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Vicki Lewis

CUA
Senior Change Manager

Brisbane, Australia | Program Lead, “Our CUA”

CUA Banking

"We achieved significant and sustained improvement on all our key indicators."

When employees started to show symptoms of disconnect, CUA knew it was time to evaluate their internal culture and make some changes. Having always been a place where people enjoy coming to work, they needed to dig deep to find out why staff weren’t as connected and reignite this fire with proper guidance.

In 2018 they partnered with The Colin James Method® to design and craft a uniquely 12-month cultural development program to overhaul their workplace culture across the organisation of 1,000 employees. The tailored program successfully transformed their organisational culture and they have seen a big difference in staff engagement, thinking and relationships.

Why did CUA decide to partner with us to design a cultural change program?

As an organisation that prides itself on being an enjoyable place to work, Program Lead, Vicki Lewis says insights from their employees were showing “signs of disconnection”. They knew these signs needed to be addressed, as they were a critical part of delivering CUA’s commercial strategy.

“People were not feeling connected to our strategy and didn’t understand their role in delivering our vision. Accountability was low and declining. Attrition was increasing and good people were leaving.” 

Resolving these issues and building a strong internal culture was a key priority for CUA to ensure everyone stayed engaged and motivated.

What were some of the project objectives and constraints?

Vicki says CUA wanted to utilise our internal workplace culture program to elevate their “company story, values and desired culture so their people could connect and buy-in (or in some cases ‘opt-out’) easily”.

They also wanted to “foster a culture that would support our goals and strategic pillars.” and align staff’s “personal values with those of CUA.” Board and executive commitment to the new culture was high, but it took time to make culture a priority for everyone else asmost people understood our purpose, but busy-ness often caused people to go back to old ways.”

Our approach

We designed a 12-month program that provided the step-change CUA desired. The process involved the explicit articulation of the desired culture (the new story), a deep audit on the existing culture and the UGR’s (unwritten ground rules) that currently governed the company followed by the development of a plan to build ‘Our CUA’ the new cultural agenda and launch the initiative through a series of events across the Australian organisation using employees as the champions.

We partnered with consultant Steve Simpson a leader in cultural change to use his UGR-driven framework which has transformed culture in leading companies such as Kmart and The Workwear Group in the past. This deep examination of the existing culture in play (which may be different to the clearly stated vision, mission and values) allowed us to break down the barriers that often hold you back from truly embedding the new vision

What impact have you noticed since the program?

Vicki says the key organisational cultures developed during the program are embedded and “still very present in the way we run the business”. They have noticed a particular uplift in accountability for results from their staff as well as better overall relationships and “at our best” thinking across the organisation. 

As a result, she says there has been “significant and sustained improvement on all our key indicators.” 

When asked how likely CUA were to recommend our training Vicki provided a score of 9/10. Saying the UGR driven approach was “Simple and relatable yet provides very actionable and valuable insights. It creates an opportunity for everybody to get involved. It provides enough anonymity for people to say what they need to say, but also be heard and get involved in the plan for improvement.”

How would you describe the quality of the training?

Providing us with a NPS score of 9/10 Vicki describes The Colin James Method® experience as “simple and relatable yet provides very actionable and valuable insights.”

Achieving their objectives for the program with flying colours, Vicki noted our trainers had “an amazing ability to create influence with the executives.”

CUA was particularly impressed by our ability to bring professional credibility and deep business experience to every conversation and the capacity to help others find their skills.

One of the highlights of our training was our “strength in telling the story and bringing pizazz, energy and excitement to the program.”

When asked how likely CUA were to recommend our training Vicki provided a score of 9/10. Saying the UGR driven approach was “Simple and relatable yet provides very actionable and valuable insights. It creates an opportunity for everybody to get involved. It provides enough anonymity for people to say what they need to say, but also be heard and get involved in the plan for improvement.”

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