Is this Nationwide?

At first I thought it must be some sort of joke.

Well, you would, wouldn’t you.

But apparently not.

Here’s me strolling through Rugby High Street today, 9.00am or thereafter, and something catches my eye in the window of the town’s branch of Nationwide.

Nationwide Rugby. A new approach to staff motivation

Here there is the staff members standing around in a circle, obviously being pep-talked by their eager branch manager, customer service guru or general over-enthusiastic sales champion into selling the latest life assurance product to children or credit card to the elderly. That was a touch strange in itself (why not sit everyone down like anyone else?)

It’s what next which had me laughing and staring in blind bewilderment in equal measure

The ‘circle of staff’ comes together in a huddle.

Yes, a huddle. Similar to what you’ll see at any football ground across the country.

A huddle. A coming together of all parts of the circle with arms draped around each other’s shoulders.

Admittedly I had to have a second and then third loo to make sure the coffee had kicked in and I was fully awake. And to make absolutely sure this strangest of staff motivation exercises was also confirmed by an independent witness of a delivery driver, who equally looked at me in something of a surprised look.

Strange but very real and very true.

And you wonder why our banks, building societies and other high street financial institutions get such a bad press by carrying on like this.

Is this a common occurrence in your local high street bank, and is staff morale that low?

Greedy bankers was and still is one thing. But downright bizarre shows of this nature – and in full view of the general public, certainly don’t help their cause.

Well, their slogan not so long back was ‘dare to be different’.

You can certainly say that.

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