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Customer Stories

Leading the way: how Arbuthnot Latham revolutionised their employee experience to drive positive change across the business



Arbuthnot Latham offers private banking, commercial banking, and wealth management services. They are a relationship-led bank, working with clients to focus on their long-term goals.

Established in 1833, Arbuthnot Latham & Co., Ltd have more than 500 employees, located across several UK offices. Alongside the core business, there are four additional subsidiaries: Renaissance Asset Finance, Arbuthnot Specialist Finance Limited, Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending, and the newly-acquired Asset Alliance Group.


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89 - 90% response rate
93% (up 28%) feel the company considers the wellbeing of its employees
90% (up 21%) feel the company provides a great service to its clients
86% (up 20%) agree senior managers of the company have clearly communicated a future direction

The Problem

Back in 2016, Arbuthnot Latham began working with WorkBuzz on their annual employee survey. Their goal was to become an “even better place to work,” and they wanted to understand key employee challenges.

Changes to the HR team structure in 2019 resulted in the appointment of Andrew Dagger as Group HR Director. He implemented an HR Business Partner Model, with Catriona Mackay Miller and Natalie Isherwood supporting their respective business areas.

The team reviewed the historical survey data and identified some useful insights.

Communication, wellbeing, reward and recognition, diversity and inclusion, and IT infrastructure had regularly been highlighted as areas of improvement across the surveys. However, little had been done internally to address these issues, which in turn was impacting employee experience as well as client experience and retention.

A change of approach was needed.

The Solution

The 2019 “Your Say” survey was an opportunity for the HR team to gain an understanding of what employees wanted and needed from the business. The core objective of the survey remained the same, to make Arbuthnot Latham an “even better place to work,” but with greater emphasis on acting on the feedback provided, not just listening to it.

The intel gained from the survey would be used to drive key HR strategies and initiatives across the organisation. To support this, the responses needed to translate into tangible actions.

With the new survey goals and required outcome in mind, WorkBuzz worked with the business to create a set of unique questions which would be used to get a real understanding around the key employee challenges previously identified.

Once the new-look survey was designed, it was then distributed via the WorkBuzz platform. Arbuthnot Latham have always received a good response rate, but this survey had one of the highest, coming in at 90%.

Here were some key findings from the 2019 survey and what the business did to address them:


The survey highlighted a desire for all employees to have an improved understanding of the future direction and business strategy of the company.

To achieve this, a Communications Manager was appointed. A new Senior Leadership Team was also formed in late 2019. The team meet on a quarterly basis to discuss updates on the business and plans for the future. Following these meetings, key points are summarised and shared with everyone in the business via email.

A brand refresh was launched in August 2020 and shared across all the offices, with emphasis on brand narrative and visual identity.

To further integrate the brand subsidiaries, a “drop in” event was hosted in London. This gave staff an opportunity to learn more about the businesses and establish key contacts.

The company also relaunched the internal intranet. The newly-designed portal was created to optimise business practices and improve efficiency of communication. It now provides a hub for all business-related content and updates.


Another notable theme across the survey was around employee wellbeing. Arbuthnot Latham understand the importance of all-round employee wellbeing and how that filters down to workplace performance, and therefore were keen to address these areas of concern as quickly as possible.

A new employee wellbeing strategy was created, with focus on four key wellbeing pillars; Our bodies, Our finances. Our minds and Our connections:

  • All employees have access to a mental wellbeing mobile app to support with mental health
  • All employees are eligible to be covered by private medical insurance, with the excess recently being reduced by 50%
  • A mentoring platform is now available to all employees
  • Company-wide fitness challenge completed in early 2021 which had high levels of engagement. Recently launched an ‘active hub’, with company-wide events as well as flexibility for teams to create their own challenges, to continue to build engagement in this area.
  • Mental health training for line managers has been available for all to access during mental health training and going forward will become a core element of the new manager induction.
  • A new pension provider launched earlier in 2021. One of the key objectives of this change was to provide better financial education and support with pensions to all employees.
  • Wellbeing Best Practice Group set up, led by Andrew and the team with engagement from key stakeholders across this business. This has been key to staying close to the core wellbeing issues as well as supporting and driving engagement in central initiatives.

Reward and recognition

Reward and recognition was another key topic, with a need to provide greater transparency and structure to ensure Arbuthnot’s remuneration and benefits were seen to be fair and competitive for the sector.

They engaged with an external rewards consultant who worked across the business to create a bespoke plan to suit employees. Whilst the pandemic has caused some delays, the outcome of the project is due to be implemented in Q1, 2022.

The company has continued to enhance a deliver an annual employee recognition event, taking place in the first quarter of each year for the last three years. There are now were five awards up for grabs, with consistently over 200 nominations received across all categories. The focus of the awards is to celebrate colleagues who have gone above and beyond for the business.

Diversity & Inclusion

A consistent message across the survey was the need to review the current maternity/adoption and paternity pay packages.

The existing policies were assessed, updated, and then significantly enhanced to emphasise the support Arbuthnot Latham gives to their employees during this important stage of family life, and to enable people to continue their careers.
Enhancements were also made to the shared parental leave policy.

The Outcome

With the new initiatives in place, the recent 2021 survey results saw massive improvements across the key employee experience challenges, with some excellent gains across wellbeing, client satisfaction and communication:

  • 91% are proud to work at Arbuthnot Latham
  • 91% feel supported by their manager
  • 93% (up 28%) feel the company considers the wellbeing of its employee
  • 90% (up 21%) feel the company provides a great service to its clients
  • 86% (up 20%) agree senior managers of the company have clearly communicated a future direction
  • 5-star employee award received from WorkBuzz

Moving forward, Arbuthnot Latham still follow the annual survey approach but also run on-demand polls for various topics to support their on-going listening strategy. The next pulse survey will focus on Diversity & Inclusion.

“WorkBuzz have been incredibly helpful throughout the transformation of our employee listening strategy. The flexibility of the platform and their valuable insights has allowed Arbuthnot to grasp what’s important to our employees and use this information to drive initiatives to improve employee experience – which in turn makes my job much easier.”

Catriona Mackay Miller, HR Business Partner

“My remit when joining Arbuthnot Latham was to deep dive into the HR challenges and develop a long-term strategy on how to address them. The WorkBuzz platform has allowed me to achieve this by providing actionable insights that tell the full story of what is detracting from a positive employee experience. The benchmarking functionality has also been well received by our senior management team and is used as a driver for improvement. There will always be more that can be done, but I’m delighted with the 2021 engagement survey results as they demonstrate positive progress for the business.” 

Andrew Dagger, Group HR Director

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