The Suncorp Group includes leading general insurance, banking, life insurance, superannuation and investment brands in Australia and NZ. The Group has around 14,500 employees and relationships with nine million customers and is a Top 15 ASX listed company.
In December 2014, the Group’s Enterprise Agreement (EA) was due to ‘nominally expire’. Renewing it provided an opportunity to make changes that would ensure it continues to meet the Group’s business model of operating as ‘One Company. Many Brands’. The EA covers the Group’s Australian workforce – from front line employees to business leaders.
The overall challenge was to facilitate a successful renewal allowing the Group to continue meeting the needs of its diverse workforce and customers. To do so, the Group needed to communicate the proposed changes, along with the rationale and impact to employees. The critical aim was to achieve a successful ‘YES’ vote– all in keeping with the legal requirements for enterprise bargaining that place ‘representatives’ at the centre of the exercise. The risks to a successful vote were intervention from representatives and apathy. Without sufficient employee engagement, the proposed changes would have failed and the EA could not have been renewed.
To ensure the proposed changes were understood, the Group implemented a ‘leader-led’ communications approach in which leadership teams were tasked with driving the change and communications at an operational level, with key messages being delivered through leaders. This was supported by additional methods including online communications and two-way employee feedback. This enabled the organisation to ramp up communications leading to the vote.
The Group succeeded in engaging 73% (more than 10,000) employees to vote, with 84% voting ‘YES’.