“We listened to what was going on in the organisation, and one of the things we heard was as the bank moves towards this digital technology ambition a lot of our older colleagues were feeling a bit left behind, that if they couldn’t get to grips with this technology then their career was over and the future was pretty bleak. It was really quite a depressing thing for them. So we put together a swat team of digital experts who would visit our branches and show people how to use an iPad, how to get quickly into applications and the benefits of using that technology. It was enormously successful. It transformed colleague engagement and those branches became outperforming branches. Then the people who had been through the process said ‘our customers need this too’. We started to train up those people who had been trained and called it Digital Eagles, and we gave our colleagues permission to talk to customers. We now have 12,000 Digital Eagles across our branches who regularly run coding workshops, tea and teach sessions, and going into people’s homes. Yes we hope people will use online banking because it’ll be a better experience but that’s not why we have done it. We’ve done it from a place of not wanting to be left behind and recognising within our organisation a feeling people had that if they weren’t at the forefront of technology then they were being left behind. And we just brought that to life. But that didn’t start at the top, our colleagues chose that to be a real flagship for us as an organisation.”
Tim Hulbert, Barclays

 

 

In order to define their purpose, Barclays looked internally to see what function their business served in the social sphere. Banks help people to progress their lives, to buy homes, to expand businesses. The bank’s day-to-day practises led to their purpose becoming “helping people to achieve their ambitions in the right way.”

Rather than leave this as a rousing internal slogan, Barclays have worked to make it an active role they play in culture. They have found a cause they can galvanise around, and act as activists to make cultural difference. Barclays identified what they wanted to change.

They realised that the digital age risked making life more difficult for people at both ends of society - the old and the young - and they adopted an agenda for change around “leaving no one behind.” This strongly held opinion transcends their category, but is unique to them, and is something they have the power to make a difference to.

Finding the Sweet Spot of Commercial, Social and Cultural

Barclays championing of this cause has never been about CSR or philanthropy. Instead it is a behaviour that does social good, enables a cultural impact, and is also commercially savvy. They have a strong belief in the idea of shared growth, recognising that what is good for society is good for them. “If society prospers, we prosper.” BARCLAYS.

Backing Up Belief With Deeds

This campaign was never about words. It was backed up from the very start with tangible action. Digital Eagles enables older people to interact with the internet, Life Skills helps young people get the skills and experiences they need to enter the world of work, and the Code Playground got kids involved with computer programming. Life Skills alone has now reach over 1 million people, and Barclays trusted their networks to create buzz and to get the message out.

 

Backing Up Belief With Deeds

This campaign was never about words. It was backed up from the very start with tangible action. Digital Eagles enables older people to interact with the internet, Life Skills helps young people get the skills and experiences they need to enter the world of work, and the Code Playground got kids involved with computer programming. Life Skills alone has now reach over 1 million people, and Barclays trusted their networks to create buzz and to get the message out.

 

Barclays Digital Eagles

At the end of 2014, Barclays started a new initiative which saw staff train the elderly in how to use digital technology to simplify their lives. Staff in branch would help customers use iPads, teach them how to use Facebook and Skype to get in touch with family from the comfort of their own homes, and how to use various internet banking tools.

In communications, Barclays demonstrated how they had helped a local group of elderly men start up a walking football league. Barclays are seen to help the group use iPads to recruit new members and Facebook to find new teams to play. Walking football is now a fully fledged league, in part due to Barclays’ support.

Barclays are well fitted to the future world where creating cultural value will become increasingly important as people look to corporations to provide initiatives with social benefits, benefits which go beyond fulfilling just a service. By understanding that people aren’t interested in finance but the role of the bank as an enabler to living better lives Barclays is able to have a significant cultural impact on society.  A relegated sense of importance, placing the individual at the centre of their activities, Barclays are well fitted to a future where people are going to be more reliant on corporations to fulfil their ambitions.

Understanding What Matters to the People you Serve

In choosing to play this Cultural Role, Barclays managed to satisfy the unmet or unrealised needs of a wide range of the people they serve. From the individuals who were prevented from being left behind, to the communities around them, to the businesses that understand the future need for highly skilled employees, Barclays have found a cause that matters deeply to the people that matter most to them.

Using What You’ve Got

“Barclays are committed to building the brand from the inside out.” BARCLAYS

 In taking on this Cultural Role, Barclays have smartly applied what they already had in their artillery.

Rather than invest in entirely new resources, they decided to talk about initiatives that were already taking place in the business. They made the most of the fact that they people in every branch that already had the necessary skills.

Barclays Code Playground

Alongside their Digital Eagles programme, Barclays also started Code Playground, a web app which teaches young children how to code basic commands. The interface is very user friendly and child centric. Children can programme cartoon figures to perform simple commands (such as walking, dancing, making sounds, interacting with each other etc).

The initiative supports government led campaigns to introduce coding skills to children through schooling.

In communications, children are seen enjoying their experiences with the coding interface. One ad tellingly sees children educate their parents in how to code.

The Code Playground helps parents to ensure their children are ready for a future which is likely to demand coding skills alongside traditional interpersonal and IT skills for success. Barclays sit in the background, providing the tools for others to use and benefit from. Barclays are enabling children (and their parents) meet the ambition of being ready for a digital future.

Barclays Life Skills

Life Skills is a series of online training programmes aimed at helping young people  get the skills they need to success in the future. There are materials which help people with finding a job (eg. CV guides, finding job ads, how to present yourself in interviews etc.) as well as more general skills (eg.  How to plan finances).

Life Skills provides resources for teachers and recruiters as well as young people. Tools for teachers and recruiters aim to help them understand the pressures and difficulties this generation of young people are bringing with them to interviews and education. This support works to bridge the knowledge gap between young people and their seniors.

Life Skills aims to help young people fulfil their ambitions for the future, whether that be landing a great job or being more in control of their lives by knowing how to control their finances. Barclays helps the individual be the star of the show, helping them on their way to success.

Download Case Study

 

“We listened to what was going on in the organisation, and one of the things we heard was as the bank moves towards this digital technology ambition a lot of our older colleagues were feeling a bit left behind, that if they couldn’t get to grips with this technology then their career was over and the future was pretty bleak. It was really quite a depressing thing for them. So we put together a swat team of digital experts who would visit our branches and show people how to use an iPad, how to get quickly into applications and the benefits of using that technology. It was enormously successful. It transformed colleague engagement and those branches became outperforming branches. Then the people who had been through the process said ‘our customers need this too’. We started to train up those people who had been trained and called it Digital Eagles, and we gave our colleagues permission to talk to customers. We now have 12,000 Digital Eagles across our branches who regularly run coding workshops, tea and teach sessions, and going into people’s homes. Yes we hope people will use online banking because it’ll be a better experience but that’s not why we have done it. We’ve done it from a place of not wanting to be left behind and recognising within our organisation a feeling people had that if they weren’t at the forefront of technology then they were being left behind. And we just brought that to life. But that didn’t start at the top, our colleagues chose that to be a real flagship for us as an organisation.”
Tim Hulbert, Barclays