In the run-up to Christmas, Lloyds Banking Group thought it would be a good idea to tell 2,800 members of staff working in platform teams that they are being included in yet another selection exercise which could result in them being made redundant and their jobs shipped off to India.
Lloyds says that it is: “unable to give a final breakdown of the impacts until we’ve been through the selection process”. Does anyone believe that? Lloyds knows exactly how many and which jobs are going. Equally, it knows where those jobs are moving to and that includes how many are going to the new IT Centre in India. Although we suspect that Lloyds will try its hardest to keep that number a secret for fear of creating a political backlash. Rest assured, we’ll find out.
Let’s be clear the timing of this announcement will not be a coincidence. Clearly, the move has been planned to exert maximum pressure on staff at a time when they will feel most vulnerable… the run up to Christmas.
That worry of will I / won’t I have a job is being amplified by the fact that many line managers, most of whom will be trying to do their best to support staff whilst potentially at risk themselves, have been given scant information to pass on to staff.
The ambiguity, lack of transparency on job cuts and timing inevitably generates one thing for staff in the platform teams: fear!
And the reasons for the proposed changes haven’t been detailed coherently by any member of the GEC. Ms Opperman, CEO, Consumer Relationships and Mr van Kemenade, Chief Operating Officer, talk about “pivotal moment” but didn’t explain what that means. Equally, the Bank talks about needing to “accelerate our transformation”; “we need to pick up the pace” and “we need to go faster” but again, what does that mean and why does the so-called ‘transformation’ need to be accelerated? Where is the pressure coming from? Simply regurgitating words and phrases you’ve heard from a management consultant is not good enough anymore. In trying to justify the disastrous engagement score, which we will cover in a Newsletter next week, Ms Doherty, Chief People and Places Officer, said: “What we’re also hearing is that we need to do more to help everyone understand why things need to change.”
More important is for the Bank needs to be open and honest with staff and it isn’t. We’ve said it before but Lloyds needs to publish its staffing requirements and open voluntary severance registers for each business unit. Lloyds can then identify the jobs that are going with the staff that want to leave, and everyone else can get on with up-skilling ready for the future. Why is Lloyds not opening registers for the platform teams?
We will be returning to this announcement in future Newsletters. In the meantime, members with any questions on this Newsletter should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868 (choose Option 1).
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