Nationwide Building Society Reviews

Updated February 23, 2015
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13 Reviews
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Graham Beale
33 Ratings

13 Employee Reviews

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  1. An IT department that doesn't know what it's doing. Lead by ineffectual management.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Principal Applications Developer in Swindon, Wiltshire, South West England, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Principal Applications Developer in Swindon, Wiltshire, South West England, England (UK)

    I worked at Nationwide Building Society full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Nationwide have good benefits and are really flexible around work hours and working from home. A 35 hour week is becoming rare but Nationwide has stuck to it.

    Head office has good facilities, restaurant, coffee shop, gym and hairdressers.

    Cons

    Every department is different, I was in a Practice in Group Operations. The director has publicly stated his desire not to be a software house. I joined after a round of redundancies PRISM (branded restructuring) and left after another 'Working with partners'.

    Software development is now supposed to be delivered by 'partners' again this actually means software development has been outsourced to IBM, Accenture & TCS.

    You would have thought that Nationwide would have learned from the disaster that the Voyager programme was (led by IBM). But instead they think these 'IT specialists' can do it better than there thinly stretched internal teams. Which by now is probably true as it's died a death by a thousand cuts.

    The situation has been made worse by the fact that most of the senior management has been recruited from x-lloyds people. Who clearly believe outsourcing is the answer.

    They've done this outsourcing without having any robust Quality Assurance function in place beforehand - so don't have a measure of software quality before outsourcing so can't measure if it's being improved. I know of specific examples where it has got much worse. TCS being the main problem.

    Management is by fear, all senior managers have very slopey shoulders and don't want to be seen taking any accountability in case something goes wrong. I heard a rumour that the head of my practice had admitted he walked around with a resignation letter in his jacket. So he could have it to hand in a seconds notice. Really gives people a sense he's committed and believes in all the things he was trying to sell to his people.

    From talking to other people around the business, no one was happy. I hope that there is, and someone leaves a positive review. I just haven't meant them there.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I predict in 2015 that Nationwide Building Society will have a major IT incident in the news that will be directly attributable to the outsourcing if it's IT development. Once investigated by the FCA it will concluded that Nationwide has lost control of its IT estate and give it a large fine in the millions of pounds.

    Unfortunately I can't offer any advice on how to stop it from happening.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. Bank masquerading as a building society

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Representative in Norwich, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Customer Representative in Norwich, England (UK)

    I worked at Nationwide Building Society full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly atmosphere
    Reasonable levels of oversight
    Room for career progression

    Cons

    Pressure to hit sales targets dressed up as "helping our customers"
    Outdated software and systems
    High-level management more interested in making money than employee or customer welfare
    Compensation below market average

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remember: You're a building society NOT a bank. Customer's don't want flustered staff desperately trying to flog them credit cards and loans at the counter while a manage stands behind them with a clipboard to ensure targets are met.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful

    Promising start, disillusionment in the end

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst in Northampton, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Analyst in Northampton, England (UK)

    I worked at Nationwide Building Society full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Initially ticks all the boxes in respect of salary, prospects and training

    Cons

    Lack of progression in northampton
    Swindon centric
    Line management is at odds often with company ethos
    Managed prerformance ratings which impact pay and bonus
    Pressure, bordering on bullying at times
    Blame culture and often more focus on who's ultimately to blame than the issue in hand

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ensure that your selected top leaders actually practice the ethos and values you wish them to empart on their staff

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful

    Do not work at Nationwide if you are an intelligent hard worker who doesn't "play the game"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Quality Analyst in Bournemouth, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Quality Analyst in Bournemouth, England (UK)

    I have been working at Nationwide Building Society full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    1) Working 9-5.
    2) Lunch break along with two 15 minute breaks.
    3) Good colleagues for the most part.

    Cons

    1) The rating system is based around "Behaviours" and "Tasks". Behaviours has a lot more weight to it and unless you are willing to kiss up to the managers you will not get a large bonus, pay rise or promotion.
    2) Archaic company using old computer systems stuck in a red ocean strategy.
    3) Do not value higher education.
    4) Sexism - 65-70% of the workforce are women including most managers. Makes it harder for men to succeed who are just as capable if not more so.
    5) Lack of opportunity. Most roles in Swindon where obviously not many people want to live.
    6) Sychophantic culture.
    7) Low salaries. Benchmarks are at bottom of national average and in some cases even lower. Causes high staff churn and makes work less productive and efficient.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1) Move people into roles they are educated for and can succeed in.
    2) Place more/most emphasis on work and not how much you demonstrate "PRIDE" and being really happy and positive all the time.
    3) Understand the true value of your employees.
    4) More opportunities in other locations rather than just Swindon.
    5) Higher salaries.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  6. 3 people found this helpful

    Old fashioned way of working

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Swindon, Wiltshire, South West England, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Swindon, Wiltshire, South West England, England (UK)

    I worked at Nationwide Building Society full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Some of the culture is ok as long as long as you have the right staff.

    Cons

    A lot of the senior managers seem to make change for the sake of it. None or very little has anything to do with the business needs.

    Wrong people in the wrong roles.

    Not really customer focused.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Replace management with people who have real experience in the roles they have.

    Stop wasting money on things that aren't required.

    Departments need to work together not against.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful

    Let down

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Nationwide Building Society

    Pros

    Good pay and conditions, great people, good location. If you live near Swindon then you'll be ok, any where else keep looking.

    Cons

    Talk a good game on putting customer First and enabling employees, but it is just gloss. Management don't have a clue, and projects are run like a car crash.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop trying to be a bank, really believe that building societies are better.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful

    Very negative attitude. Disrespectful and unprofessional.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Customer Service Advisor in Swindon, Wiltshire, South West England, England (UK)
    Former Contractor - Customer Service Advisor in Swindon, Wiltshire, South West England, England (UK)

    I worked at Nationwide Building Society as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    Training is provided and there may be long term prospects for the right people. Nationwide encourage staff by rewarding them if nominated for good service. Promote charity events.

    Cons

    Bullying culture. Little support from Human Resources. Everything you say in confidence is talked about amongst the staff. Exclude people and ostracise them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Put some support in place for people who are experiencing difficulties within the company. Be honest about anti bullying policy. Tell people where they can go to get support. Take problems in the company amongst staff seriously.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful

    Nationwide - the PLC in 'mutual' sheepskin

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Nationwide Building Society

    Pros

    I worked with an absolutely amazing team, we all clicked immediately and worked together to create an amazing atmosphere for customers. I had an amazing boss. I cannot emphasise how important is this is. A poor boss at NBS will blame everyone but them selves.

    Cons

    Fluffy targets which are cloudy at best. Senior level managers who are so out of touch with reality. Chief executive who is more about penny pinching than innovation. Poor levels of promotion in rural areas. Would prefer to outsource than develop insiders. Does not reward customer service effectively. Poor salaries, nothing more than a housewives handbag salary. Very very poor union who is dangled by the strong of the chief execs

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let the branch managers run the branches not the upper managers who have no idea. Innovate innovate innovate! Reward loyal staff, and sort out the roundabout of staff. Properly staff branches!!! Pay overtime instead of unpaid. Be transparent !

  10. 1 person found this helpful

    Used to love it but now thinking of throwing in the towel

    Current Employee - Adminiatrator in Swindon, Wiltshire, South West England, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Adminiatrator in Swindon, Wiltshire, South West England, England (UK)

    I have been working at Nationwide Building Society full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great bunch of people very comitted to doing the best job they can

    Cons

    Seems that they are trying to drive out the older staff

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Older staff can learn just as well -they sometimes take a bit longer is all

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful

    Cheated

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Nationwide Building Society

    Pros

    Great values, good oppertunities for the right people. Pay is fair.

    Cons

    The oppertunities were only available if your face fits, and you were based in the right building. I worked there as a temp and got on well for well over a year. I was given an oppertunity on a permenant contract and within 6 months was told that I didn't pass probation. Turns out they wanted the role based in the Swindon office. Even the union felt it was wrong that I was let go.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make your management team play fair. Take the advise of both the union and the case management team.

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