People power has proven a mighty force at Bankwest.
When employees suggested the bank should “move with the times” and adopt flexible working, the bank agreed. Here, Flexible Working Manager Naomi de Rooy describes the changes and the role PEXA played in the rollout.
A pilot “work from home” program was put together in October last year for Bankwest’s Group Lending Services department in Western Australia. The department services customers for home loans and commercial loans, from approval onwards, by organising relevant documents, arranging settlements, lodging mortgages and more.
The introduction of the pilot was in direct response to employee requests, explains Naomi.
The Flexible Working Strategy is inclusive and has since expanded to include 250 people. While there are many mums and dads who have taken up the offer of flexible working, there are certainly no restrictions. “We don’t discriminate. People just need to have a space at home they can comfortably work from,” says Naomi, “It doesn’t matter if you have kids, dogs, whatever.”
Meeting the challenges of flexible working arrangements
To implement flexible working, a few essentials must be in place. Practical things like an internet connection and a desk must be available and, if a person has children, dependent care must be in place. Employees must also meet certain eligibility criteria, including meeting KPI expectations.
The bank also has a policy against taking paper documents home. Fortunately, the Bankwest’s use of PEXA means that more roles are paperless. “PEXA’s all electronic which means you don’t have to print off and sign any documents, which is great. It also allows us to manage conversations and register documents 24/7 so we can have flexible hours and locations.”
A successful strategy
Feedback from team members has been “very, very positive,” says Naomi, “people have said they just couldn’t manage without it now.” Employees enjoy a better work–life balance, including reduced travel times and costs and less reliance on before and after school care.
The business has also benefited, “Our employee engagement score has increased from 72 to 92.” The bank has also seen a boost in productivity for people working at home and a changing culture: “People actually love coming in to work. Turnover has reduced, people are better able to manage workloads and people are more willing to do overtime.” All of this translates to a better experience for customers, since the team can service customers more quickly and efficiently.
The future of flexible working
Following this success, the bank is now working to expand on its strategy. “The next thing is to extend the remote working option to people who can’t work from their home because of, for example, safety or lack of internet connection. We’re looking at other locations where these people can work from.”
PEXA was recently announced as one of Australia’s Best Places to Work. Flexible working hours are an integral part of this award and, thanks to the PEXA platform, is now an invaluable opportunity for its customers to offer their employees.
PEXA Group Executive, Customer & Revenue, Mike Cameron applauds Bankwest for its ingenuity, “Congratulations Bankwest, the benefits of new technologies are certainly not one dimensional, which you’ve proven. As the industry accelerates towards 100% digital property transactions, I’m positive we’ll see more and more of the industry take advantage of these workplace benefits “.
Learn more about the origins of PEXA from former federal Finance Minister, Lindsay Tanner and Victorian Premier, John Brumby, here.