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Case Study: ANZ’s secret to increasing its overall employee engagement score to 80%

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Winning the bronze award in the category, ANZ Retail Bank Singapore’s (ARBS) vision is to be the best connected and most respected bank across the region.

The bank’s purpose is to understand people’s aspirations, build connections that matter, make banking easy and deliver insights that enhance outcomes.

While the retail banking business remains core to ANZ’s super regional strategy, the local business environment in which ARBS operates in is extremely regulated and competitive.

While the retail banking business remains core to ANZ’s super regional strategy, the local business environment in which ARBS operates in is extremely regulated and competitive.

First, there is stiff competition from the rise of “local” banks, the emergence of “regional” banks, as well as the established presence of “global banks”. This causes stiff competition not only for customers, but also for talent.

Second, on the customer front, increased urbanisation and mobility have become a trend and customers are more comfortable having multiple banking relationships instead of being loyal to one.

Customers are demanding a greater level of service when comparing what different banks can offer. Asian customers are also becoming more financially competent and technologically savvy, with access to a myriad financial information and tools online.

Third, the bank is facing an ever tightening regulatory landscape in the retail banking industry post the global financial crisis. This growing consumer “protectionism” means increasing eligibility controls on the development and distribution of retail investment, insurance and credit products.

All the aforementioned challenges demanded a robust learning system to be made available in Singapore.

“We at ANZ Retail banking Singapore encourage continuous learning as this is essential in today’s world. This allows our folks to see things with a wider lens and the result is our folks can be more productive and relevant to our customers,” says Philip Lim, head of retail banking in Singapore.

In a bid to cater to these needs, the retail academy was established in October 2013, reporting to business assurance, one of the seven major business units within ARBS.

To minimise the time taken for a new hire to become productive, the retail academy partnered hiring managers along ANZ’s 70-20-10 pedagogy.

The first task for the retail academy was to establish quality standards around learning processes, policies and frameworks.

The next phase was to implement an intensive and relevant new hire training curriculum for each unit.

To minimise the time taken for a new hire to become productive, the retail academy partnered hiring managers along ANZ’s 70-20-10 pedagogy.

To ensure learners achieve a meaningful transfer of knowledge, skills and mindset, they must complete and pass multiple-choice question assessments after each module.

A final two-hour role-play accreditation assessment is conducted jointly by the assessor and line manager to ensure the employee is ready to serve the bank’s customers.

The last phase is to support the business with a suite of tailored learning interventions to elevate staff competencies along the levers of knowledge, business skills and mindset.

All these efforts to train employees certainly seemed to have paid off.

One indicator of this was the ARBS 2015 employee engagement survey result released last August. Retail Singapore scored 80% for overall employee engagement in 2015, up from 71% in 2014 and 62% in 2011.

The number of service-related training has grown in tandem with 23 new courses.

Using customer surveys as an indication of customer satisfaction, the bank has stayed ahead of its targets despite a more demanding clientele.

“It comes as no surprise that Retail Banking Singapore has done well in terms of their staff engagement scores and positive business results, with their strong emphasis on employee development,” says John Augustine Ong, Singapore learning lead at ANZ.

“A critical success factor is the visible leadership and strong endorsement of people development by their management team, which is evident through their presence during and co-facilitation of training workshops, coaching conversations with their team or giving time off for staff to attend the relevant programmes based on their learning needs.”

For more case studies from SATS, Unilever, and SMRT, and tips to create your very own effective learning and development programme, head over to the Human Resources’ January-February feature

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