BPAY Group employees rise to the challenge

- By Collaborative Media & Publishing

BPAY Group isn’t your typical workplace: people are regularly challenged, given opportunities outside of their comfort zone, and leadership is empowering.

“One of the things I noticed when I joined BPAY Group was the number of contractors recruited specifically to do all the cool jobs,” says CEO John Banfield.  “I thought ‘This is just ridiculous. Why don’t we test our own people and give them the challenge, and instead put contractors in their jobs to help provide our people opportunity?’  And that’s exactly what BPAY Group did.

It’s an example of how the BPAY Group is challenging and empowering its employees with more responsibilities as it adapts to the rapidly changing technologies in finance and payments.

BPAY Group has just been named an Aon Hewitt Best Employer for 2018, following the release of its annual Employee Engagement survey. 

“One of the challenges we face as a business internally is helping our people become more nimble and adapt to the changing environment outside of our business because for us to remain relevant we have to adapt and change, especially as the world becomes more digitised and artificial intelligence is starting to play a bigger role,” explains BPAY Group General Manager People and Culture, Lucy Lithgow.

BPAY Group is operating in a very different environment from when it was founded three decades ago.  It has transformed from a company with a single payments product into one with a range of new businesses operating in Australia’s fast growing digital economy.

It means the company is a more exciting and fulfilling place to work as staff rise to the challenge of the new business model.

BPAY Group has just been named an Aon Hewitt Best Employer for 2018, following the release of its annual Employee Engagement survey.  The survey singled out BPAY Group as one of the Best Employers in the Asia-Pacific region, after the organisation posted an employee engagement score of 84%.  It is the highest engagement score in the Group’s long history and above the Aon Hewitt Best Employer average of 81%.  The result is all the more remarkable given the latest survey also found that overall employee engagement of the Best Employer quartile had declined.

The survey also found that employee perception of senior leadership is extremely high at 89% and 93% of employees are proud to be part of the BPAY Group.

BPAY Group has also been evolving over the last couple of years to a performance-based organisation which recognises and rewards staff at an individual as well as a Group level.  Staff feedback showed that employees wanted to feel part of the success of the broader Group.

“We’ve changed so that, if the company does well and an individual also does well , then they benefit also with a little bump up,” says Banfield.

The bonus structures are also strongly based on an individual’s behaviour.  How an employee goes about their day-to-day work makes up half of their potential incentive payment.

It is one small component among a raft of changes that have reinvigorated the workplace culture.  “Now, we’re a lot more dynamic,” says Lithgow.  “We’ve reset the bar.  We hold people to high levels of accountability and they are rising to the challenge.”

This is not to say that BPAY Group is a ‘sink-or-swim’ employer.  People always get the help and support they need to bring them up to speed.

Lithgow says it's not just employees who are more accountable, but also the leadership.  Since moving from a traditional to an activity based working space in late 2016, a new leadership style has been required.

“They have to let go of the control that they traditionally had and empower their people.  When you have that empowerment, that’s when you see real change.  That’s when you see innovative ideas and people coming together,” says Lithgow.

“We’ve moved away from just a people management focus to true leadership where it’s about creating an environment where people can be the best that they can be.   It does take some time, and we’re evolving.”

It means staff are getting all sorts of opportunities they never had before.

Opportunities have continued to present themselves throughout the past three years with the development of Osko by BPAY, a major project to transform BPAY Group’s IT infrastructure and a range of external partnerships to develop new business opportunities. “We have tapped into the expertise and ingenuity of our own people, while presenting them the opportunity to grow.”

For instance, BPAY Group has undertaken a partnership with Boston Consulting Group Digital Ventures. Banfield describes them as “serial entrepreneurs” and explains that recently half a dozen BPAY Group employees spent 12 weeks working at their office in Sydney’s Rocks. “What a great experience it was for them. They bring back that kind of thinking into the organisation, and it just feeds through the organisation.”
This article represents the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of BPAY. Published by BPAY Pty Ltd.  BPAY is offered by over 150 Financial Institutions. Contact your Financial Institution to see if it offers BPAY and to get the terms and conditions. This is general advice – before using BPAY please review the terms and conditions and consider whether BPAY is appropriate for your personal circumstances.

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