How one Australian bank encourages employees to drive their own development

by John Hilton08 Apr 2016
L&D Professional chats to Ed Cooley, Executive General Manager, Talent and Planning, at Suncorp Bank for his insights.

LDP: How are employees encouraged to play an active role in their development?

EC: While leaders play an important role in helping to guide and provide support to their teams, we strongly believe and encourage employees to drive their own development.

Suncorp has a great culture of encouraging people to have regular conversations with their leaders about their career aspirations, including what development they might need to get there.

We actively encourage people to develop by continually seeking feedback, to make use of our many development courses, and to look for other short- or long-term development opportunities within Suncorp. The development opportunities are limitless.

LDP: What are some key L&D lessons you have learned?

EC: You should never assume you know what a learner needs. It’s far better to immerse yourself in their role, to get a better understanding of their business and customers, and then develop a learning solution that meets their needs and actual working environment. It is so powerful to spend a day in the business – to get to know more of our employees and our customers and to understand what development will help our employees to provide more value for our customers.

Secondly, it’s crucial to really understand the businesses strategy, where we are now and where we are intending to be in one, three or five years’ time. This helps us to create the right development opportunities so our employees are best placed to deliver value for our customers, now and in the future.
LDP: What are the greatest challenges you are facing in L&D?

EC: At Suncorp we need to ensure that creating value for the customer is at the centre of everything we do.

It is an excellent challenge to create learning opportunities that help drive business outcomes and deliver value for customers. It’s necessary to really understand our customers and how to develop our people to be in the best position to meet their needs and exceed their expectations.

At the moment, we are working really hard on a new customer curriculum which will align with our new customer strategy. It will challenge our people to think about how they can provide more value for our customers every day.

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