A unique crossroads. Challenging and interesting. On a difficult journey.
These are some of the ways team members described Wells Fargo and their work environment in a survey conducted by the company in late 2018 as part of its ongoing commitment to rebuild trust with its stakeholders.
The new Team Member Experience Survey, the results of which were shared by CEO Tim Sloan during a companywide Town Hall meeting last month, reflect team members’ belief in Wells Fargo’s Vision, Values & Goals — as well as their commitment to the work that is still underway to strengthen the company.
“We’ve been working hard to transform our company over the past two years,” Sloan said. “This survey was the first of its kind for Wells Fargo, and the way we will assess, communicate, and act on results will look different than it has for past annual team member surveys. Team members’ honest, candid feedback is absolutely essential as we continue to advance our goal of being an employer of choice and a financial services leader.”
Every active Wells Fargo team member was invited to participate in the confidential survey; more than half participated, providing insight on Wells Fargo’s cultural strengths while helping pinpoint areas where the company should continue to focus as it continues through its transformation.
The survey included a mix of external and internal benchmark questions, which gives Wells Fargo the opportunity to measure team members’ experiences against both global financial services industry peers and internal survey trends. The questions were graded on a 5-point scale, with 4s and 5s ranked as favorable, 3s as neutral, and 1s and 2s as unfavorable; this approach is similar to those used in past internal surveys.
A third-party consulting firm with deep expertise in this field managed the survey on behalf of Wells Fargo. The firm administered the survey and worked with Wells Fargo to divide its 49 questions into seven categories. The consulting firm then aggregated the results and organized them to facilitate benchmarking against the norm; some of our results were above the global financial services norm, and some were below.
Showing the effects of change
Overall, team members who responded are satisfied with the company and enjoy working at Wells Fargo. They appreciate the company’s focus on championing diversity and inclusion, and most have strong relationships with their managers and team. They also believe the company conducts its business activities with honesty and integrity.
Team member feedback also demonstrates the uncertainty and concerns that occur during periods of significant change. As part of ongoing efforts to build a better bank, Wells Fargo has made a series of changes over the past two years, including implementing a new organizational structure that streamlines what was historically a decentralized operation and strengthens risk and compliance measures. The company has also eliminated product sales goals for retail bankers and in call centers, and made significant investments in technology and innovation for improving the customer and team member experience.
Team members believe the changes will result in a better company, and want to help the company succeed — the results show that 95 percent of team members are willing to put in a great deal of effort to help Wells Fargo succeed.
The results by category
- Overall satisfaction (three questions). This category reflects the overall sentiment of team members within the company. Wells Fargo’s score is on par with the norm. Most team members are satisfied working at Wells Fargo and with their jobs — for example, the results for the question “I believe Wells Fargo is a great place to work” were 72 percent favorable, 20 percent neutral, and 8 percent unfavorable.
- Sustainable engagement (nine questions). This category measures whether team members feel connected, valued, and inspired. Most team members indicated they are willing to make extra effort on behalf of the company and other team members, but indicate that they face challenges in doing their job well; 25 percent answered unfavorable when asked if there were no substantial obstacles at work to doing their job well, versus 12 percent neutral and 63 percent favorable. However, the vast majority believe strongly in Wells Fargo’s Vision, Values & Goals; this question’s results were 91 percent favorable, 6 percent neutral, and 2 percent unfavorable.
- Brand and community (eight questions). This category measures how team members feel about how business activities are conducted and whether the company is moving in the right direction. Team members shared that they take pride in working at Wells Fargo and are motivated to go above and beyond to meet and exceed the needs of each other, our customers, and our community. When asked if they were willing to put in a great deal of effort to help Wells Fargo succeed, 95 percent answered favorable, 4 percent neutral, and 1 percent unfavorable.
- Manager effectiveness (five questions). This category assesses whether team members feel supported by their immediate manager — the person they report to on a day-to-day basis. Local-level relationships are strong, and most team members feel that their immediate manager does a good job; 72 percent answered favorable when asked if their managers take the necessary time to support their personal development, versus 15 percent neutral and 13 percent unfavorable.
- Organization and leadership (nine questions). This category focuses on whether team members feel like their input is valued, and if senior leadership — the highest level of management at Wells Fargo — is perceived to behave consistently with Wells Fargo’s core values. Team members want senior leaders to better understand the obstacles team members face on their jobs; when asked this question, 38 percent answered favorable, 26 percent neutral, and 37 percent unfavorable. Team members also want senior leaders to commit to taking action based on feedback, and to consider team member input when making business decisions — for the latter question, 49 percent answered favorable, 29 percent neutral, and 22 percent unfavorable.
- Systems, processes, policies (five questions). This category looks at whether team members feel they have the resources to put the customer at the center of everything they do, including tools, equipment, information, and collaborative support from fellow team members. Team members indicate that they are looking for support in removing obstacles they face when doing their jobs every day and would like to continue to see technology modernized and for the company to provide the right tools for the right jobs. Also, team members don’t always see a link between job performance and pay — responses were 51 percent favorable that there was a clear link between the two, 23 percent neutral, and 26 percent unfavorable — and they would like to see clearer paths for career advancement.
- Well-being (10 questions). This category measures whether team members feel supported in pursuing their career objectives, as well as clearly linking their performance goals to the company’s Vision, Values & Goals. Team members generally understand how their operating areas contribute to Wells Fargo’s success — 90 percent answered favorable versus 7 percent neutral and 3 percent unfavorable. However, many are not sure how their individual performance goals are linked to company goals — 72 percent answered favorable, 17 percent neutral, and 11 percent unfavorable — and 71 percent said they knew what skills they need to develop in order to advance their career at their organization (17 percent answered neutral, 12 percent unfavorable). Many team members did share that they have strong working relationships at the team level.
Members of Wells Fargo’s Operating Committee have pledged to review all 77,842 comments submitted and are currently reviewing results for their respective organizations; they will communicate those results, as well as actions they plan to take to increase transparency, listening, and engagement with team members. In May 2019, team members will get a chance to provide feedback on these efforts, as the Team Member Experience Survey is conducted again and it steps into its annual May deployment cadence.
“It takes time to effectively implement change,” said Vanessa Walsh, head of Wells Fargo Talent Development and Organizational Effectiveness. “The first step in any transformation is defining where you want to go and then determining where you are and charting a course of action. There is nobody better to tell us where we are than our team members, and their feedback and ideas are the primary way we will move forward.”