A large part of Andy Kane’s job is to make sure that Darlington Building Society colleagues are happy at work and have opportunities to develop and progress their careers with the Society.

Having worked in Learning & Development for more than 15 years, Andy has been with Darlington Building Society for the last six years.

Before joining the Society, he was studying for a master’s degree which he was able to complete alongside the role he was offered, by condensing his working hours into four days. This flexibility and support is reflected throughout the Society’s spirit of ‘Growing our Own’. The Society recognises that supporting people to develop their knowledge and skills in ways that work for them and their circumstances enables more people to develop their careers.

When he reflects on what it was about the organisation that appealed to him, Andy says: “I had never worked in the financial services before, but the whole concept of mutuality hooked me –everything we do is for the benefit of our members.

“People spend a lot of time at work and in their workplace; my job is to make sure that our colleagues enjoy the time they spend here. We use various way to monitor how well we do this including open feedback channels, our ambassador groups, frequent opportunities to meet up with our Executive, and regular surveys. These help us to understand what we do well and where we can continue to strengthen in areas such as reward & recognition, learning and development, and our facilities and working environment.

Andy says that the best thing for him, “is the fact that our values are not just words printed on a coffee mug. We want people to make a difference to our members and this underpins everything we do.”