Sustainability - people and culture

 

We understand that attracting and retaining the best possible people is paramount, so we have created a workplace that makes BOQ a company people want to work for and an environment and culture where they can succeed.

 

Recruitment and selection

BOQ has a dedicated and skilled on-site recruitment team whose purpose is to ensure we use best practice and a structured and transparent approach to recruitment.

 

The Bank’s recruitment and selection policy requires that all vacancies are advertised internally and through a number of external sources. This is to ensure fairness of the process but also to get the best applicant pool with the appropriate skills for the role and organisation.

 

Find out more about careers at BOQ.

 

Diversity and inclusion in the workforce

In order to attract and retain a diverse workforce, the Bank is committed to providing an environment in which all employees are treated fairly and equitably. The Bank recognises that gender diversity is an important component to achieve this goal. Our current objectives and targets to ensure gender diversity include: 

 

  • acknowledging unconscious bias does exist and providing management training to raise awareness;
  • continuing to grow the number of women in senior leadership roles by holding Group Executives accountable to gender diversity targets in their divisions;
  • ensuring gender bias does not exist in identifying talent and succession planning;
  • ensuring gender bias does not exist in remuneration and reward;
  • ensuring external partners have a commitment to diversity and inclusion through the tender and contract negotiation process;
  • focusing on retention of talented women through recognition and development, particularly by introducing a “Women in Leadership” program.

 

BOQ is committed to reconciliation and we are working with our partners and stakeholders to implement a Reconciliation Action Plan for BOQ in 2017. 

 

On 31 May 2016, BOQ submitted its annual public report with the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.  BOQ's report (including Virgin Money Australia) is available here and will also be available on the WGEA website www.wgea.gov.au later this year.

 

Unique Owner Manager branch model

Our Owner Manager branch model is unique to the banking industry and one which we are very proud of. Under this model over 60% of our branches are run by Owner Managers who are agents and franchisees of BOQ and are authorised to conduct BOQ business.

 

Owner Managers are not only the Managers of their branch, they also own their branch too. As small-business owners they have the freedom to personally manage their customer relationships and the incentive to drive their business’s success. These relationships extend into the broader community with our Owner Managers supporting local charities, schools and sporting organisations as well as being strong advocates for their local business and professional communities.   

 

Here at BOQ we take the responsibility of being a franchisor very seriously. We regularly conduct independent research to obtain Owner Managers' feedback on being part of BOQ.

 

In 2009 we established a National Advisory Council (NAC) where BOQ Owner Managers as representatives of the franchise network meet with senior leaders in a structured forum. The NAC meet every second month to discuss ideas, issues, concerns and initiatives. All Owner Managers are encouraged to raise agenda topics with their NAC representatives and minutes from the meetings are made available internally.

 

In 2014 we also began introducing a business coaching program which is detailed under the ‘Branch Manager training’ section on this page. We now have over 60% of the Owner Manager network participating in this program which is producing significant uplift across business and operational efficiency metrics. In September 2016 we also introduced a business and financial coaching program for new Owner Managers to assist and support them through their transition into BOQ and business ownership in general.   

 

Learning and development

We have our very own dedicated Learning and Development team offering a range of in-house and external personal and professional development courses and resources for all employees.
 
Our focus is on providing staff with development opportunities that will provide a platform for success in their current position as well as create a foundation for further career development.

 

Management development

We have recently introduced a new leadership competency framework and training program to broaden and strengthen leadership capabilities. We provide a number of tailored solutions including manager’s toolboxes, Certificate IV in Frontline Management, accreditation programs and access to world-leading management resources via Harvard Manager Mentor.

 

Branch Manager training

Our Fitter4Biz program is a 12 month business coaching program that centres on business planning, financial management, business development and sales leadership to help our retail network become a network of exceptional small business owners and managers who excel at banking.

 

The program focuses on creating a positive mindset around success and accountability, consistent and sustained growth resistant to negative market influences, improvements in profitability and revenue growth, and greater leverage support for business owner time. The program consists of:

  • monthly face-to-face group sessions
  • monthly webinars
  • a digital portal which hosts an online coaching platform including video and course reference material
  • a peer buddy and online social community for sharing, discussion and support.

 

Job Ready Accreditation Process

At BOQ, we think it’s possible to love working for a bank. So much so that we’ve developed structured Job Ready Accreditation Processes for our frontline retail roles. This program gives our staff quality and engaging training, equipping them with the knowledge and skills required in sales, systems and compliance. 
 
 

Nationally recognised qualifications

We are proud to offer our employees development opportunities that result in nationally recognised qualifications.  Our current scope includes Certificate III in Financial Services, Certificate IV in Credit Management and Certificate IV in Front Line Management. In partnership with our registered training organisation, we will continue to broaden the qualifications available to employees.

 

Professional development

We invest in our people and offer a number of tailored professional development opportunities, including time management, team building, communication essentials, conflict resolution, assertiveness at work, negotiation skills, and professional presentations.

 

Study assistance

We support and encourage personal and professional development and aim to give employees the opportunity to enhance their skills in a way that is both relevant and complimentary to their position at BOQ – our Study Assistance Policy support this.

 

Employee engagement

We’re committed to frequently checking in with our employees to find out how they’re feeling and what we can do to improve their personal engagement with the organisation. Our engagement framework is built on the premise that at the heart of engagement is great leadership, and as such holds managers accountable through their yearly performance development agreements to continually improve the engagement score of their teams. We conduct quarterly pulse surveys and a full year survey, and ensure that all teams have action plans in place for improving engagement. These action plans have measurable outcomes which are reported on regularly.

 

Employee benefits

Every BOQ employee contributes to our success.  We understand that our employees value meaningful work where they are able to develop and grow professionally and are able to balance their work and personal needs.  We offer employees a benefits program designed to meet these needs.

 

We have our very own dedicated internal learning and development team offering a range of in-house and external personal and professional development courses and resources for all employees and a study assistance program.
 
We offer employees access to discounts through various gym and health providers as well as access to online information sessions on how to best manage their general health. There is also a flu vaccinations program available to all staff.
 
We offer our employees a wide range of financial benefits from fee-free transaction accounts, to discounts on insurance, personal and home loans as well as salary packaging.
 
There are also offers which provide discounts on a wide range of products such as travel, cars, computers and retail products.

 

Flexible work arrangements

BOQ is committed to supporting flexible work arrangements to assist employees achieve a better work life balance and to ensuring our employees remain satisfied and productive.

 

BOQ has a range of flexible work practices that employees can access where appropriate to assist employees manage demands such as picking-up/dropping-off at childcare, caring for family members, attending medical and other appointments or minimising travel times to/from the workplace.
 
These include changing hours of work, job sharing, changing the location of work and home-based work which allows for the flexibility to work from home if this is suitable.

 

Reward and recognition

BOQ has a recognition and reward program called the “Prove It’s Possible Awards” where on a quarterly basis it recognises employees from every division who exhibit outstanding demonstration of our core values (integrity, collaboration, impact and passion). Employees complete online nominations of peers which are then presented to the divisional leadership teams to decide the overall winners. At the end of the year, quarterly winners are invited to a gala event where the grand final winner (as chosen by our CEO) is announced.

 

Employee Assistance Program

Through Assure Programs, BOQ provides all employees and their immediate families with access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP is a confidential, free and voluntary short-term counselling service to assist employees and their immediate family members to resolve or better manage work or personal problems which may be affecting their performance, productivity, job satisfaction and well-being.

 

Work Health and Safety

Our health and safety charter and strategy takes into consideration New Zealand and Australian state and territory requirements, and applies the most stringent requirements across the board. Our objective is to maintain a safe system of work for our employees, customers, contractors and visitors and to deliver sustainable WHS performance improvements and enhance the wellbeing of our people and our customers.

 

We’re striving for continuous improvement and regularly monitor our performance against our targets to improve the health, safety and wellbeing outcomes for our employees. Reporting on our Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) performance is provided on a bi-weekly, monthly and on a quarterly basis to Management and the Board of Directors.

 

Our commitment to WHS is supported through the delivery of a comprehensive workplace health and safety program. Some of our initiatives include:

  • WHS plans for operational areas
  • physical WHS ‘health checks’ for all our branches
  • face-to-face delivery of risk and safety leadership training
  • proactive focus on injury management for both non-work and work-related injuries and illness
  • BOQ Group wellbeing plan with targeted mental health programs
  • ergonomic design standards applied to corporate office and branch design, branch conversions and site refurbishments
  • framework to ensure WHS standards are maintained for employees working from home or remotely.