‘100% Human at Work’ is an initiative that encourages businesses to stop thinking of their teams as resources, but more as human beings. As part of this, the ‘100% Experiments Collection’ showcases our Australian and New Zealand partners who are adapting their approach to putting people at the forefront of the business. The 100% Experiments Collection is almost like a high-end HR ideas guide or manual on how to make your workplace more human, and we’re delighted to share a summary of a few of these inspiring programmes with you here: The 100% Experiments Collection
An innovative case study from the collection focusses on QBE Insurance Group, who has accelerated its culture of inclusion. Discover how their top 50 senior leaders came together as ‘Champions of Change’ and how they used D&I Learning Bites to increase awareness within their 12,000 global teams. Read the Collection entry originally appearing on the Virgin site, below.
QBE Champions of Change
Looking to accelerate our progress in building a culture of inclusion, we set out to engage our senior leaders as champions for change within our business, with a mandate to lead more inclusively and become powerful role models and influencers.
We designed some high impact symbols of change focused on shifting the culture on three areas:
1. Enhancing communication that diversity and inclusion matters
We designed a new way of communicating – what we call D&I Learning Bites – aimed at increasing awareness and understanding, among our 12,000 people around the world, of our D&I policy, how we support fairness, equality and respect for others and what our people need to do to really live the cultural values encapsulated in our QBE DNA.
These five minute, bite-sized nuggets can be accessed easily by employees and are proving to be a highly effective engagement tool. They depict typical day-to-day scenarios in the workplace and speak to personal accountability for inclusion within our teams and the role we can all play in creating a respectful workplace:
- “It’s safe to be me” – understanding difference and creating a culture of inclusion
- “Knowing myself” – understanding our own behaviour (biases we carry)
- “Standing by others” – the importance of being an ally and speaking up for others
- “Speaking up” – building confidence and awareness on raising issues safely
Each module is available in multiple languages and comes with a Leader Guide to encourage conversations among teams. At the completion of the ‘bite’, employees are asked to respond to two questions (like a pulse check).
The insights we get from these responses are helping us to continue to improve the employee experience and provide valuable data for our senior leaders – after all, what gets measured gets done. We continue to promote these bites every time we are communicating a D&I message or initiative.
2. Strengthening accountability by engaging our top 50 leaders to step up as QBE Champions of Change
In 2018, our Group CEO Pat Regan became a Male Champion of Change. Through this group, Pat and other leaders work as an influential coalition, stepping up beside women to achieve change on gender equality in organisations and communities.
We decided to adopt a similar model within QBE and enlisted our top 50 senior leaders (both men and women) to come together as our very own QBE Champions of Change cohort committed not only to gender equality, but diversity and inclusion more broadly.
As part of the kick-off activation workshop, we asked them what they needed to make them better champions within the business, and their feedback was insightful:
- Knowing how to share the story of D&I in QBE
- Increased self-awareness via 360-feedback or type of self-assessment
- Knowing more about how they can be inclusive leaders
- Linking incentives to inclusive behaviour
- A way for leaders to support each other with real-time feedback on behaviours
Based on this feedback, we were able to develop tools to specifically focus on supporting them in two ways:
- Self awareness – helping them understand what their leadership style is, offering them assessments/360 feedback and development plans.
- Tools for them to engage their teams and role model inclusion – equipping them to run focus groups to listen, learn and uncover barriers to inclusion/issues that they can address and improve.
They are brought together every few months to participate in 90 minute skill building workshops that discuss topics and share what works and what is challenging across a variety of areas, including:
- The merit trap and how people are appointed (being mindful of bias)
- Leadership shadow and how it plays out in living the QBE DNA
- What they need to do to address backlash (or pushback) within day to day situations
- Lived experience of their success in working flexibly and challenges in enabling flexibility
Our Champions developed and signed up to their own QBE Champions of Change Pledge which outlines expectations of themselves , and they proudly communicated their commitments to all employees across QBE.
Pleasingly, many senior leaders have stepped up to share their views and personal stories at team meetings, employee network events and via Yammer (internal social media platform), covering topics relating to LGBTI inclusion, mental health and wellbeing, balance of work and personal responsibilities, understanding of differences and many others. Talent review discussions have improved and many have also begun proactively mentoring and sponsoring talent.
3. Normalising flexibility across the organisation through Flex@QBE
Flex@QBE is designed to accelerate how we modernise our ways of working to deliver on what we know our current and future employees are looking for. It is a set of principles which outline a number of elements that are offered to support us all in the way we work, and outline how employees can increase their engagement, collaboration and productivity whilst also prioritising what matters to them personally.
Our QBE Champions of Change play a key role in visibly supporting flexible ways of working, speaking about it and ensuring there’s an openness to finding ways to modernise how we work. We are also coaching all our leaders as part of their performance management conversations to ask employees “What is ‘one simple thing’ that would enable you to improve your work-life quality?”.
Our engagement survey continues to see improved results in how we are supporting a more flexible workplace culture and we continue to evaluate our employee experience. We have many more people now leveraging Flex Time, Flex Tools, Flex Dress and Flex Benefits, and in Australia we recently launched Shared Care parental leave, with flexibility in the way leave is accessed for men and women, in addition to the inclusion of surrogacy and permanent placement foster care.
“I am proud of our continued commitment to diversity and inclusion. This is essential to our ability to embed our cultural attributes across the business. It is fundamental to who we are and how we operate.” Pat Regan, Group CEO
ChapmanCG is a global partner of Virgin Unite’s 100% Human at Work Initiative.
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