Lloyds has admitted that some of the questions in its recent flexibility survey were rigged and it won’t be publishing those results.

When announcing the results of the survey, Ms Sharon Doherty said: “We also heard how some of you felt that a number of the questions, particularly those which had the sliding scale, felt imbalanced or leading. This was not our intention.”. She goes on to say: “… the responses to the sliding scale questions have not been included in the results”.

In our Newsletter criticising the survey, we said:

“Some of the questions are loaded so that staff are forced to make choices without sufficient categories to allow them to say what they really think. That’s deliberate. An example of this is the opposing statements section. One of the opposing statements says: ‘Upskilling and developing others is not my responsibility’ or ‘I take personal action to support colleagues to upskill and develop through face to face interactions’. We have highlighted the biased wording. It’s a forced question which produces an inevitable bias because respondents who support, upskill and develop their colleagues remotely are forced to choose an answer which doesn’t reflect what they actually do.

So, according to the bank’s survey Lloyds staff are either selfish or selfless. How about this corker? ‘I prioritise my needs when deciding where and how I work’ [Selfish member of staff] or ‘I balance the needs of the business, my team and customers when deciding where and how I work’ [Selfless member of staff]. Is it not possible for a Lloyds member of staff to balance their needs and the needs of the business, customers and team when deciding where to work? Staff have been doing that quite successfully for the last few years. Again, this is another biased question designed to pit staff against each other and force a desired answer that Lloyds can spin”.

Ms Doherty should be commended for admitting that some of the survey questions were biased and for not trying to spin the results to suit the bank’s narrative. However, the conclusions being drawn from survey seem to be that it’s for line managers to sort out. Whilst the overwhelming majority of staff get on well with their line managers and can talk to them about flexible working and compressed hours, it’s not for them to solve the problems created by Mr Nunn and Ms Doherty. The source of the problem lies on the executive floor in Gresham Street, nowhere else.

More worryingly for Mr Nunn is that 50% of Lloyds staff are not convinced by the bank’s arguments that it needs to change the way it does “things in order to transform the Lloyds Banking Group” or that it needs to “up the pace” when it comes to responding to external threats. Those figures don’t bode well for Mr Nunn’s growth agenda.

In the light of the findings the bank needs to reconsider its policy on flexible working and compressed hours now.

Members with any questions on this Newsletter should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868 (choose Option 1).


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