NFU Mutual - creating a winning performance culture

NFU Mutual started out providing insurance solely to the farming population. In 2014, having grown and expanded into new areas, with more than 300 branches nationwide, targeting rural communities, they wanted to ensure their year on year growth continued whilst staying very close to their values.

What Lane4 could bring was experience on performance management and coaching, and some really new techniques and ways of developing people.

Trisha Jones, HR Director at NFU Mutual

Creating a winning performance culture

In order to drive performance and engage staff in all areas of the organisation, they knew they had to tightly align the whole business behind their strategy. NFU Mutual already used Gallup’s Q12 score, to measure workplace engagement and wanted to utilise this measure to ensure maximum focus on performance.

Also, having recently introduced the iAchieve system to capture staff objectives and development plans centrally, they wanted to see more utilisation of the system and improved quality of objectives on there.

Championing change through leadership

We worked closely in partnership with NFU Mutual to design a development programme to deliver their performance aspirations. The delivery consisted of half a day with the Executive Committee and a one day workshop for the 70 Heads of Department, followed by a two day Development Centres for 500 managers across the business.

This approach helped the senior leaders to understand what the programme was about and how they could support their teams through the programme, while role modelling good performance management.

Each development centre was attended by 12 delegates, who completed a 180 degree review prior to attending. The centres themselves were based on two delegates working with one coach over the two days. The coaches worked closely with the delegates to establish their goals and development aspirations before giving them the opportunity to apply these in a series of exercises.

These exercises included working 1:1 with actors from Impromptu, group sessions and individual reflection exercises. The feedback from these led to the production of a robust personal development plan (PDP), to take away and discuss with their manager.

Following the development centres, action learning groups, Yammer support groups and 1:1 meetings with their managers were set up. This meant that the delegates could continue their learning and development journey to really embed the change in behaviour.

The Result

The programme achieved its goal of reaching the 90th percentile for engagement scores one year early. By 2015 the engagement had moved to the 91st percentile, from the 19th percentile in 2011.

In 2016 the engagement scores increased further to reach the 93rd percentile.

In 2015 the programme won a Gold Brandon Hall Excellence Award in the ‘Best Results of a Learning Programme’ category.

Results showed completion rates in the very high 90s and an improvement in the quality of the PDPs after attendance on the programme.

In particular there is a positive difference in scores for attendees vs non-attendees and their direct reports against 4 key statements in the Gallup Q12 survey:

  • ‘I know what’s expected of me at work.’
  • ‘There is someone at my work who encourages my development.’
  • ‘The mission and purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.’
  • ‘In the last 6 months someone at work has talked to me about my progress.’

In addition, evaluation of the development centres show:

  • Overall engagement is 7 percentile points higher for people who have been on the programme compared to those who haven’t.
  • Job satisfaction is 7 percentile points higher for people who have been on the programme compared to those who haven’t.

While there may have been other factors and changes that will have affected to the results, having employees attend the development centre has contributed to improved organisational performance.


We’re proud to share that this programme was shortlisted for the CIPD Best HR/L&D Supplier

  • 93rd percentile for engagement scores in 2016, up from 19th percentile in 2011.
  • Winner of Brandon Hall Excellence Award in the 'Best Results of a Learning Programme'.

Related Case Studies

Ready to work with us?

Whatever your goals, let’s discuss how we can help get you there