Case Study - Bendigo Bank
Leadership and Team Performance
(A talk with Jason Whitehall, Bendigo Bank's National Manager, Customer Contact and Care)
Why Did Bendigo Bank decided to engage Performance Lab? What was the goal/s?
I needed some help to develop good managers to become good leaders. After meeting with Tony we decided to focus our teams and leadership group on three main areas of Culture, Communication and Leadership. Together we challenged current practices and rebuilt our departments ‘reason for being’ which gave us a strategy and vision staff could engage with. In Tony, I found someone who was genuinely interested in my issues, together we came up with a roadmap of how we could work together to achieve the right outcomes. Tony was happy to work at my pace and took time to understand our culture and point of difference and adapted the program to align with that. We used workshops, keynotes and consulting to make these changes happen.
Sometimes it can be hard to gauge the success of these initiatives, what are some of the ways you've been able to quantify the results?
Our staff engagement is growing, our turnover is low and we as a business have developed a real sense of purpose due to Tony’s ongoing workshops.
Three quarters of the way through Tony’s program, we had an opportunity to take our staff through a mini health check, which measured how staff felt the business performed across the three areas of culture, communication and leadership.
Pleasingly positive responses increased in these three areas by 8.42 per cent, 18.2 per cent and 10.3 per cent respectively. My three direct reports are working together much better, they now meet regularly to discuss and action a ‘one team’ approach to our issues; previously they would have solved issues blinkered by their own business unit not always in the best overall result. Our staff also benefit because they can see their leaders uniting around common goals, we are therefore more consistent in our approach.
Do you have any particular anecdotes about how the changes might have impacted Bendigo Bank's culture in a practical sense?
Historically, I have seen staff go on courses, complete them and then deliver or realise no real change to the business. Tony’s approach is different whereby after each session, staff had ‘homework’ to complete prior to the next session and he also held a series of one on one coaching sessions which each leader to reinforce the learning’s but also work on their individual needs they needed assistance with but not in a team environment. Often in situations of debate or robust conversation they will say things like ‘what did Tony say about communication’ or ‘when we went through the workshop didn’t we commit to….’