Bank of Queensland (BOQ) is one of Australia’s leading regional banks with headquarters in Brisbane, Queensland, and more than 250 branches across the country. It has been doing business since 1874 and is one of the few financial institutions in Australia that isn’t owned by one of the big banks.
Its main goal: To prove to its customers that it is possible to love a bank.
BOQ wants to show its 1,500 employees some love, too. The bank recognizes engaged employees are the ones who can clearly see opportunities for career progression and learning, and know that their efforts are contributing to the success of the whole organisation. That’s why BOQ focused on streamlining its talent management solution from eight different providers to one, saving 50% in cost and improving the user experience for employees at the same time.
With the help of Halogen TalentSpace™, BOQ has aligned individual goals with organizational goals and created a more direct link between performance and development.
Together, an improved talent management strategy has increased support for the bank’s strategic imperative to differentiate itself from its competitors through its talent and its commitment to customer service.
Investing in the future
The difficulty for BOQ was that it was using multiple systems to run each individual component of its talent management practices. As a result, there wasn’t an accurate, practical or time effective way for the HR department to get a complete view of how the organisation was executing on its talent and performance management objectives. The bank wanted to consolidate its talent management solutions to make it easier for employees to use and for managers to track performance and plan learning and development paths.
BOQ started investigating different talent management vendors and kept coming back to Halogen Software because of how integrated the system is. During its research, BOQ found that Halogen had the highest ranking for customer satisfaction. This recognition resonated with the bank for obvious reasons.
“Banks are all about customer satisfaction, so it was great to know that Halogen valued its customers as much as we do,” says Jo Senz, HR Systems Manager, Bank of Queensland. “Along with its integrated system, that’s what made Halogen the best choice for our company.”
Banking on implementation success
The bank set up an aggressive implementation plan, rolling out Halogen Performance™ in just four weeks.
“It was an achievable goal for us because we were used to an electronic system,” says Senz. “We had existing processes and forms, so it wasn’t as difficult as it would have been if we had been moving from a paper process to an electronic process. Additionally, the flexibility of the Halogen solution meant we could easily add our existing process and forms into the system and then make any improvements over time.”
But Senz says the key to their smooth implementation was the support received from Halogen.
“Halogen’s implementation consultant came to our premises, sat down with us, found out what we had and what we didn’t have and helped us fill in the gaps,” says Senz.
BOQ then added Halogen Succession™, Halogen Learning™ and Job Description Builder™, which syncs together with Halogen Performance to provide comprehensive employee profiles and map out learning and development plans.
“The great thing about Halogen’s products is how they help align our employees and keep them focused on our mission,” says Senz. “We now have a way to provide meaningful feedback to employees and managers because competencies in job descriptions are mapped to performance appraisals. Learning plans are directly tied to performance outcomes, meaning employees are getting the training the need. With Halogen Succession, we can now proactively identify high-potential employees and nurture them for future leadership roles. The information in the system is all tied together and we’re in a position to take a holistic approach to talent management.”
Managers at BOQ are already seeing the advantage of having an integrated suite of talent management solutions.
“We can see that people are completing their mandatory training, they’re updating their performance self-analysis and reviews. We’ve got direct linkages between all of our talent management practices, so if employees don’t do compliance training, they don’t get a pay raise. It’s much simpler for managers to be able to see that when it’s all contained in one system,” says Senz.
One of the deciding factors in selecting Halogen was the promise of knowledgeable customer support any time, day or night. It seems a tall order with the time difference between Canada and Australia, but Senz says the customer service has been outstanding.
“We call the 1-800 number and I wouldn’t know it was the middle of the night in Canada. They sound fresh and up for the day. Whenever I pick up the phone, my call is answered within minutes,” says Senz.
But help isn’t just a phone call away — BOQ can also get assistance from Halogen’s satellite office in Sydney.
“Bank of Queensland also has an office in Sydney, so we can get help from the customer service staff based there if we want to meet face-to-face,” says Senz. “When you’re implementing any new system you’re bound to run into issues, but the important thing with Halogen is that you’re never facing a challenge alone. There’s always people who support you and want you to succeed.”
Having 24/7 customer support, dedicated implementation consultants and experienced trainers helped take the worry out of launching a new talent management system.
“They’re with you not just at the start, but throughout your journey to help you create and meet your business objectives,” says Senz.
The performance payoff
In the first year of using Halogen Talentspace, the Bank of Queensland saw a 50% cost-savings and improved user experience. For BOQ managers and employees, having an integrated system was a significant step forward.
“People had many different logins. Now they only have to remember one username and password. That simple change made people less frustrated and more engaged,” says Senz. “We’ve finished our first full-year review and have started a new cycle of goal-setting. We have high completion rates and satisfied employees. They like that they can go in to one system, get things done and get out as quickly as possible. We’re not wasting their time.”
Companies are always evolving and their talent management needs tend to change. To this end, BOQ has now started Continuous Advancement Services with Halogen to find out areas where they can improve their talent management strategy.
Ongoing employee development is critical to BOQ’s ability to deliver on its value proposition. Halogen is helping the leadership team, the HR team and front line managers at BOQ to identify employee development needs, support career progression and create a more direct link between performance and development. In addition, employees are being empowered to take charge of their own development.
“I would recommend Halogen Software as a great company with great people,” says Senz. “We have similar values of putting customer satisfaction first, working hard while still having fun. Our relationship has really benefitted from that.”