Coventry Building Society

Instead of a performance management process with objectives, mid-year reviews, end-of-year reviews and a performance rating, Coventry Building Society wanted something new and empowering that would help to create a place where all its people could be brilliant. 

Coventry asked its staff what they thought of the current performance management system and found it was outdated and had to change. Objectives were set that should have aligned with its overall strategy but rarely did, with the usual time-consuming forms to fill in. It felt more like an administrative exercise. It was met with further challenges when Covid hit, as this changed how people think about work and a buoyant market – and these new attitudes meant the organisation had to compete to attract and retain talented people like never before.

With this in mind, the firm launched a new programme to help people understand how their own goals can make a difference to the society as a whole and not just their function, and turned to their ‘Inspire’ group, a cohort of talented people from different business areas who had been designated as potential future leaders and were tasked with creating and implementing a completely new performance framework to bring a change in a performance culture. 

Coventry gave the group specialist support from the people function and put in place a team of senior mentors from across the business to guide, challenge and support the ideas they would bring to the table, with the group delivering and designing a brand new approach to leading performance, which they called ‘Aspire’. 

Instead of looking over what has already happened, and being graded and assessed on past performance, Aspire looks to the future and what each individual wants to achieve. 

Coventry was for the first time able to identify high-potential employees across all of their job grades. Forty per cent of this population secured new roles internally, contributing to a culture of personal growth and development at Coventry City Region's Building Society.

The judges were impressed with the excellent links between business and people strategy with a well thought-through initiative and brave, innovative and inclusive approach. The judges commended the tagline ‘Helping people be brilliant in their way’ and how it served as the catalyst for improved engagement and performance.