New work: transforming from within

Successful companies keep their customers.

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But moving to a world of open data will make it easier for customers to switch – so it’s up to institutions to ensure customers choose them. And choose to stay.

" We found our people leaders were spending more time than they should on human resources processes – time they should be spending on our customers.”

With this in mind, ANZ is working hard to enhance customer experience and strengthen the bank for the long term. This has involved steps to refocus on our core business, simplify products and operations, and create better digital solutions. The bank is also embedding a culture where our people live our purpose, values and code of conduct every day, while staying focused on delivering great customer outcomes, striving to simplify, and always learning.

ANZ now has a quarter of our workforce organised in tribes and squads and using agile methodologies. There was a significant change effort to move to the new operating models while introducing new roles like “journey experts” and “chapter leads”. New capabilities have also been introduced like agile coaching and work has been done to strengthen existing capabilities in other areas like data.

Recruitment rejig

The recruiting effort internally and externally has been significant. We have introduced innovative new recruiting practices like digital interviews and gig incubators. And we have dialled up our assessment of growth mindset and cultural elements we believe to be important attributes to adapt and succeed.   We have also improved the way we assess for some of the new technical capabilities we need to build.

Graduates are an important source of talent for any company and so ANZ has also overhauled our graduate recruiting process to a CV-free process, reducing the initial assessment from two to three hours down to 30 minutes via a series of short games.

We are also using artificial intelligence to help identify candidates for interview, mapping back to our most successful candidates in the prior years. These changes have resulted in 96 per cent of our graduates recommending our process (up from 47 per cent in 2017). But they have also helped us almost double the number of female applicants while expanding the reach of universities we are drawing talent from. 

We want our people to think differently about career pathways and understand the concept of mastery. To do so, we are replacing our old competency frameworks with radically new frameworks built around types of work to support those journeys.

Reimagining remuneration and performance

Late last year, ANZ made a significant structural change to remuneration right across the bank.

This will focus our people towards increased team contribution and group-wide success and support the delivery of great customer outcomes. It also drastically simplified what had become a very complex landscape of numerous different structures and configurations.

This was the first part of a broader program of change across the whole performance and reward system. Although the remuneration changes have been very well received, we know we still have a long way to go and are now focusing on how we drive a performance culture through more impactful coaching conversations and using a broader set of recognition levers.

Investing in our operations

In Talent and Culture, we have moved to a new operating model underpinned by a new structure but we’re also changing our ways of working by adopting more agile and human-centred design methodologies. This was really important for us to keep pace with the evolving needs of our business.  

We found our people leaders were spending more time than they should on human resources processes – time they should be spending on our customers. We recognise the importance of improving employee experience but it was difficult to drive improvement given a lack of end-to-end ownership over our processes and services.  It has also been really important for us to better understand and support the needs of all of the other teams across ANZ who are now working this way.

We have experienced some real benefits already: it is easier to move our people to the work as required, such as mobilising team members from across the system to support delivery of the remuneration changes last year.  We are harnessing the benefit of working in cross-functional teams and have a faster rate of delivery.  Over a period of 10 weeks partnering with property and technology, our Talent and Culture “first impressions” squad has designed a reimagined employee experience for new hires from offer through to the end of their first three months. Concurrently they also implemented checklists to enable self-guided navigation of joining the bank.

This way of working is improving our ability to prioritise – although we have not nailed that yet. There are so many things we need to and want to do, and we find it really hard to say no. The visibility of the work helps, we are much better than we were a year ago and have experienced the benefits of focusing to deliver meaningful value, but this is still very much a work in progress. We are working hard with our agile coaches and learning from other areas of the bank further along on that journey.

We also have more to do for all of our team to feel comfortable operating in this new way as we all need to build new skills and habits. Experiencing this challenge has been really helpful for us to better empathise with and understand the needs of the broader business who had already shifted to working this way.

In general, as a function, I think human resources departments often put their own needs last and we recognise this will take sustained investment to reap the full rewards from the change. But we are committed.

Even though it’s very early days for us, our Talent and Culture team prefers this way of working and we are finding it energising and effective. We all recognise it will take some time for us to get really good at it. The great thing is that’s what being part of a learning organisation is all about.

Kathryn van der Merwe is Group Executive – Talent & Culture at ANZ

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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