Winning at UBank

“It was a chance to bring in something I knew would make a difference to each and every one of us; to drive change, drive performance, drive growth and drive opportunity.”

Lee Hatton
CEO, UBank, Australia
Background:
Transforming UBank

UBank is an independent digital-only bank owned by the National Australia Bank. After working through a rebranding exercise, the executive team commissioned us to help them transform the performance of their workforce so they could unlock the banks potential. UBank’s vision to be Australia’s most referred brand requires a high degree of staff engagement, hence its people are seen by the executive as the key to its success. UBank’s executive deployed the Steel Performance System because they believed it would give them the tools to out-perform their competitors.

Metrics
Staff engagement
25
Points
Increase
Customer growth
1500
%
Increase
Productivity
400
%
Increase
Q&A
What was the state of UBank prior to you introducing the Steel Performance System (SPS)?

UBank was a good business with good underlying principles but we weren’t performing to our potential. The business worked in silos and although people were happy, there wasn’t enough focus on performance or how to drive growth.

Glen Aiton
Chief Operating Officer
What has been the impact of the SPS?

It allowed us to galvanize our thinking as a leadership team in terms of what we wanted to achieve and how we could do it; shifting us from thinking ‘we can’t do it’ or that ‘it’s impossible’ to ‘why not’ and providing us with a way to get there. The SPS not only provided us with a way to transform the business, it gave us the tools to make it happen.

Glen Aiton
Chief Operating Officer

The SPS enabled us to transform the way we work so we could focus on the things that mattered and would ultimately drive the business. Introducing it has completely changed the productivity and engagement of our people and with it, their job satisfaction.

Rohan Anderson
Learning and Development Manager

We’ve grown an additional 150% since this time last year with the same number of people. What’s changed is our confidence in our ability to succeed which has resulted in us being far more ambitious in terms of what we want to achieve. 

Amanda Shannahan
Head of Communications
What change has occurred as a result of the SPS?

The greatest change is in our culture and in particular, the massive shift we’ve seen in terms of our people’s engagement. Back in 2015 it was 54% whereas today it’s over 80%. That single metric alone has enabled us to transform the outcomes we’re delivering. It’s really simple, if staff love coming to work because they can see how their role helps us deliver our strategy, they’re far more likely to succeed.

Glen Aiton
Chief Operating Officer
What changes has it had on your people?

Its got them setting their own targets which are far greater than what we used to be able to set for them. Today, our people want more. They’re thinking about what they can achieve and how to do it meaning they’re focused on performing to their potential rather than just coming in and doing their job. It has also helped us attract the type of people we want going forward as they’re seeing the changes we are making in the (banking) industry.

Glen Aiton
Chief Operating Officer

People are far more productive and doing better work; in fact they're telling me they are ahead of demand for the first time. They are also more willing to take on more important projects for the organisation which is fantastic.

Rohan Anderson
Learning and Development Manager
What has been the impact on you?

I thought I was good at what I do but it's challenged the growth I expect for myself. It’s opened my eyes to what my role could produce and actually, what I need to do to help us achieve our vision. It has stretched my mind as to what I should be delivering for and on behalf of the business but also how to do it. SPS said it’s not enough to just lead my team, it’s the difference I’m making to the sector and critically, our customers. It’s given us the ability to challenge ourselves in a way we never could before. No longer do we just want to be a better bank, we want to transform the industry for Australians.

Glen Aiton
Chief Operating Officer
What are the benefits of the SPS?

It provides organisation's with the tools and structure to bring their vision to life for everyone. It gets people on a common path that delivers results. It also allows leaders to have conversations with their people that they can’t easily have as well as enabling the business as a whole to engage their people in a completely different way so they're focused on their performance instead of just doing their job. It’s the whole thing and how the different frameworks come together to provide a complete package.

Rohan Anderson
Learning and Development Manager

If you’re not clear on success, it becomes about personal relationships rather than having challenging conversations about the things you’re trying to achieve. Because people are so much clearer about what they’re here to do, everyone’s far more open to having the conversations they need to have with their direct reports.

Amanda Shannahan
Head of Communications
Has this been a good investment?

Undoubtedly. The outcomes we wanted, we’re getting. So much so that we are able to keep lifting the bar on a regular basis. In terms of our financial performance, we’re getting our investment back many, many times over. The amount we’re investing in the programme is tiny compared to the revenue and cash earnings it's generating.

Glen Aiton
Chief Operating Officer

“I really wanted to change the game not only in terms of our culture but the way that we thought about the world and actually how our customers thought about us.”

Lee Hatton
CEO, UBank

“The culture at UBank has changed significantly. In fact, our reputation in the marketplace has changed significantly.”

Lee Hatton
CEO, UBank

“The number one thing for me is how we’ve lifted the performance of every individual in the business.”

Lee Hatton
CEO, UBank

“The biggest returns have been around our engagement score and customer growth which are now at world class levels.”
 

Lee Hatton
CEO, UBank

“From a value for money perspective, it’s been excellent. It has completely ignited people in a new way of working and given them the chance to be part of something special.”

Lee Hatton
CEO, UBank
Business improvements

World's first 'digital' human in the home loan advisor

World's first green TD for retail customers

New platform concept completed

Updated home loan tracker for customers

“Deploying and empowering our teams with SPS has been the key to the transformation of UBank.”

Lee Hatton
CEO, UBank

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