After operating in financial services for more than 100 years, Suncorp Australia has become accustomed to a certain level of change. But in 2020, the pandemic brought prolonged shutdowns, an increased fluidity of the workforce and an industry in flux.
For Stuart Elliott, head of People Strategy at Suncorp, this was a pace of change never witnessed before.
“I’ve been working in financial services for well over 20 years”, says Stuart. “What we’re seeing at the moment is an unprecedented explosion in change.”
Stuart’s team at Suncorp has traditionally relied on annual engagement surveys to provide the insights they needed in order to adapt. But this accelerated pace of change made the need for another solution clear.
“Most annual engagement surveys are out of date by the time you have processed the information collected”, Stuart explains. “You then do action planning and put initiatives in place, but you don’t learn whether those initiatives are the right ones for another year.”
Stuart also knew there were other limitations of annual surveys. “Probably 15 or 20 percent of your employees will be different by the time you get results, and you might have made structural or product changes too”, Stuart says. “So, the set of numbers might no longer apply.”
Suncorp quickly realised that engagement wasn’t something it could measure once a year. The company needed to shift to ongoing conversations with its workforce, and needed a platform to measure employee engagement more regularly and at scale. Enter Workday Peakon Employee Voice.
Suncorp’s leaders get hooked on insights.
Intelligent listening delivers real-time insights about employee engagement, diversity, equity, inclusion and growth in an all-in-one employee success platform. This enables business and people leaders to build an accurate view of employee experience across all levels of the organisation, leading to more meaningful and targeted actions.
According to Stuart, the decision to engage Workday Peakon Employee Voice was easy and pain-free. “We went from thinking about it to signing a contract in the space of eight weeks. The rapid nature of this decision reflected our need to be responsive in an environment of constant change.”
The Workday rollout at Suncorp went smoothly, with the technology up and running in a matter of weeks. But the real gauge of success for Stuart was the feedback from Suncorp’s executive team. “They were so impressed that they could access responses from their mobiles and respond to employee comments directly”, Stuart says.
It’s cultural: detailed data improves Suncorp’s focus on engagement.
Stuart has been impressed to see how Suncorp’s leaders have adopted the platform, directly impacting its Employee Net Promoter Score (ENPS). “When we first ran the survey, our ENPS was 39”, Stuart says. “After 5 surveys, it’s now sitting at about 47.”
Stuart believes this change reflects how Workday has been embraced by Suncorp’s leaders. “Our executive team universally talks about Workday as being one of the things they look forward to every time we run a survey. And the fact that they are writing action plans and responding to comments means we’re already seeing some changes in the employee experience.”
Using Workday Peakon Employee Voice is actually changing our culture. It’s allowing us to focus on a few important things rather than taking a scatter-gun approach where we are trying to focus on everything.
Head of People Strategy
Board reports, simplified.
Workday has made reporting to the board much easier by providing people insights on a cadence that fits with other business functions.
“Our people data was traditionally reported on an annual basis, which put us at a real disadvantage when other reporting of financials and customer data was done monthly”, Stuart explains. “Now, we can report a dashboard about how we’re doing financially, about our customer metrics, and also how our employee metrics are shaping up. This gives the board confidence that what we’re doing is making a difference for the organisation, and that the culture is supporting our strategy and purpose.”
Data patterns help predict attrition rates.
Suncorp has been using the Workday platform for five months, and Stuart’s team is noticing response patterns, particularly when it comes to attrition. “We’re starting to see some incredible data come through around our people”, Stuart says. “One thing we quickly realised is that people who leave us answer questions in a particular way.”
This enabled the team to focus on prediction rather than reaction. “We have started to do some predictive analytics that indicates that particular teams have an increased risk of turnover or they’ve got some retention risks”, Stuart explains.
Rather than relying on hunches, Stuart’s team could now access tangible data, giving the team confidence that the changes they’re implementing will be the right ones.
“It’s not because we feel people are unhappy, but because the data from the system is telling us that people who leave tend to rate low in particular questions”, Stuart explains. “We can then track where there’s an increased risk and then do some modelling for leaders to help them think about what they could do differently.”
Raising the bar on user experience.
There’s no doubt Workday Peakon Employee Voice has been a true success story within Suncorp.
“We’ve been blown away by the feedback and the buy-in from our leaders”, says Stuart. “Everybody thinks it’s probably the greatest thing that we’ve done in terms of our workforce experience.”
As for downsides, the only one Stuart can see is that people now expect all their internal systems to be as intuitive and easy to use as Workday!
The expectation is that technology should be intuitive; that’s what we’ve found with Workday. It’s the new benchmark for how all our systems should work.
Head of People Strategy