Home' HR Monthly : July 2018 Contents July 2018 HRM magazine 7
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ll of us will have been following the daily progress of
the Royal Commission into Financial Services (RC) and
also the testimony and confronting evidence given about
inappropriate practices by the large banks, and the pain suffered by
many customers as a result.
While many of us would have felt for our H R colleagues in
those institutions, it’s also worth asking what ou r profession can
learn more generally from RC events. There is little doubt that we
will be able to identify with what’s been happening at the Royal
Commission. But are we sure that we are pursuing best practices and
responsible conduct with our own customers, staff colleagues and
other stakeholders with our organisation?
I think the lessons from the RC can be grouped into five areas.
First there is product and service transparency in the relationship
with our customers. This means we must ensure that not only
are our co-workers developed and trained to explain clearly what
customers can expect from our different products, but also that
they understand the terms, obligations and risks of what they are
taking on. That’s at the beginning. We also need to ensure that
customers understand the futu re risks and assessments that we need
to undertake as part of our mutual business relationship.
Second, the evidence at the RC shows we need to be alert to
rectifying errors promptly and take due care in effecting any
changes in ou r servicing arrangements with customers, and to do
that in ways that explain causes and reasons simply, professionally
Third, we need to develop and deliver the right cultu re for our
staff with customers and stakeholders. Commissioner Ken Haynes
has questioned all the big banks for saying they put customers first.
Quite the contrary, it is clear that their communications have not
been transparent and that the banks haven’t intervened to correct
prolonged systemic mistakes. Or, when a service hasn’t been
delivered but fees have still been deducted (sometimes to deceased
persons). And when customers have been treated brutally and blind-
sided on sudden terminations of product life or the total relationship.
Fourth, the RC has brought both remuneration and performance
systems into high focus. Incentive systems can be very valuable to
motivation of staff and enterprise grow th. However, those based
on rewards for incremental sales that represent a high proportion
of total potential remuneration, raise considerations of sales cultu re
They also ask the question about whether supervisors are
aware of how bad conduct impacts relationships with the customer
and disproportionate returns from the latter’s share of
wallet, as the RC has uncovered.
Finally, we can ref lect on the RC experience
in terms of our risk management and quality
assurance functions. This affects us at all levels
of enterprise operations. HR practitioners
must ensure their organisations operate within
the law and the requirements of the regulators,
where appropriate, and also respond efficiently
to customer experiences, and the competitive
This institute has been monitoring these royal
commission events closely, on our
members’ behalf. We encourage all
practitioners to do the same and
contribute to ideas and suggestions
that ou r profession can take on
board to ensure we remain ahead
of the game. As we must. •••
Lessons HR must learn from the banking industry’s conduct.
BY PETER WILSON AM FCPHR AHRI CHAIRMAN
To read past Perspective columns by
Peter Wilson, visit hrmonline.com.au
“ It’s clear that the banks
haven’t intervened to
21/6/18 4:28 pm
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