Career Advice HR Focus

ANZ puts puts substance at fore over image


The ANZ strategy is to be a leading “super regional” bank. We have been an aggressive challenger in Asia since 2007, even though we’ve had a footprint across the region for over 40 years. For the past five years, ANZ has had the dual objectives of growing sustainably in the Asia-Pacific region, while maintaining the primary focus on the customer.

We have about 48,000 employees in the 32 countries in which we operate. We have recruited almost two-thirds of our workforce in the past four years. We have also hired and grown top class senior executives to lead this ambitious strategy. Our talent management is aimed at attracting and retaining staff and growing the next generation of leaders. We also have to ensure that our talent management practices are aligned with our strategic aims.

Our staff engagement surveys show that learning and career development are important for our employees’ level of workplace satisfaction.

They feel more engaged and, in turn, become more productive if they feel they have learned critical skills, behaviours and competencies, and that their employer supports their career progress.

The Asia Pacific, Europe and America division spans 28 countries and the majority of our employees in each country is local. Our cultural diversity is a competitive advantage and our focus on developing local employees is an attractive and distinctive proposition.

To ensure staff efforts are aligned, we cascade our strategic objectives, and reinforce collaboration through our matrix structure and various cross-border initiatives.

Our talent management practices must align with our customer proposition of “we live in your world” and focus on building agility, customer-centricity and smart, autonomous decision-making in employees. We also need to reinforce our values, which are integrity, collaboration, accountability, respect and excellence.

Our talent management interventions focus on creating “super regional” leaders by ensuring staff have the capabilities to be promoted into broader or more senior positions. We assist staff in building networks and connections across countries to increase their agility and customer-centricity. It is also important to teach staff how to execute smart, autonomous decisions in our complex, ever-changing world.

Our talent management framework is built around robust career planning, experiential and formal learning and the commitment of senior leaders. We believe that each employee is talented and has the potential to grow and develop.

Talent management interventions are driven by the staff themselves. Employees want to take control of their own destiny. Therefore, each employee, supported by their line manager, is
responsible for identifying which of their career goals and unique talents are aligned with the best interests of the organisation.

The human resources department provides advice on what interventions the employee could pursue to accelerate their development according to their career aspirations, and helps design a map for development.

This framework is a work in progress and is constantly reviewed and refined on the basis of staff feedback as we continue to grow. People development is one of our core priorities. To build a motivated and engaged team, we provide formal learning interventions that can be divided into four categories, including leadership learning, technical training, ways to reinforce ANZ’s brand values and core competencies, and training to provide necessary soft skills for staff development.

Specific learning and development initiatives include leadership development programmes for leaders, line managers and staff, and performance management training for line managers. We also offer stretch experience, exposure, work shadowing and mentoring.

Career management is a collaborative process between management and staff. We provide workshops and coaching to our talent to help them understand how to manage their career, and to help line managers understand how to guide the careers of their staff.

We also have various functional and enterprise-wide talent radars, whereby the careers of staff are tracked throughout the organisation. The career progression of high potential staff is tracked by senior management to ensure these employees are exposed to the most beneficial and useful learning experiences.

The future
We constantly refine our talent management strategy and interventions based on best practices and feedback from our staff, as well as according to the needs and requirements of staff and the organisation itself.

Success is measured by an increased retention rate of high-performing staff and the rate and percentage of internal promotions.

We also measure staff engagement and performance excellence. Staff feel engaged and motivated because they can see how they can drive their own career with ANZ and capitalise on the opportunities provided by a fast growing bank in the Asia-Pacific region.

Employees are attracted to a longer-term career at ANZ, a bank with a clear regional growth story, because of the fluid work environment which encourages diverse career options.

Anouk De Blieck, general manager human resources, Asia Pacific, Europe & America, ANZ