Aon Hewitt best employer 2013 Smartsalary case study
“We believe that ensuring a highly
engaged workforce is quite simply the
singular most important factor that
drives company performance. Without
a highly engaged workforce all other
strategies are at best feeble, but more
likely largely futile.”
Devon Billimoria, Chief Executive Officer
Smartsalary Pty Ltd
High levels of engagement are at the core of enhanced business
performance and growth
Smartsalary is Australia’s most awarded salary packaging provider. Its dream is to be recognised as the
easiest company to do business with in Australia. Smartsalary sees premium customer service as its key
differentiator. The Customer Service Institute of Australia (CSIA) recently awarded Smartsalary both the
NSW State and National Service Excellence Awards in the medium business category.
The key people challenges facing Smartsalary now and in the years ahead
Attracting, growing and developing the best leaders at all levels.
Sourcing and providing the most effective development solution that extends learning back on the
job and sees development as constant, rather than as a series of events.
Retention of employees – the ability to provide employees with an outstanding work experience from
day one and meaningful, fulfilling and rewarding experiences throughout their career.
Having a high performance workforce helps Smartsalary to address these challenges
A high performance workforce has enabled Smartsalary to attract high performing leaders from inside and
outside of the organisation. Externally, high performance serves as an attractor of top talent and Smartsalary
has ensured that this is reflected in its Brand Promise. Internally, having a pool of high performers enables
enhanced succession planning and the appointment of leaders for a sustainable future.
Smartsalary has identified that high performers are expert in driving their own development and have
created an expectation that accountability for development is shared between the individual and their
manager. The organisation has developed tools to assist with the identification of learning needs and
potential solutions, thus enabling the ongoing development of employees, wherever they are at in their
career or tenure.
Smartsalary’s focus on engagement has driven increasing revenues, customer satisfaction and profits
consistently since business inception.
Smartsalary Pty Ltd
Smartsalary worked with Aon Hewitt to gain an understanding of key engagement
drivers within the business
Smartsalary has been measuring engagement with Aon Hewitt for the past five years during which
time its engagement has steadily increased.
Smartsalary determined that using a robust methodology for engagement measurement was critical,
as was the ability to specifically target people initiatives that would be most impactful to engagement
improvement. Smartsalary has also relied upon findings from Aon Hewitt to identify critical segments
to focus on.
Achieving accreditation as a Best Employer provides validation for the effort and focus Smartsalary has
invested in engagement over the past five years.
The deployment of Smartsalary’s business strategy
has influenced employee engagement and
contributed to its accreditation as a Best Employer
Smartsalary’s business strategy is neatly defined and
represented through its strategy triangle. At the base
of the triangle is employee engagement – it sets the
foundation without which all other strategies are futile,
the heart of the triangle depicts key values and operational
strategies, including lean, agile and innovative, and the top
represents the ultimate validation – customer loyalty.
All individuals have a component of their remuneration
determined by organisational success, as measured by KPIs
associated with each of the five strategies encompassed by
the triangle. Explaining each individual’s contribution to
the strategy is also key to this approach and has resulted in
improved alignment of discretionary effort and increased
focus on key customer loyalty driving behaviours.
The values integrate all people practices from recruitment and selection to reward and recognition, and
also ensure the maintenance of a practical, down-to-earth culture despite rapid growth and expansion.
Smartsalary took action to address key issues highlighted in its engagement survey
Career opportunities have long been a focus for Smartsalary but were identified as a critical driver of future
engagement improvement in November 2012. Despite an ongoing focus on learning and development,
Aon Hewitt’s survey identified that employee perceptions were impacted by two factors. First a lack of a
clear definition of what was meant by career development, and second, that existing career development
initiatives were too HR centric.
Based on this understanding, programs and practices have been re-branded and structured to ensure
that they add the most value in assisting individuals to develop their careers. Other initiatives include
encouraging individuals to record their development activities into a ‘career development passport’ and
providing assistance in developing resumes and LinkedIn profiles.
What can be learnt from Smartsalary as a Best Employer?
An engaged workforce enables effective execution of business strategy.
Take a longer term view of engagement initiatives, focus on key issues and look to make lasting change.
Establish clear and direct links between business performance and engagement.
Set firm expectations and play to your strengths when it comes to career development.