The Australian Business Award for HR Management recognises organisations that execute initiatives that demonstrate leadership and commitment to excellence in human resource management.

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Founded in 1817 as Australia’s first bank, Westpac Banking Corporation provides consumer, business and institutional banking services along with wealth management and administration to customers across Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

Recognising that the future of work and the way people want to work is changing, Westpac moved to completely rethink its traditional corporate environment and migrate 10,000 corporate employees to agile environments and behaviours. With the attraction and retention of talent and the stimulation of innovation identified as essential for Westpac’s future growth; a strategic HR program called WorkSMART was developed to drive technological and operational change at Westpac.

Led by the HR team, WorkSMART recognises the importance of empowering employees to choose how, when and where they work by transforming Westpac’s corporate environment, tools, systems, policies and culture. Employees were engaged in consultation workshops with a focus on understanding what employees wanted. This engagement process enabled the WorkSMART team to build a comprehensive change experience that encompassed the requirements from across all project streams including technology, property, operations, paper reduction and behavioural change.

Subsequently, a 12-month high-quality, integrated, pre and post-move cultural change program was developed for individuals and leaders, which encouraged role modelling and embedded new ways of working. This program included educational workshops, a new WorkSMART dedicated intranet portal and an executive program, designed to build executive awareness. Anchored around neuroscience principles, workshops set leaders up to succeed in the new agile environment and to become champions of change, flexibility and collaboration. Technological changes and paper independence where also prominent in assisting employees to become more agile and collaborative around the workplace.

The implementation of WorkSMART has seen the introduction of new, agile environments in the workplace, alongside new technologies that have increased collaboration. Following the shift, the percentage of employees who felt that their workplace encouraged collaboration doubled to 88%, and the percentage of employees who felt technology supported their work increased by 43%. The development and implementation of WorkSMART has earned Westpac a Human Resources Management Award in the Australian Business Awards 2016.

The Australian Business Awards are the regional chapter of an integrated, hierarchical leadership program conducted on a national and international level. Eligible organisations from each region are invited to participate in the international chapter of the program at The World Business Awards. Conducted annually and currently in the second year of its international launch, The World Business Awards seeks to engage with the world’s business, innovation and technology leaders through a global recognition and knowledge building initiative that is underpinned by the program’s established framework. The program engages with organisations worldwide to benchmark the full spectrum of their products, services and initiatives and to review their business performance. The cycle culminates in the recognition and celebration of organisations that implement world-class business initiatives and industry leading products and services on a prominent and far-reaching scale. All entries must be entered in the regional chapter where the organisation is based.

Organisational participation includes private companies, publicly listed companies, multinational subsidiaries, not-for-profit organisations, non-government organisations, educational institutions, franchise systems, partnerships, government departments, government agencies, local government and statutory bodies operating in Australia.

Initiatives can include but are not limited to projects, programs, processes, systems, technologies, developments, ventures and undertakings.

Entries are assessed utilising a robust and dynamic framework to ensure that the assessment process is pertinent and objective. The World Business Awards Framework (WBA Framework) is utilised as a structured model of assessment that enables the participating organisations to be benchmarked against world class performance standards. The Framework consists of specialised assessment modules pertaining to the evaluation criteria for each of the award categories. The criteria and sub-criteria provide a robust set of requirements that are used as the methodology for benchmarking and learning among the participating organisations.

Organisations that participate are provided with the unique opportunity to benchmark themselves against the top performers globally. The recipients are acknowledged for their achievements and recognised as the elite of their industry earning a place amongst a distinguished group by having their products, projects, initiatives, contributions and achievements recognised on a prominent and far-reaching scale. The program provides the ultimate platform for building knowledge, increasing brand awareness, equity, loyalty and retention through increased exposure, recognition and prestige. This establishes a valuable resource that can be used extensively to create opportunities for publicity, positive organisational profiling and heightened brand awareness within the respective industries both nationally and internationally.

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