Diversity and Inclusion remains one of our 3 strategic pillars. We understand the importance culturally and the business benefit it delivers. CHU built its wonderful foundation 43 years ago establishing a culture that bucks the insurance trend of low female representation. We wish to continue to lead the way and understand that to do this we must revisit what a post covid era means for attracting and retaining diverse talent (including parents and carers).
In July of 2021 we introduced our fully flexible hybrid work model open to ALL staff at every level. The model gives people the choice of where and when they do their best work whether this be in the office, at home or another location or a combination. We come together for purpose on ConnecCHUn days to ensure our culture and connection remains. This has transformed the way CHU and its team members look at the how, where and when we do work. Prior to the model we had around 30% of staff accessing traditional forms of flexible working. The vast majority of these were female parents doing P/T work and male parents altering start and finish times to pick/drop kids off. What we did see was this cohort of workers were more engaged. Since the introduction of the hybrid model we have 100% of staff accessing the flexible model in some way. For many it has transformed their work and family lives giving them balance, for others it has allowed for greater productivity. Since introducing the model we have consistently scored in the top 5% of the finance sector in Flexibility within our engagement survey and achieved a +0.1 change in the score since April 2020. We have also managed to maintain a high level of engagement during our two hardest years with covid sitting in the top 10% of our sector at 8.9/10.
We have seen a really positive response to our hybrid work model. In our ongoing engagement survey we have scored highly out of 10 for the 3 questions we ask regularly:
Some examples are:
James is our CFO & COO. With the introduction of our flexible work model James has been able to become more involved in his three kids days and interests. He now coaches a cricket team late afternoon and can get out during lunch to kick the ball around with his kids – something he had never dreamt of being able to do before.
Kara works in our QLD office. Due to family commitments Kara couldn’t consider a move to Sydney where the majority of our Head Office staff are located. She has been able to secure a senior national role in claims despite being based in QLD.
Carly is our People Advisor. Carly was based in Sydney, when her husband got a job in the ACT Fire Service she was able to move so that he could accept the job and retain hers. Now her husband has an opportunity to move back to NSW to start working in the NSW Fire Service and they are expecting a baby they can make this move knowing they don’t have to necessarily move to Sydney to allow Carly to continue her role.
Hayley is our Claims Manager in QLD. Last year she went on parental leave and came back P/T. With the introduction of our flexible work model she’s been able to agree a compressed work week which allows her to work five days in four, taking care of her baby on the fifth day and not having to settle for reduced income because of her caring responsibilities.
Steve is our National Underwriting Manager and has a young family. He attributes the model to reduced stress levels because of not fighting the commute or looking at the clock to see if he will miss a commitment with his kids and just being present in the home when his kids are. He’s also seen an improvement in his ability to manage his exercise and eat more healthily as a result.
Increased Customer value
Attraction and Retention of Talent
Kristy Pownall, Head of People, CHU Underwriting Agencies Pty Ltd
I started at CHU in 2018 eleven months after having my first child Noah. I had been amazed before I got the job at how comfortable CHU were with the concept of flexible work for a senior/head of role. I didn’t have to bring it up as I was asked at the interview how many days I wanted to work! Needless to say I was ecstatic to be offered the job at CHU. From there I was able to further flex my arrangement by turning my part time hours into a compressed week to enable me to better deliver what I committed to in my role.
Fast forward to 2020 where I was lucky enough to welcome my second child into the world. I had planned to take 9-12 months off but as we know COVID-19 hit and my husbands work was affected. He was required to reduce his hours and pay. CHU enabled me to come back to work early but remain working from home so I could continue to breastfeed my young daughter. My husband’s work recovered in 2021 and he was able to increase his hours. I reverted to my compressed week where I now get to spend time with my two children every week whilst still delivering in role as Head of People. CHU really sets the bar high when it comes to approach and mindset around flexible working and careers. It makes me super proud to be part of CHU as we lead the way in our industry #chulove