The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


Insights on how you can protect the environment, maintain and increase the value of your company, through a structured process.

Insights on how you can protect the environment, maintain and increase the value of your company, through a structured process.

Home / case studies / Case study: How Challenger promotes employee engagement and wellbeing

Case study: How Challenger promotes employee engagement and wellbeing

As Australia’s largest annuity provider, with $18 billion in assets under management, Challenger provides reliable, guaranteed income payments to thousands of Australian retirees. Employees are Challenger’s greatest asset and, accordingly, Challenger has strong programmes in place that celebrate diversity and inclusion, create engagement throughout its business and focus on health, wellbeing and flexible work practices.

This case study is based on the 2020 Sustainability Report by Challenger published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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Challenger is committed to creating an environment where its people can thrive  Tweet This!, supporting employees inside and outside the workplace. In order to promote employee engagement and wellbeing Challenger took action to:

  • conduct an employee engagement survey
  • promote flexible working arrangements
  • implement a holistic wellbeing programme

What are the material issues the company has identified?  

In its 2020 Sustainability Report Challenger identified a range of material issues, such as trust and confidence, long-term risk management, better customer outcomes, changing operating environment, public policy settings, economic uncertainty. Among these, promoting employee engagement and wellbeing stands out as a key material issue for Challenger.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards              

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Challenger engages with: 

To identify and prioritise material topics Challenger engaged with its stakeholders through the following channels:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Customers ·      Survey

·      Call centre

·      Website and social media

·      Presentations

Shareholders ·      Regular financial reporting

·      Investor Days

·      Management meetings with investors and prospective investors

·      Chair engagement with significant investors

Employees ·      Intranet and Yammer

·      Employee briefings

·      Surveys

·      Senior leadership forums

·      ESG workshops

·      Ongoing team meetings

Government & regulators


·      Policy analysis

·      Government and industry submissions

·      Industry forums and conferences

·      Ongoing meetings



·      Strategic partnership

·      Volunteering

·      Workplace giving & matching

·      Fundraising initiatives

·      Shared research activities

What actions were taken by Challenger to promote employee engagement and wellbeing?

In its 2020 Sustainability Report Challenger reports that it took the following actions for promoting employee engagement and wellbeing:

  • Conducting an employee engagement survey
  • Every second year Challenger conducts an employee engagement survey where it asks employees for feedback and ideas on ways Challenger can improve its workplaces and ways of working. Challenger’s 2019 overall sustainable engagement score was 84%. This level of engagement is well above both the Australian National Norm (ANN) and the Global Financial Services Norm (GFSN). The survey also highlighted that Challenger needed to invest more in its systems and tools to match the rate of growth and progress to sufficiently support its employees. In response, in November 2019 Challenger successfully implemented the Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) system. Workday has made it easier for employees to complete requests, update their details and interact with their personal information. Over 70% of employees accessed Workday in the first week of deployment. Additional modules were launched in June 2020 to support learning management and recruitment.
  • Promoting flexible working arrangements
  • In 2019-20 Challenger saw a significant increase in the number of men taking up new flexible work arrangements and parental leave. As at 30 June 2020, 92 employees (~12% of all employees) had formal flexible working arrangements in place. Reflecting efforts to mainstream flexible work for men and women, 30% of flexible work arrangements are for men.
  • Implementing a holistic wellbeing programme
  • Challenger’s wellbeing approach looks at five key pillars: Health, Work, Life, Community and Finance. Challenger is committed to delivering a holistic wellbeing programme, which includes:
    • delivering career development lunch and learn sessions;
    • providing access to free flu vaccinations;
    • creating a Working from Home Wellbeing hub;
    • promoting voluntary superannuation contributions that are matched by Challenger; and
    • supporting the community through fundraising, including contributing to Australian bushfire and drought relief appeals.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standard addressed in this case is: Disclosure 403-6 Promotion of worker health

Disclosure 403-6 Promotion of worker health corresponds to:


80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.

FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised Sustainability Course | Venue: London LSE

By registering for the next 2-day FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised course you will be taking the first step in gaining the many benefits of sustainability reporting.

Most importantly, you will gain the knowledge to use the GRI Standards, project manage your own first-class sustainability report and:

  • Identify your most important impacts on the Environment, Economy and Society
  • Begin taking solid, focused, all-round sustainability action ASAP



1) This case study is based on published information by Challenger, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:


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