote optimal employee performance. For instance, the current ethical code should be modified to internalised proactive leadership skills that do not inspire poor morale or fear among the employees (Bratton & Gold 2007).

The Barclays Bank should remodel its leadership expectancy strategy to be more friendly, soft, and holistic to encourage positive employee valence (Leopold, Harris & Watson 2004). In addition, the work environment should be improved to integrate sustainable and healthy organisational culture that is ideal for behavioural modelling for sustainable leadership. The proposed leadership approach should define practical rules of engagement, strategies for solving conflicts, and proactive code of organisational behaviour orientation. In application, these attributes should be integrated with the proposed training programs, performance tests, and organisation policies addressing productivity and efficiency of the employees (Baruch 2003). The ability to establish a middle ground in balancing these dynamics will ensure that the bank has very accommodative and effective policies for promoting optimal employee output.


The quantum nature of proactive organisational human resource management encompasses balancing of the structural, social, cultural, and strategic elements of organisational functionality. In relation to the Barclays Bank, the organisation has effective, proactive, and sustainable human resource management strategies. At present, the bank has systems in place to manage the staffing process, talent management, employee performance, and evaluation against set targets. The bank has created a standardised instrument for tracking nearly all aspects of human resources to promote optimal employee performance and business sustainability. However, there is a need to improve on the current employee training and leadership strategies to ensure that all human resource management goals are sustainable and effective in promoting the primary business responsibility of profitability. Therefore, the proposed integration of the LAMP framework would transform the organisation into a desirable employer and effective service provider to customers.

Reference List

Baruch, Y 2003, Managing careers: Theory and practice, FT/Prentice Hall, London.

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Bratton, J & Gold, G 2007, Human resource management: Theory and practice, 4th edn, Blackwell, Oxford.

Leopold, J, Harris, L & Watson, T 2004, The strategic managing of human resources, A Financial Times/Pitman Publishing, London.

McKenna, E & Beech, N 2008, Human resource management: A concise analysis, FT Prentice Hall, Harlow.

Pilbeam, S & Corbridge, N 2006, People resourcing: Contemporary HRM practices, Pitman Publishing, London.

Reilly, P 1996, Human resource planning: An introduction, Institute for Employment Studies, Brighton.

Schuler, R & Jackson, S (eds) 2007, Strategic human resource management, 2nd edn, Wiley, Oxford.

Storey, J 2001, Human resource management: A critical text, 2nd edn, Thompson, London.

Torrington, D, Hall, L, Taylor, S & Atkinson, C 2011, Human resource management, 8th edn, FT Prentice Hall, Harlow.

Wilkinson, A, Redman, T & Dundon, T 2017, Contemporary human resource management: Text and cases, 5th edn, Pearson, London.

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