Nationwide 360 degree feedback case study

  • Company:
  • Solution: 360 programme allows people to own their development
  • Result: Hugely positive response helping to focus on key strategic behaviours

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Nationwide is the world’s biggest building society and has enjoyed sustained and impressive growth in recent years.

ETS has worked with Nationwide since 2011 after being selected to partner with them on 360 degree feedback


When we started working with Nationwide in 2011, they wanted to improve their ability to identify, develop and retain future leaders within the business. To do this, they needed a new, more intuitive 360 degree feedback tool.

In 2014, having announced a new five-year people strategy, Nationwide briefed us to update the 360 degree feedback programme in accordance with their new plans.

Sian Ferguson, Leadership Development at Nationwide, explains:

“We wanted to work with ETS and our business to refresh our 360 degree feedback process, moving to a more situational-based development tool offering individuals, managers and Nationwide real insights into behavioural profiles. This supports a broader move to enabling individuals to drive their development and stimulate a wider coaching culture.”

The new 360 would be open to middle managers and first line managers.



We designed Nationwide’s 360 degree feedback programme and questionnaire to match the three core areas of focus in the group’s behavioural framework. This involved us working with a levelled competency framework, using the senior manager/specialist level as the basis of the questionnaire. This strategic alignment would ensure the relevance of 360 results in developing skills effectively.

It was equally important that the look and feel and processes within the 360 resonated with Nationwide and our ‘best fit’ approach meant that we could incorporate these things seamlessly.

Evolution of the questionnaire

We revised the 360 questionnaire to better reflect Nationwide’s changed tone of voice, writing questions in a more engaging, straightforward style to ensure a common language with their other people programmes.

Updating the system

Together with the team at Nationwide, we implemented a number of other changes to help leaders and their feedback providers to get the most from the 360 degree feedback programme. This included halving the completion time of the questionnaire in response to feedback.


The 360 tool that ETS devised for Nationwide offers a broad range of reporting functions. Like the rest of the system, we made changes to the 360 reports to ensure they better fit the business needs.

Nationwide was keen that the reports reflected situational leadership and moved away from ‘good’ and ‘bad’ language to something more meaningful and relevant to peoples’ roles. For example, how visibly certain behaviour is displayed and how effective this is for roles.

Individual reports now offer a high level view of self and others’ ratings aligned to each behaviour; each behaviour having three questions associated to it, thus helping to focus development actions.


At Nationwide, the output of the 360 is being used in the following ways:

  • At an individual level – to inform development planning
  • To view a team behavioural profile to drive development for a group of individuals
  • At an organisational level – to understand or analyse the behavioural profile of different groups.

Sian Ferguson comments:

“It’s still early days but we’re really confident that the changes to our 360 degree feedback programme will bring greater value both to individuals and our business by supporting both performance and development.”