How two iconic Australian organisations are rewriting the playbook for EX
Ross Lambert // February 15, 2023 // 5min read
As two of Australia’s most established and successful organisations, ANZ and Blackmores have experienced a number of workplace changes and employee preferences through the years. Few evolutions, however, may have been as profound as those in recent times as the companies have worked to support employees through and beyond the pandemic while successfully managing the shift to new ways of working.
To support HR and people leaders who are on similar journeys, at XM on Tour we heard from ANZ and Blackmores about the steps they’re taking to deliver success for their people, and what they expect to see in the year ahead.
Listening to employees regularly and holistically
For ANZ and Blackmores, the biggest change they’ve implemented when it comes to understanding and addressing the needs of employees and candidates is how they listen to and capture feedback.
“At ANZ, the biggest shift has been around listening. We wanted to listen more regularly and holistically to understand more about our teams. This shift is helping us understand what’s impacting our people at work, as well as identify the areas and issues having the biggest impact on them,” said Sarah Traynor, Product Owner, Culture and Engagement, ANZ.
Alongside the frequency of capturing feedback from employees, both ANZ and Blackmores are listening beyond the traditional metric of engagement.
“If you think back five years ago, these types of conversations were about engagement. We were using a single measurement, when in reality employee experience is a rich perspective,” said Francine Boyes, Global Employee Experience and Organisational Development Director at Blackmores.
Informing decisions with simple insights
A central component in each of ANZ’s and Blackmores employee experience program is Qualtrics EX25 - an expert-designed framework designed to help employers regularly listen to their employees across 25 key drivers, such as work-life balance, psychological safety, trust in leadership, and living the company values. The drivers are aligned to five employee experience key performance indicators (KPIs): engagement, experience vs expectations, intent to stay, inclusion, and well-being.
With ANZ and Blackmores both wanting to listen more regularly and holistically, EX25 allows them to confidently and deeply understand what’s driving their EX. Importantly, this allows each company to make informed decisions about what actions will drive the desired improvements across the 5 EX KPIs and associated business metrics.
“Qualtrics EX25 aligned perfectly with our internal employee experience model. What’s perhaps most important is the simplicity of the insights generated. We have learned to focus on what’s important,” said Traynor.
Enabling leaders to make an impact
Alongside the shift in ways of working, another change called out by ANZ and Blackmores is the evolving relationships between leaders and their teams. With the recent Qualtrics Employee Experience Trends Report revealing an EX gap between leaders and their teams, it appears this focus is well timed.
“The last five years has also seen major changes in the relationship staff have with their leaders. Leaders need to be empathetic, but they also need to provide solid feedback, as well as have the ability to move quickly, fail fast, and then recover from those failures. Leaders need to do everything, so we are focused on building the leader, as well as targeting the middle leaders, because they often get forgotten in the employee experience piece,” said Boyes.
It’s also important to look at upskilling existing staff into leadership roles, Boyes says, as the skills shortage is not going to go away any time soon. Along with fostering leaders, EX is also about encouraging intimacy and digital dexterity so staff are ready for the technological changes coming down the pipeline. “We need to keep the human connection, manage what is coming for employees and balance this with performance and productivity,” says Boyes.
Throughout the changes underway, operating and listening in an modern, agile, and scalable way is key to achieving the organisation’s desired outcomes.
“You need to have a long-term plan, and try to make the processes you’re adopting business as usual. Once you’ve this in place you can start to focus on what you’re doing next and how you’re bringing that data together,” says Traynor.
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