About Company

  • The world’s largest Building Society with a 136 year heritage
  • Over 16 million members benefiting from its enduring ethos of helping people buy their own homes and making the most of their savings
  • Nationwide’s socially focused provenance today continues in its vision to building society, nationwide


Nationwide used data and dashboards to help leaders make people decisions and impact organizational change.


The Challenge

Like many organizations, Nationwide faced challenges from existing and new competitors. To remain relevant Nationwide needed to quickly simplify its services and ways of working, create efficiencies and empower its people to make a step change in its organizational culture. At the leadership level, this meant a series of shifts; from a more operational to visionary focus, a loosening of central control to empowering its people and from having a sense of comfort to embracing a more disrupted and experimental world. By doing this, its members would continue to be the heartbeat of a more agile, inclusive and future-focused organization. 



  • Remain relevant in a highly competitive and ever-evolving marketplace
  • Shift from an operational to visionary focus
  • Become a more agile, inclusive and future-focused organization

The Solution

Nationwide and SHL enjoy a longstanding partnership. Previous research and cultural work had provided a strong sense of the critical capabilities required, articulated and measured through a common framework and clear leadership principles. All senior executives, typically heads and directors of functions reporting to the C-suite were appointed and promoted further to a standardized assessment approach, driven by the Occupational Personality Questionnaire, Motivation Questionnaire and a cognitive element, all aligned with Nationwide’s frameworks. These generated custom reports for one-to-one executive interviews, for both selection and development, co-designed with Nationwide, implemented by SHL and delivered by an in-house team of specialists.

All data was transposed into bespoke dashboards and linked to SHL’s leadership in context research. This would mean that Nationwide’s HR and business leaders could start to use this insight to inform critical decisions about its people’s careers and contributions to the organization. Alongside this, SHL conducts frequent analysis to share with Nationwide to support its strategic HR team in leading projects such as this.

The Results

This analysis revealed the performance and potential of Nationwide’s leaders and provided comparisons with a range of other businesses, in finance, retail and the technology sectors. For example, there was real strength in leaders’ capability to think strategically, to learn and grow, to bring people together in solving challenges and reach meaningful decisions. And, opportunities to stretch, by extending their emotional repertoire and turning their focus inwards to consider the self-transformation required. These areas would be invaluable in leading cultural change.

Nationwide could also get a sense of what motivated leaders, how aligned this was with future direction and evolving context. Giving both HR leaders and the executive committee clear visibility of the capability in the organization and its alignment with driving cultural change proved a critical lever. This informed where Nationwide could seek capability externally and where the internal leadership development focus would add most value.

In some ways this is the continuation of a journey, ensuring that assessments provide a positive and developmental experience, creating engaging selection and development conversations, and critically, doing so in a commercially sustainable way. In others, it’s the start of HR and business leaders making more fully informed people decisions with objective data and predictive insight. Finally, Nationwide reflects its commitment to ethical practice in its partnership. Here at SHL we look forward to continuing to play a part in Nationwide’s further transformation.




  • Nationwide has a valid data view of 45% of its executive leaders
  • Co-created design and in-house delivery of executive assessing is delivering a 74% saving
  • Nationwide’s strongest leaders are two times more likely to be able to apply “big picture” thinking and excel in generating innovative solutions

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