Succeeding together across geographies

We are living through a global contest for talent. And it’s intensifying. Across all ANZ’s 32 markets we are having to think differently about how we attract and retain talent and what an optimal workplace experience looks like for the wide variety of roles we offer.

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I recently visited the bank’s service centres in both Manila and Bengaluru and saw firsthand how competitive the landscape has become in those regions to win and retain the best employees.

“Many organisations – including Australian and global banks, and global tech firms – are investing in Bengaluru and Manila more broadly and scaling up their presence in that geography.”

The level of investment pouring into global service centres was very apparent – the landscape has become extremely competitive. Many organisations, including Australian and global banks and global tech firms – are investing in these regions and scaling up their presence.

Now, more than ever, we are competing against the temptation of new opportunities. Against this backdrop we are evolving our employee value proposition and ways of working. 

We know our purpose and focus on improving the financial wellbeing and sustainability of our customers resonates with our teams who know their work is important and worthwhile. We are also focusing on how we can best work together across geographies being particularly thoughtful about building meaningful career paths. Creating compelling propositions for our people while tapping into the amazing capability and thirst for continual learning among our teams.

Tapping the market

Over the last decade or so there has been a marked shift in how companies are working with their service centres. Traditionally, companies have outsourced work to the regions because of a cost arbitrage. This old-school way of thinking has evolved from just having teams on the ground to do the work, to getting them involved more in how the work gets done driving process improvement, innovation and automation, to now actively driving what gets done, helping to set the strategy and direction.

We also need to remain thoughtful about how these teams work across geographies – particularly how they can collaborate with teams in Australia and our other markets. Companies like ANZ are tapping into these markets for the value they can bring in terms of engineering, automation, data capabilities and more.

There’s also a real hunger for our teams in Bengaluru and Manila to take on more innovative work. They proactively invest in their continued development and role model our culture of always learning. This means leaders must be thoughtful about career progression and development for our people. At ANZ, we’re taking a fresh look to ensure we are building the right level of senior leadership and creating meaningful career progression for our teams on the ground.

In a world grappling with labour shortages, companies are all looking for the same sorts of skills. We believe ANZ’s global footprint is a massive differentiator and a network we can tap into to help build out expertise.

Our leaders in Bengaluru and Manila invest a lot of time in ensuring our teams stay closely connected to the bank’s purpose, that they understand our strategy and can help to bring that to life on the ground. But importantly, the lessons go both ways and our service centres teams often drive improvements and challenge us to be better in Australia. In particular, our service centres are role models for living our purpose in their own communities.

Collaborating in-person

Winning the war for talent goes beyond the types of roles we create in our service centres. It’s also about focusing on where and how our teams work – and balancing the desire for flexibility with creating the conditions that will help us deliver the best outcomes for our customers and nurture the development and wellbeing of our teams.

Although they managed the rapid transition to remote working when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, like many teams across our markets, our people in Bengaluru and Manila are returning to collaborating in-person in line with local government advice.

And they have returned with a real thirst for learning and building relevant skills that can be applied to their work. Face-to-face collaboration creates opportunities to innovate, problem solve, and learn from each other in a way that remote work simply can’t replicate.

We are all learning the need to remain agile and adapt as the rules and conditions change with waves of the virus, yet our belief in the value being together in person endures. In ways that go beyond hard productivity metrics into less tangible realms like culture, values, mentorship and learning by “osmosis”.  Spending time in person together will remain an important aspect of our way of working while we continue to offer the flexibility to work from home some of the time.

​​​​​​​​​​Our behaviours – to create opportunities, deliver what matters and succeed together – describe what we need our people to be doing every day to deliver on our strategy and purpose, whether in the office or remotely.

I’m proud of how our teams in Bengaluru and Manila have continued to adapt, learn and grow over the past few decades - especially most recently in response to COVID-19. They are actively and enthusiastically contributing to the bank we’re building and we will continue to invest in our global presence and employees as highly valued members of our team.

Kathryn van der Merwe is Group Executive – Service Centres and Talent & Culture

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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