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Exclusive: Staff engagement levels rise at Barclaycard despite the downturn

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Barclaycard has increased staff engagement levels despite the economic downturn, with 92% becoming aware of the company's vision and 76% understanding exactly what it means to them in their everyday job.

Speaking this morning at a breakfast briefing hosted by brand consultancy Wolff Olins and chaired by HR magazine's editor, Siân Harrington, Mark Gonella, corporate affairs director at Barclaycard, said: "At a time when banking people are worried about their jobs, Barclaycard staff are increasingly getting engaged with company vision."

The firm created a new brand vision in 2008 encouraging staff across its nine brands to work together, think ahead, take ownership of their work and love the success of the brand.

The cultural change was matched with an advertising campaign to customers, where a Barclaycard user travels down a waterslide on his route home from work.

Gonella explained: "Performance development changed completely and this was rigidly held up from the top. But those in HR have to realise how important they are as catalysts for change at the top. You have to make your people care about the business if you want to make a change."

But, discussing middle management, he added: "If a person is hitting targets but does not buy in to our culture, they have to be removed. Even if their results are good, they should move on."