A change program for Rabobank to secure it’s local presence by putting it's entire workforce at the heart of today’s digital communities.

The results

An overwhelming acceptance of change. In 18 months, 75% of the local branches participated and employees were activated in digital networks. Overall, the network online activity increased by 780% - with 15% of employees creating commercial success via digital networks. But most of all, Rabobank is back where it belongs - at the heart of today’s communities.

The challenge

To stay true to its roots, Rabobank had to redefine the meaning of “presence in local communities” in a digital age.

Digitalisation rapidly changes the way industries work. To stay competitive, Rabobank needed to drastically downscale on local branches and workforce in The Netherlands, threatening its 150-year heritage of “local presence in local communities”. 


The solution

#HetNieuweDichtbij (#TheNewNearby). A transformative change program developed to put Rabobank’s entire workforce back at the heart of today’s communities: social media. 

The goal of the program: to empower all 28,000 Rabobank employees with the digital skills needed to effectively use digital networks for creating and maintaining relationships and ultimately driving business value by 2020. 

This foreseeable change can only be achieved if everybody in the organization truly embraces it. That’s why the #TheNewNearby trains employees using the Fashion Theory of change management: a two-phased approach that first carefully selects the 25 most influential employees at every local Rabobank. 12 weeks of professional training turns these employees into experienced digital ambassadors.

In the second phase, these ambassadors subsequently motivate, encourage and coach their colleagues in successfully mastering digital networking, supported by an e-learning program. 

To implement #TheNewNearby we first made sure it got embedded in the corporate strategy of Rabobank and was backed-up all the way to the chairman. After running 3 pilot programs, local banks could sign up. The branches are not forced to join and can fully decide for themselves.