Barclays is asking staff: who's your best friend?

Barclays wants to encourage staff to be friends with each other in a bid to improve company culture, according to a report in The Sunday Times.

The paper reports that the bank will ask the question: “Do you have any friends?” at the top of a staff survey that will be distributed in the next few weeks. Staff will be asked to name their best friend within the new organisation in a bid to encourage friendship within the bank.

The unsourced story says this is meant to encourage loyalty among staff and create a better culture. The Sunday Times writes: “The focus on friendship is the brainchild of Jes Staley, 59, the new boss of Barclays, who is on a mission to make banking a “respected profession” again.”

Staley joined Barclays as CEO in October, leaving US-based BlueMountain Capital where he was a hedge fund manager. Two years before that he was the CEO of JPMorgan’s investment banking and asset-management unit.

In a memo sent to staff after disappointing 2015 results that was obtained by Business Insider, Staley wrote:

I joined banking back in 1979, because I was excited to be a part of a respected profession. It was a profession because it was moored to a commitment for integrity. A company that retains the loyalty of its employees solely because of compensation is a company that gambles with its institutional culture. Barclays cannot succeed or prosper unless the societies and communities in which we live and work also succeed and prosper. I want Barclays to be a bank where our employees choose to work because they believe in the institution, its values, its passion for diversity and inclusion, and its intrinsically valuable role in society.

Barclays made a net loss of £394 million for 2015, with legal costs and fines of more than £4.3 billion.

NOW WATCH: This hidden subplot of ‘Game of Thrones’ spells out the real trouble for the Lannisters

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.