Annual Review 2015

Execute flawlessly and relentlessly

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Execute flawlessly and relentlessly

By focusing on execution, we aim to improve the way we run our business, and the way we manage change. In FY15, NAB made progress towards becoming a more performance driven organisation.

Driving performance

NAB has embedded its new performance management framework within the operating rhythm of our Australian performance units. The new framework provides a more granular performance assessment of the Australian performance units, fosters greater performance discipline and drives clearer accountability. BNZ’s performance framework is also being refreshed to leverage the tools and learnings from NAB.

Executing change well

We are finalising the execution of some large, transformative technology investments. One example is our customer pilot for the new Personal Banking Origination Platform (PBOP). PBOP will significantly improve new loan processes for both customers and bankers, including pre-filling application data and enabling customers to track the status of their application or upload information, such as pay slips, online.

Further, we have completed all migration activities and associated server decommissioning of our East Melbourne data centre. This will deliver a more stable and lower risk operating environment as well as reduce carbon emissions, energy and water use.

Transforming processes for speed and reliability

NAB continues to improve the speed and reliability of our processes by leveraging operational and management excellence in key business areas. Our Kaizen Plus capability is focused on delivering improved customer experiences and increased productivity through eliminating “re-work” in our processes.

Maintaining foundations

Our strategy is supported by maintaining strength in our balance sheet, risk management capability and technology platforms. See pages 37-42 for more information on our foundations.

Our people

Human capital management

Culture and values

A strong culture is central to the successful execution of NAB’s strategy and vision to be Australia and New Zealand’s most respected bank.

In FY15, we articulated a set of five values to describe the culture we are striving for. These values, as described in the adjacent table, are designed to work alongside each other and provide a direct link between NAB’s culture and strategy.

We know that understanding how values influence organisational decision-making can be difficult. We have therefore placed a strong emphasis on measurement in our annual engagement survey, so we can see how closely our people believe that we are living our values.

A subset of questions in the survey have been used to create an ‘Alignment to Our Values’ index. In 2015, 87% of our people agreed or strongly agreed that NAB has a clear set of values and behaviours, that everyday work is guided by these, and that the values and behaviours are demonstrated every day throughout the organisation.

In FY15, to make sure that our values become the core of our culture, we incorporated them into our performance management system. We believe this change means improved outcomes for our customers, our people and our communities – through improved conduct, stronger relationships and increased focus on high performance.

How we are living our values

Passion for customers

Putting ourselves in customers’ shoes, understanding what they need and building genuine connections.

In 2015, we held two NAB-wide ‘Customer Connect Days’, where we harnessed the collective ability of NAB to call customers, thanked them for their loyalty and checked that our products and services were still meeting their expectations. While our frontline employees interact with customers daily, these ‘Customer Connect Days’ encourage employees in non-customer facing roles to have direct and meaningful conversations with our customers. They also gave our people the opportunity to see first-hand how much of an impact they can have on our customers. On our most recent ‘Customer Connect Day’, a total of 38,780 calls were placed to our customers, leading to over $4.7 billion in further opportunities.

Will to win

Collaborating across our business to create value for all stakeholders.

In the face of intense competition, we have maintained our position as Australia’s largest business bank31 and we continue to back businesses that back themselves. We are investing in attracting, developing and retaining great people, and continue to innovate so we can make things simpler for our customers. We continue to be active advocates for the interests of small business, demonstrating our support for the Australian business community.

Be bold

Not being afraid to ask the tough questions and try something different.

We were the first major Australian bank in 2015 to announce plans to raise additional capital, taking decisive action to strengthen our balance sheet ahead of anticipated regulatory changes and to facilitate our proposed UK exit. Raising $5.5 billion culminated in the largest capital raising in Australian corporate history. Execution of the capital raising was testament to an outstanding team effort and strong demand from our shareholders and the market.

Respect for people

Embracing the things that make us different and encouraging an inclusive culture.

As family dynamics continue to change, we made our 12-week paid parental leave entitlement more accessible to new dads and other non-birth parents. Our people can now take paid primary carers’ leave anytime within the first 12 months of their child’s life. Our return-to-work rate following primary carers’ leave (and any consecutive extended leave) has increased from 80% in 2013 to 89% in 2015.

Do the right thing

Making good decisions for our customers, people and communities even when it is difficult.

Together with Good Shepherd Microfinance and more than 200 community organisations, we helped over 394,000 low income Australians with low and no interest loans to date. In addition, we continue to invest in innovative solutions that offer an alternative to predatory lending. We launched our fourth Good Money Store in Salisbury, South Australia, which provides safe and affordable finance in a prominent high street location. In New Zealand, our award-winning32 Community Finance initiative has been running successfully for over a year and is saving StepUP loan customers an estimated $2,000 in fees and interest over the life of their loans33 (compared to borrowing the same amount through alternative lenders).

Building capability

Investing in our people and their development is essential to the successful execution of our strategy.

NAB has a targeted learning curriculum that is aligned to our values and the delivery of our strategy. We bring it to life across the organisation through role specific training, leadership and professional development programs, and mandatory compliance learning. Through targeted training, we can be sure our people are engaged, confident and capable in their roles, so they can focus on delivering a great customer experience and help deliver superior returns to our shareholders.

NAB recognises the challenge of delivering consistent learning opportunities regardless of time and geography and we know there is further work to be done in this area. The introduction of self-paced learning programs and smaller “bite sized” learning has shown early signs of success and we will continue to develop this across the organisation in 2016.

We have seen evidence of a reduction in ‘year one attrition’ for new employees that participated in our ‘Job-Ready’ induction and on-boarding programs.

Developing and retaining talent

NAB’s talent management processes help prepare our high performing, high potential employees for future roles. Supporting, developing and accelerating our talent into critical roles puts us in the best possible position to execute our strategy, create role models for our values, inspire teams and deliver results. The availability of career development opportunities is also a clear driver of employee engagement.

Our end-to-end talent management process identifies high performing and high potential employees who undertake assessment and experience accelerated development to strengthen our talent pipeline.

At the start of FY15, 416 high-potential leaders (48% female, 52% male) were participants in the NAB Group’s Talent Pool, and 95% are still with us. In Australia, 23% of these leaders have received a promotion over the past 12 months.

NAB’s 2015 Reconciliation Action Plan includes a commitment to developing leadership capability of Indigenous employees. This year, we completed the second Indigenous Emerging Leader program, with 25 employees having now completed the curriculum including face-to-face and reflective learning, and practical workplace activities designed to help participants develop their ability to manage, lead and mentor others. The program also included a session to discuss career development with NAB Group CEO Andrew Thorburn.

Succession planning

We have ‘Ready Now’ successors in place for all 60 Executive General Manager level roles. 58% of these roles have female successors.

81% of new senior executives were internal appointments, highlighting the strength of NAB’s succession planning and talent development programs.

Graduate Program

We want to continue bringing fresh, innovative talent into the NAB Group. This year, 104 graduates have accepted positions to commence in NAB’s 2016 Australian Graduate Program. 55% of the 2016 cohort are female and 45% are male.

Since the launch of our Enterprise Graduate Program in 2012, the retention of Graduates has been 91%.

Diversity and inclusion

Investing in a diverse and inclusive workforce provides benefits for our people, builds stronger relationships within the communities in which we operate and enables NAB to attract and retain great people.

NAB’s Diversity and Inclusion strategy reflects the changing needs and expectations of our people, customers and shareholders, with the strategic imperatives of inclusion, life stage and gender equity being driven by leadership and flexibility. We continue to take a proactive approach to meeting regulatory requirements with respect to diversity and inclusion and in FY15 we updated our ‘Australian Diversity and Inclusion’ policy to include both emerging practices and our NAB values.

The table below represents our 2015 workforce composition by age and gender.34

Age profile

% Female

% Male


























Source: Internal.

The table below details our gender equity targets.


2015 Female representation

2015 Target

Executive management35



Group subsidiary boards



NAB Board (non-executive directors)



2016 Graduate Program (Australia)36



Source: Internal.

In FY15, NAB met a number of its gender equity targets. Whilst there was an increase of female representation in executive management in FY15, up two percentage points to 32%, we did not meet our target of 33%. This will have renewed focus in the year ahead, led by the Group CEO and the Executive Leadership Team, to continue to drive gender equity at NAB.

Gender pay equity

We are committed to fair and equitable remuneration, consistent with our market and performance remuneration framework. Our Group CEO remains a member of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s Pay Equity Ambassadors program as part of their national awareness and education campaign to eliminate gender pay bias.

The gender pay gap within NAB is below the current industry average37, but we recognise there is still work to be done.

To continue reducing the gender pay gap and driving greater consistency and alignment, we actively monitor and manage:

The setting of variable reward targets.

Annual remuneration recommendations for specific roles.

Performance outcomes.

In addition, all employees receive a remuneration review when returning from parental leave to ensure their level of remuneration remains appropriate and the terms of NAB’s Enterprise Agreement are applied.


At NAB, we value the diversity that unique backgrounds, capabilities and life experiences bring to the workplace. In 2015, we continued to deliver training, improve processes and update policies as part of our commitment to inclusion in the workplace. Our people recognise these initiatives, with 80% of employees stating that they feel NAB’s culture is inclusive37. While this is an encouraging result, we know that there is room for improvement.

Life stage

As the demographics of Australian society change, NAB is faced with new challenges and opportunities. Continuing to develop a mature age offering that meets the needs of both the business and the individual is essential to prepare NAB for changes in the composition of the workforce.

At NAB, we recognise that attracting and retaining mature age workers is a competitive advantage. Mature age workers bring more life experience and industry expertise into our business. We encourage our people to remain in the workforce to help them achieve their retirement goals and to retain valuable expertise and customer relationships.

NAB also educates its people leaders about how to lead effectively in a work environment that is rapidly changing from a demographic perspective.

This is the fifth year that NAB offered ‘MyFuture’ workshops, which provided leaders and mature-age employees the opportunity to see how prepared they are for their future. The workshops covered everything from career, flexibility, health and finances to relationships and the transition to retirement. Participants in this year’s program have reported an increase in flexible working uptake, proactive health management and in planning and discussing their future goals.


Diversity Leader Award: Won by BNZ at the Deloitte, Top 200 Awards

2015 Australian Workplace Equality Index, 9th place out of 58 submissions. Improvement from 14th place in 2014

Employee engagement and advocacy

We understand how closely employee engagement is linked to delivering superior shareholder returns. That’s why we set ourselves the goal of achieving the global high performing organisation benchmark of 60%38 in employee engagement as part of our strategy.

For the second year in a row, NAB engaged Right Management, our independent survey provider, to measure the overall engagement of our people. The methodology applied in the survey measures our people’s commitment, advocacy, satisfaction and pride in both their job (four questions) and in the organisation (four questions). The overall enterprise engagement score measures the proportion of our people who answer favourably to all eight of these questions. Results of the survey have been included in the table below:

Speak Up, Step Up’ survey results



Job Engagement



Organisation Engagement



Enterprise Engagement score



Source: ‘Speak Up, Step Up’ survey conducted by Right Management in May 2015.

We recognise that higher employee engagement is linked with a number of business performance factors including higher productivity, lower levels of employee turnover and increased profitability.

Through our employee survey, we found that the key drivers of engagement across NAB are making sure that:

Our people have challenging and interesting work.

Our people see career opportunities for themselves.

Senior leaders are seen to be communicating an inspiring vision for NAB.

Our people experience NAB as inclusive and ready to respond to changes in the external business environment.

Understanding and responding to these drivers plays an important role in achieving our goal of reaching the enterprise engagement global high performing benchmark of 60%39.

Ethical conduct

Our Code of Conduct (Code) sets out the standards of responsibility and behaviour we expect of our people. It is the responsibility of everyone working on NAB’s behalf, including contractors, consultants and directors, to make sure they comply with this Code. Our people are required to complete a mandatory online learning module that requires them to attest to understanding and complying with the Code.

NAB recognises that the real work in bringing our Code to life is through our daily actions, decisions and behaviours. To this end, our Executive Leadership Team regularly engages with our top 200 leaders, reinforcing the importance of the ‘tone from the top’. We also encourage our people to speak up when they witness behaviour that is in conflict with the Code.

There are a number of ways to escalate any complaints or concerns including through people leaders, Workplace Relations, confidential email alerts and NAB’s whistleblower program.

If it is proven that individuals have engaged in conduct that does not meet our expectations, or in conflict with the Code, then disciplinary action is taken including formal warnings or termination of employment. For more information on how we manage conduct risk in our business, see page 38.

Mental health and wellbeing

Supporting the physical and psychological wellbeing of our employees is a key focus for NAB because we know how important it is to create a healthy environment where our people feel supported, can perform, feel resilient in times of change and ultimately, achieve their personal and career goals. While there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to creating a mentally healthy workplace, the role of leadership is vital.

Our people leaders are given training to help them identify the early warning signs of mental ill health in the workplace (without diagnosing), respond to these signs and access the support resources available. They also have 24/7 access to Manager Assist to help with more difficult people issues.

Consistent with greater community awareness of mental health issues and our strategic focus on improving mental health and wellbeing, reporting of psychological incidents has increased at a greater rate over time compared to other specific causes of injury. Removing the stigma attached to mental ill health issues and recognising the early warning signs, helps us to better support our people to manage the issues before they start impacting on their ability to remain at work. The positive sign in 2015 has been an increase in employees seeking assistance whilst still at work.

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