Icon Representing Speaking Up & Being Heard

Speaking Up (& Being Heard)

What we heard

The first Staff survey we conducted in 2018 (published April 2019) found that one third of all staff said that they had wanted to raise a concern at work over the last 12 months. Of those who have raised a concern, less than 2 in 5 felt that they had been listened to and taken seriously. [1]

[1] Source: IBCB Employee Survey 2018

Key Findings
34% wanted to raise a concern
Only 59% said they had done so
24% chose not to raise their concern
Only 39% said they were listened to or taken seriously
They felt nothing would happen as a result (54%)
They felt that doing so would make them look bad (32%)
They felt it would be held against them if they did (58%)
They said they did not trust the confidentiality of the process (33%)

What we did

A working group was formed with senior representation from our five member banks and including sponsors from the Irish Banking Culture Board to collaboratively discuss fostering a culture where staff feel they can safely challenge and ultimately ‘Speak Up’ if necessary.

Following our initial session with the working group on Speaking Up we held a series of workshops in Q1 2020 with staff from various locations, backgrounds, locations, roles and levels across our five member banks, to explore further the issues relating to Speaking Up which were identified in the IBCB staff survey 2018.

Feedback received from Staff who attended was that the sessions were extremely worthwhile and engaging.

Feedback from staff on these events:

‘I left the workshop buzzing as it was such a positive workshop in terms of what IBCB is hoping to achieve. Something that is badly needed in the financial services industry.

The workshop worked as well as it could with the current Speak Up frameworks in place across the sector.  Until some of the feedback in relation to language, sharing MI etc is tackled I fear Speak Up will remain a challenge.

Results / Feedback

Below were the key themes which were the outputs from the workshops with bank staff, which we fed back to our member banks.

Key themes which were outputs from the workshops

Speak Up process

Ditch the term ‘Speak Up’ (negative connotations)

Transparency / lift the  veil of secrecy (poor awareness of the  process among the 5 banks)

Psychological safety

Tone from the Top

Senior leaders to lead  by example


(for line managers and  individuals – use case  studies / dilemmas –  face to face discussion)

Awareness & recognition

Recognise those who speak up and celebrate learning from mistakes’

Examples of senior leaders who have spoken up and not only survived but thrived!