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How to act on a staff survey – P&N Bank

By CCIWA Editor 

WA’s largest locally owned bank P&N decided to embark on a journey of building an inclusive culture after a deep dive into an internal survey of staff revealed some shortcomings.

On the surface, with an overall score of 81 per cent engagement, things were looking good for the bank.

But CEO Andrew Hadley said a closer look at the factors that made up the score flagged some important areas that needed focus for the bank, which has a workforce of about 100,000. Females account for 66 per cent of the workforce, 40 per cent of management and 38 per cent of its executive.

“So you might look at that (engagement score) and think ‘that's all well and good, job well done, don't need to focus too much about that’. But I guess a deeper dive into the data revealed some really valuable insights,” he told a CEDA business lunch.

“Specifically, of the 18 engagement factors, men scored higher than women in 16 of those things.”

Most stark was a 14 per cent variance in the confidence women had in leadership at 69 per cent for women compared with 83 per cent for men.

Another red flag was the 14 per cent variance in the “sense of belonging”, which scored 74 per cent for women and 88 per cent for men.

Responding to the findings, the bank decided to build an inclusive culture within the bank, reflective of its brand belief: “we believe in the power of the collective to enhance the value of the individual, humans can’t flourish alone”.

Hadley said the focus was not only led from the top town, but also from the bottom up, with a focus on the difference between equality and equity. The bank recognised that some groups had a natural disadvantage and saw its role as ensuring everyone had the same access to the same opportunities.

To close some of the gaps, the bank took action including:

  • establishing a mentoring program
  • launching a women’s development network
  • ensuring female board executives were high profile
  • ensuring men were brought into the conversation
  • creating a flexible working environment
  • establishing a diversity group
  • providing unconscious bias training.

Hadley said the structured mentoring program was for both men and women and included training mentors and mentees.

“You don't want to launch a program and rely on it being successful, we put a lot of focus and effort in making sure that these people were actually set up for success,” he said.

When the women’s development network was established as a forum for women and men from all levels to meet, network and learn in an inclusive environment, Hadley said he expected to turn up to a handful of people in a small room to say a few words as the sponsor.

“I was surprised to find there was more than 20 per cent of the organisation assembled in this one room. And it just goes to show the passion that comes with it, I think we did it at the right time,” he said.

Other highlights included rising support for the diversity advocates group that champion LGBTQI and the uptake of flexible work, which has seen executives job sharing and another working a four-day week.

Hadley said there was still work to do in creating a flexible working environment but technology would make it easier for staff to work from home.

While early days for the journey, a follow up staff engagement survey already revealed some big improvements.

Overall engagement rose to 84 per cent, but more importantly, the ‘confidence in leadership’ gap had reduced to just 4 per cent, from 14 per cent.

In addition, for females the ‘confidence in leadership’ rose by 20 per cent to 89 per cent, while the ‘sense of belonging’ score rose from 74 per cent to 89 per cent.

“I think with the right focus, the right culture, the right structures in place and the right leadership abilities, I think we are well on the way to being successful,” Hadley said.

WA’s largest locally owned bank P&N decided to embark on a journey of building an inclusive culture after a deep dive into an internal survey of staff revealed some shortcomings.

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