Case Study: Australia Post

by HCA14 Jun 2016
With the slew of research attesting to the significant impact of employee reward and recognition programs on workforce engagement and retention, it’s no surprise that businesses are becoming increasingly innovative in their use of these tools to achieve a broad range of specific business objectives.

Australia Post is a case in point, looking beyond the more traditional, values-based reward and recognition program – although they recently relaunched one of these too.  

Background

Having spotted an opportunity for improvement, this iconic Australian brand made the decision to reinvent its time-worn employee lead referral program. Identifying its 37,000-strong workforce as an ideal channel for sourcing new business leads, Australia Post knew the real challenge lay in motivating and upskilling its diverse workforce to undertake sales-related activities, often far removed from typical day-to-day responsibilities.

Solution

With the help of employee loyalty experts Accumulate, Australia Post realised that the ideal, tried and tested formula it was looking for already existed. By drawing on and tweaking the principles of a traditional reward and recognition program to encourage behaviours linked to new business sales objectives rather than company values, the company would achieve the outcomes it needed.

Plus, with employee reward and recognition programs intrinsically linked to engagement and retention, the benefits of this approach were destined to reach beyond those linked to new business generation.
And so the Seeker employee lead referral program was born, incorporating the elements essential to effective reward and recognition programs, including:

•     an engaging brand
•     an automated, easy-to-use, online hub
•     a points-based rewards offering, redeemable online for thousands of reward options
•     an effective, multichannel (and entertaining) communication mix that drives awareness, education and participation, and publicly celebrates team and individual achievements
•     clearly-defined behaviour objectives
•     active senior management support

Importantly, the program encourages employees to learn new skills and perform tasks that sometimes fall outside the parameters of their usual roles. Not only is this essential for realising the program’s new business revenue objectives, but it’s also a well-documented contributor to employee engagement and retention.

Results: Engagement and retention

With the launch having commenced in March 2015, the Seeker program is currently being rolled out in phases. So, while it ticks many of the boxes associated with effective behavioural recognition programs, it’s still too early to measure its impact on employee engagement and retention. However, early signs are extremely positive, with Australia Post reporting that the program – with its fun, canine-inspired brand – “has really captured the imagination” of its employees.

Results: New business leads and revenue 

Although the impact on new business objectives is more immediately measurable, again early results mostly serve as a barometer for the program’s potential.

Sales-related measures taken around six months after the launch commenced, when Seeker had reached just 60% of the workforce, were again extremely positive indicators of things to come when compared to its predecessor:

•     10% increase in leads
•     10% increase in lead conversions
•     5% increase in new business revenue

Looking ahead

Unsurprisingly, the feeling at Australia Post is one of optimism: “We’re really excited by the results we’re seeing from the Seeker program so far … we’re pleased to say it’s already delivering well above expectations … (and) we can’t wait to see the results once it’s rolled out across the whole business,” says Jayleen Karpeta, local area marketing manager, consumer and small business.

By taking a creative, non-traditional approach to solving an age-old business challenge, the company has created a solution that is not only driving a significant uplift in new business revenue but is also on track to have a strong impact on employee engagement and retention.  
 

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