Change Management: A Case Of Rbs Bank’s Struggles Essay Samples

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Development, Organization, Management, Workplace, System, Change Management, Human Resource Management, Banking

Pages: 7

Words: 1925

Published: 2021/02/26


In the modern world, the only constant is change. Change is a continuous process, and those organizations that cannot keep up with it usually find themselves in trouble and struggling for their survival. Many organizations of the past suffered because they were unable to keep themselves updated with the external environment and changing needs of the times. Therefore, modern organizations are very cautious and they have made organizational development and change management an integral part of their management process. Many organizations now have a dedicated department that is constantly formulating, planning, and implementing the change strategies within the organizations. Sometimes, outside consultants are also hired to make sure that the process of change is implemented in the organization swiftly and without any problems or struggles. Since change is not very easy, in the first phase, it is important to make sure that forces that can resist to the change process are neutralized or eliminated. Once this is done, the organization can move towards embracing the change process that will improve the overall functioning of the organization.
Organizational change means changing the way human resource in an organization acts and performs its duties. The culture in an organization is usually developed by top leadership which is translated to the production workers or managers at the lower level of the hierarchy. Any organization that fails to develop a unique culture fails to communicate its value to its customers and hence loses its vividness in the eyes of its customers. In the 21st, the concept is more important than ever before because of the intensive competition by firms. Not only the firms in the same country are fighting for a same job, but outsourcing has included the foreign firms also in the fight for a job that comes to the market. In the midst of so heavy competition, it has become increasingly important for firms to “Break through the clutter”. No firm can break through the clutter or become vivid unless it has something other than that the conventional competition is offering. Many firms, as a result, have increased their focus on organizational change and development. Many are trying to develop a culture that will help them gain an edge over their competition. Organizational Culture, apart from helping an organization in all of these, also help helps an organization in developing the ideal characteristics of its workforce overtime without having to incur the heavy training expense that also entails loss of productivity and may lead to boredom and job turnover. It is also suggest by organizational behavior experts to develop a long term strategy based on an organizational culture in order to achieve firm’s targets and goals. The long term strategy can be supplemented by incorporating several training regimes that are used to make sure that the organizational culture has been properly engraved into the conscience of the workers and everyone in the organization is following the same culture that is yielding synergy and resulting in achievement in difficult tasks and goals which are not possible unless everyone in the organization is following the same culture.


The example of RBS or Royal Bank of Scotland can be used here to demonstrate the need, plan, and outcomes of the change. Royal Bank of Scotland is the eighth largest bank in the world. It has employees throughout the world each with different culture and different mindset. The level of technology and systems used in each of these countries is different. As a result, it is very difficult to implement such a large scale change in such a diverse and global organization. The true spirit of change management can also be understood by looking at the organization that is operating in more than one country.
The case study of this large bank can also be very useful in understand the course of action and strategy undertaken to implement the change. The case study is based on the implementation of PIMMS (Performance Improvement Management Module) which was the productivity improvement system designed to improve the operational efficiency in the organization. It was an in-house developed system, and used intranet to make sure that all the employees are giving their 100% to the organization, and that there are no lapses in their performance and productivity. The competition is so intense these days that only those organizations that are working at 100% operational efficiency can compete with their counterparts. RBS being one of the largest banks in the world needed to improve its efficiency, and it also needed to eliminate any operation weaknesses from the system to make sure that it could sustain its position of market leader.
The catalyst for the change was the size of the bank. It had grown very large, and it was literally impossible for managers to monitor the productivity of all the employees. Technology was needed to solve the problem. RBS had 14000 employees at the time worldwide, and the floor and area managers find it extremely difficult to monitor the productivity of all the workers under them. Another catalyst for the change was the improvement in the information technology. It was possible for the company to use an intranet to help them achieve full productivity of their workers. As a result, the company decided to implement the system. The system was implemented for only fourteen hundred employees in the first phase, and later it was implemented for the overall staff working in the organization worldwide. The system was treated as a driver for improvement in the overall working conditions of the organization. It quickly collated all the data relating to an employee, and suggested where this employee can be placed depending upon the number of his absences and amount of work that worker has turned in. It was believed that this system was like a car’s dashboard, and the managers could immediately identify where the business was slow, and where it was good.


The implementation strategy of the system followed by Royal Bank of Scotland was very simple. They first implemented a pilot/test programme instead of launching the system organization. The initial test phase was for two months. It was initially launch for 600 employees at first, and after the successful completion of this phase, it was immediately rolled out to fourteen thousand employees worldwide.
Another important feature of the strategy was that the new system was developed in modules. In other words, it was divided into separate programmes or system for staff level, management level, and reporting suite. The team implemented a strategy that focused on test each module separately before rolling out the next module. This prevented a sudden and drastic change in the organization, and made sure that the people who have to work in the organization does not feel it is a major or drastic change, and it made sure that it does not bring the users of these modules out of their comfort zone. Instead, everything was planned in phases, and after the completion of one phase successfully, the next phase of PIMMS was rolled out. In other words, the system was implemented in the organization using the modular approach. Only after the one module was fully implemented, the next module was started. (Watson and Teelken, 2014)


Another important feature of the programme was face to face training to make sure that people are not scared of the sudden change. The change managers/implementers of the new system made sure that the users of this programme had enough knowledge which will allow them operate the system successfully. Instead of telling them what keys to process, the change implementers explained entire system to the users, and also briefed them on why it was necessary to bring about such a change. This reduced the level of resistance against this change, and made sure that people willingly accepted it for the betterment of the organization, and betterment of their career and work development. (Hobbs, 2013)
Another important step taken by the change managers was to tell the KPIs of each of their work task to the departmental and area managers. This made sure that these people were more proactive in utilizing their resources than ever before. It also helped the organization achieve its objectives from implementing the change.
The project has been a great success to Royal Bank of Scotland. The cost of the project is justified in the results that the organization was able to achieve after the implementation of change. The volume of work, and efficiency in the usage of resources increased greatly. As a result of this, the organization saved a lot of money, and was able to produce more work. This helped the organization to grow, and currently the market capitalization of the bank has crossed $50 billion mark.
The project also helped the organization in roistering of staff. All the staff from unnecessary activities was moved to valued added and customer centric activities. This helped the bank in increasing the per employee revenue of the bank. (Pietrse, 2012)


Although the change process was immediately a success and faced very little resistance from the people affected from the change, there are some more strategies that can be used by the organization to make sure that the future change processes are managed more appropriately. There should be a taskforce that should be recruited from the workers in the different department of the organization. It will provide the voice of people who have to go through the change process in the implementation and development of a change strategy. This team will keep in mind the needs of the workers, and will tell the change managers and top managers regarding the fears of the workers. It will make sure that any chances of future resistance are minimized, and the process of organizational change is well received by the workers and lower level of management. Change implementer should also conduct workforce regarding the changes in the technology. It will ensure that any future initiative by the banks to implement the new technology in the organization is well received by the works, and it will make sure that people will lower their guard and will be more willing to accept the change. (Cummings and Worley, 2014)


In the end, it can be concluded that change management is a long term process. In the short term, good organizations try to implement the change at a small level. Only a sample or small percentage of the total number of employees has to go through the change process. If this phase is successful, then the larger proportion of the organization has to go through the change process. Again, if there are not hurdles or problems in the change process, then the change is implemented at the organization wide level. This is a proper approach to the change management process. If the change management is implemented at a large scale at once, it will cause problems. Small problems in the change process will also cause big interruptions. Therefore, it is necessary to implement the change at a small level or a smaller scale to weed out the problems, and once everything is perfect, then the change is implemented at the organization wide level. This will not only increase the efficiency of the organization, but it will also ensure that unnecessary interruptions in the change process are eliminated, and only the final product which is perfected through trial and error reaches the organization wide level.
The change management is a difficult process. However, due to the professionalism within the ranks of RBS and its competent staff, there were no major hurdles. It is a perfect case study of how a good change management process should be implemented. It also tells the organizations that have to change their system of how to go about things in order to succeed.


Cummings, T., & Worley, C. Organization development & change.
Hobbs, J. (2013). Change Management in Modern Firms. Journal Of Change Management, 32(2), 43-50.
Metre, C. (2011). Deriving Value From Change Management. Journal Of Change Management, 3(2), 32-40.
Pietrse, H. (2012). Professional Discourse and Resistance to Change. Journal Of Organizational Change Management, 25(6), 800-815.
Watson, M., & Teelken, C. (2014). Coping Strategies of Professionals in Emerging Change Processes: An Empirical View. Journal Of Change Management, 3(1), 429-435.

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