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How Progressive Building Society are laying strong foundations when it comes to staff welfare

Ailsa McNeill, Head of HR, Progressive Building Society
Sponsored by: Progressive Building Society

As Northern Ireland’s largest locally-owned financial institution, we are proud of our origins and heritage and remain committed to helping local people with savings and mortgages. Progressive places people at the heart of everything it does, and our ethos of respect, commitment and support transcends across our employment practices and procedures and is recognised and welcomed by staff across all 12 of our branches.


Investing in staff

Our continued professional development programme is aimed at ensuring that our members have positive experiences when interacting with branch and head office personnel. All staff undertake a programme of core regulatory, governance and ethics training which underpins our approach to assuring ethical conduct. Last year our ongoing investment in the development of our staff was recognised when we were awarded the Belfast Telegraph Business Award for Excellence in the Development of Management and Leadership.


Gold recognition

As an accredited Investors In People organisation, we invest in the welfare and talents of our staff to ensure that the society has a fully committed and talented workforce. We have participated in a number of assessment methods that provided the evidence to map our people management processes against the Investors in People Standard’s nine indicators as part of our reaccreditation journey. This has seen us achieve gold recognition status and demonstrates that the Society has made consistent and effective progress in people management and development since our original Investors in People accreditation in 2014.


Caring for the community

At Progressive, we’ve been caring for our community for over 100 years and believe in supporting those who are most vulnerable in our society. We encourage staff to get involved in community initiatives, not only because of the difference we can make, but also because of the positive impact it has on staff engagement. Last year we raised over £91,000 for 57 diverse charities across Northern Ireland. Fundraising efforts included in-branch competitions, coffee mornings, craft sales, raffles and taking part in marathons and fun runs.

Our staff are equipped with the skills and understanding to support the needs of members in vulnerable situations through continued training and our engagement with leading charities. We also utilise social media to promote the importance of online security at a time of exponential growth in cybercrime.


Wellness initiatives

The wellbeing of our staff is important to us and, working with local providers, we run a number of wellness initiatives including an interactive Wellbeing Hub and classes in parent craft, family benefits, personal budgeting, yoga and healthy eating. In recognising that mental health is a growing area of concern affecting people from all walks of life, our branches became ‘Inspiration Points’ as part of Inspire Wellbeing Group’s campaign to raise awareness of mental health issues. 

We have a diverse number of working arrangements and practices in place to support our ongoing commitment to work-life balance and we were delighted to have been awarded Small Medium Enterprise of the Year at the Employers for Childcare Family Friendly Employer Awards in 2017 in recognition of this.

At Progressive we firmly believe that nurturing employees' well-being ultimately breeds success, enabling us to broaden our talent pool by attracting and retaining the best people. There is a strong team culture in place within the Society – it is a case of maximising efforts to achieve the very best results to help our customers to achieve their housing and savings goals as well as contributing, in a small way, to building our local society for current and future generations to come.

If you are interested in a new career that comes with training and well-being benefits for you and your family, go online at the Progressive Building Society


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