All of our work is possible because of our staff and volunteers. We want our staff and volunteers to have the skills training and resources they need to do their jobs with confidence and ease, so they can play their part in delivering our strategy.


Improving staff satisfaction

Every year we ask our staff to tell us how well we are performing across a range of areas. In 2015 we had a record survey response rate and we were pleased to beat our annual staff satisfaction target. 94% of our staff told us they enjoyed working for the Trust and 59% said they strongly agreed with the staff satisfaction questions. Our annual operational management satisfaction score improved year on year too.
This survey measures how empowered and supported our general managers and regional management teams feel. In 2015 these results were reflected in the ‘Best Companies’ survey10 which recognised us as
the 37th best not-for-profit employer in the UK and also rated us an ‘Outstanding employer to work for’.


Developing our people

In 2015 we continued to develop the skills and confidence of our staff and volunteers, delivering over 17,000 days of learning and development.

Better professional development: to ensure our expertise and professional standards are first class, we have focused on developing the skills of our staff, delivering over 820 days of training for our in-house consultants.

Property team skills: we have helped our property teams give excellent visitor experiences, improving the skills of our catering teams and developing the skills our of property heads of department.

Leadership skills: we have continued to support our managers to become better leaders through our ‘Future, Engage, Deliver’ leadership programme. Our staff survey leadership scores have increased as a result.

Better systems: we have trained and supported our central and property teams in preparation for the introduction of many new systems, as part of the Systems Simplification Programme (see below).

Collaboration and innovation: we continue to run successful staff and volunteer conferences where we can share best practice, as well as learn from others within our sector.


Systems Simplification Programme

Major investments were made in the systems staff and volunteers use to do their jobs in 2015/16 under a major programme called the Systems Simplification Programme. A raft of new systems went live: a new finance system; a new procurement system; and new marketing and analytics systems. New tills were piloted in 2015 and a national roll-out began in 2016. The new National Trust website was launched to wide acclaim, along with a new mobile app providing a much improved on-line experience for our supporters.

These new systems and processes have already started to eliminate inefficient manual working methods and are transforming the National Trust’s ways of working. A large amount of organisational change has accompanied the introduction of these new systems, with staff learning new skills and adjusting long-established working methods.


Staff pay and recognition

We recognise the importance of being transparent and accountable in all aspects of our work, including how we reward and recognise our staff.
As a charity, we must use the money given to us by our supporters wisely. However, we must also ensure the pay of our staff remains fair and attractive enough to enable us to retain and recruit great people, with the right skills to help us deliver our strategy and priorities.

Our pay policy

We have a clear, transparent reward and recognition policy. We adopt a ‘total reward’ approach, as we recognise our staff are not motivated or attracted solely by pay. This approach enables us to build a distinctive employer reputation which highlights why the National Trust is a special place to work.

We reward our staff on their individual performance and contribution to the Trust’s strategy. We ensure that staff who perform well progress through our pay scales within a reasonable timeframe. Every year we compare our pay scales against those in the public sector and not-for-profit sector. Each year we agree our pay arrangements with our trades union, Prospect, as part of our Partnership Agreement.

Senior manager pay

The pay arrangements for senior managers are not covered by the Partnership Agreement. Instead senior manager pay is determined by the Senior Management Remuneration Committee. The Committee is appointed by the Board of Trustees and oversees the remuneration of the Director- General, the Executive Team and other senior staff. The Committee includes three members of the Board of Trustees and two external independent members. All members of the Committee have the experience and skill to make appropriate remuneration decisions.

On an annual basis the Committee reviews the remuneration of all senior managers, considering individual performance and external benchmarking data to ensure levels of remuneration remain relevant, fair and enable us to recruit and retain great staff. Senior managers receive an annual pay award, using the same criteria used for all staff in the Trust. Senior managers receive the same level of statutory and voluntary staff benefits offered to all other staff.

Following the Hutton Report, on an annual basis the Trust monitors the ‘pay ratio’ (this is the relationship expressed as a multiple between the highest and the median salary level within the Trust) to ensure our salaries remain fair and relevant. The ratio, which is currently 1:10, compares favourably to external benchmark data.

Director-General remuneration

In 2015 the Director-General, Dame Helen Ghosh, earned a base salary of £183,960, no change from 2014. The Director-General is the head of a large and complex organisation covering England, Wales and Northern Ireland with an annual income of over £520 million and over 11,000 permanent and seasonal staff. The National Trust is one of the highest income-generating charities in the UK and as such the Director-General’s salary is comparable to the heads of other major charities, senior government civil servants and the chief executives of medium-sized private-sector organisations.


10 The Best Companies survey is seen as the most important engagement survey, ranking Britain’s best employers. In 2016, 925 firms registered to take part in the survey. This year, for the second year running, the Trust improved its position on the list from 50th to 37th.
All of our work is possible because of our staff and volunteers
Top: Development Chef Clive Goudercourt and National Trust Food Ambassador, Claire Thomson at Tyntesfield, Somerset.
Middle: Visitor shopping in the National Trust shop at Derwentwater, Cumbria.
Bottom: Painting conservation at Petworth House and Park, West Sussex.