Mónica Torres: “Change must originate from the bottom up”
Mónica Torres, Director of Commitment and Employee Experience at Banco Santander, talks to innovators about the project ‘Flexiworking’, born from ideas crowdsourcing among the bank’s workforce, which has revolutionized how the people at Banco Santander work, as well as their corporate culture.
1 minute with Mónica Torres (Director of Commitment and Employee Experience at Banco Santander).
Innovators (I): What is ‘Flexiworking’?
Mónica Torres (MT): It is a set of measures to make Santander a better bank, and has meant a revolution in the way we work. Through different initiatives, it helps us become more efficient and agile, it helps us find a balance between our personal life and work, and it stimulates new ways of communicating.
(I): How was the project born?
(MT): ‘Flexiworking’ originated in a global challenge suggested by the bank’s management in the ideas community for employees, SANTANDERideas:), to make the bank a better place to work in. The challenge was very well received and one of the ideas shared evolved thanks to contributions made by other people until it became this project.
(I): Is it a good example of the role people have in transforming organizations?
(MT): There is no doubt that change originates in people and it has to arise from the bottom up, even though the management have to be the ones to lay down guidelines. Employees must be involved in any process of change, and listening to them is the best way to improve and innovate, since they know their clients better than anyone.
(I): What role has SANTANDERideas:) played in this process?
(MT): Having a space for collaborative innovation has helped us to collect ideas, put them into practice and promote innovation on a corporate level. It is a channel where listening is easy, there are no hierarchies and everyone starts from the same position. The entire workforce can participate and this has made it quicker for us to gather ideas from employees.
FLEXIWORKING | ideas for a simple, personal and fair bank. The project flexiworking, personally sponsored by the bank’s management, includes a set of measures to make Santander the best possible place to work in. Among these measures are: responsible flexibility in work schedules, dynamic meetings and teleworking. The initiative emerged after listening to employee concerns and has contributed to improving the work environment, as well as employee implication and engagement.