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.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
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With this case study you will see:
- Which are the most important impacts (material issues) Challenger has identified;
- How Challenger proceeded with stakeholder engagement, and
- What actions were taken by Challenger to promote employee engagement and wellbeing
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:
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|
· Call centre
· Website and social media
|Shareholders||· Regular financial reporting
· Investor Days
· Management meetings with investors and prospective investors
· Chair engagement with significant investors
|Employees||· Intranet and Yammer
· Employee briefings
· Senior leadership forums
· ESG workshops
· Ongoing team meetings
|Government & regulators
|· Policy analysis
· Government and industry submissions
· Industry forums and conferences
· Ongoing meetings
|· Strategic partnership
· Workplace giving & matching
· Fundraising initiatives
· Shared research activities
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:
- Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
- Targets: 3.7, 3.8
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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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