As Link Group continues to evolve into a high performing, global organisation, supporting, developing and providing career opportunities for our people is of critical importance. This helps us retain a diverse workforce of skilled, engaged people who work together to achieve better outcomes for our clients and their customers. During FY2019, our people strategy focused on further developing and implementing the structures, processes and systems to support Link Group being an inclusive workplace where everybody can achieve and thrive.
Progressing towards an integrated global organisation
Organisational structure aligned with global growth
During the year, we finalised the integration of LAS into the wider Link Group. We now have a solid foundation from which to develop a global workforce with the skills and capabilities to provide the best possible support for customers in all our jurisdictions.
Our move to become and operate as an international business is reinforced by the introduction of a new global operating model that is supported by an executive team located across our key locations. The structure harnesses the combined strength of our operating businesses and group functions so all our people can work better together to achieve our strategic goals and deliver on our clients’ needs.
Fully integrated Human Resources systems
As part of Link Group’s transformation towards becoming a global organisation, we have implemented global Human Resources systems including:
- PAYROLL: This involved migrating 3,000 employees onto a common group-wide system, streamlining the efficiency and cost of managing these systems;
- LINKCENTRAL: A portal providing a single view of employee information that includes a global goal setting, development and performance management system and a new compensation module that was launched in late 2018; and
- ONLINE TRAINING PLATFORM: We provide our people with access to an online training platform offering modules across a range of training opportunities. This includes our mandatory risk and compliance training which must be completed by all employees each year.
Gender diversity within Link Group
In Australia and New Zealand (headcount)
Supporting innovation and collaboration
Innovation and collaboration are key priorities for Link Group. In support of that, we ran our third global leadership forum in early 2019. This brought together our operating business and functional leaders from all key regions to agree on common objectives and share their insights and experience. High on the agenda was how to promote collaboration and innovation across Link Group to provide an improved client experience.
We have also created global project teams to leverage our combined skills and knowledge to optimise client outcomes. For example, subject matter experts on automated workflow technologies in the UK have brought their knowledge to Australia via a collaborative global project team to automate workflows across select key processes in superannuation administration.
The creation of a third LinkLabs in London will also further Link Group’s innovation agenda by offering a dedicated space to demonstrate new solutions and collaborate with clients through co‑design and co-creation activities.
Attracting and developing our people
A major benefit of an integrated global organisation is the ability to provide a wide range of development and career opportunities to our people. This helps us attract the right candidates to Link Group, bring out the best in all our people and embed the capabilities and skills we need to become a more agile, collaborative and innovative organisation for our clients.
During the year, we introduced some new initiatives to recruit people with the right skills, knowledge and behaviours to deliver outstanding client service to support our business processes and goals.
Enhancements to our recruitment and on-boarding processes have improved the user experience for both candidates and our people. In EMEA, we introduced an education program and tools for hiring managers to support them in recruiting and selecting candidates with the right fit, while supporting regional consistency around our recruitment processes and hiring criteria.
We also introduced an internal job alert service in EMEA that enables employees to receive personalised email alerts about in-house career opportunities within the region. Implementing this across all of Link Group will encourage mobility and offer our people opportunities to progress their careers within the group.
Developing our people
Development plays an important role in attracting and retaining talent. In APAC we continued our graduate training program, following its launch in FY2018. Participants rotate between various business and functional areas to enable them to experience different aspects of Link Group and build their overall skills.
As we transform into a global organisation, we are investing in programs such as a new frontline leadership development program. This program aims to help new and emerging leaders move from being technical specialists to becoming effective and strong people leaders.
Risk and compliance focus
Link Group’s clients operate in a dynamic sector where the legislative and regulatory environment changes frequently. Our role includes assisting clients to respond appropriately to these changes, as well as reflecting these regulatory requirements in our administration systems for clients. To do this, we have a strong risk, compliance and regulatory focus. In FY2019 we delivered over 6,000 hours of regulatory specific training in the EMEA region and over 3,000 hours in APAC.
As in previous years, all of our people undertook compulsory risk and compliance training programs in areas such as anti-money laundering, data protection, fraud and corruption awareness and equal employment opportunities. All modules are mandatory for everyone.
FY2019 in numbers
(As at 30 June 2019)
employees across the globe
hours of training delivered
in employee and corporate donations, sponsorships and in-kind support provided to charitable organisations
volunteer hours undertaken by employees
An environment where our people can belong and thrive
Supporting diversity and inclusion
Our diversity and inclusion strategy is at the forefront as we bring our people together from around the world to operate more effectively as a global team.
At Link Group, we continually strive for an inclusive and collaborative environment where difference is valued and each person can realise their potential and contribute to Link Group’s success. We recognise that individual differences, including that of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, physical ability and religious beliefs bring useful perspectives and a range of experience to the organisation. While we pride ourselves on our inclusive culture, we continue to strive towards making Link Group an even better place to work with a focus on improving diversity and promoting workplace flexibility.
In FY2019, we adopted more inclusive language in key people policies and procedures. We also supported gender equality and LGBTIQ inclusion by facilitating awareness and education sessions, which included the launch of our LGBTIQ networking group in Australia. In the UK, we piloted flexible work practices and launched a successful contact centre recruitment campaign targeted at people interested in working part-time, which enabled us to attract high quality candidates.
As at FY2019 end, our Board is 38% women, putting it ahead of the 30% voluntary target set for women directors in S&P/ASX 200 companies by the Australian Institute of Company Directors. At the executive level, 40% of the senior executive team are women.
Promoting workplace wellbeing
Link Group aims to provide a working environment that promotes physical and mental health and wellbeing, encouraging healthy behaviours and facilitating access to specialist support for those who need it.
In FY2019 we launched the Link Wellness interactive hub in Australia and New Zealand, with rollout to other regions planned for FY2020. A “one-stop-shop” style portal, Link Wellness offers our people access to an online health survey and personalised report on how to achieve their wellbeing goals, as well as a wide range of health-related information and services including a booking portal for a free flu vaccination, information about Link Group’s employee assistance program, nutritious recipes and exercise tips. In FY2019 we had 1,053 employees in Australia access the free online health survey. We had 1,688 employees across the globe receive the free flu vaccinations, while we also invested in a comprehensive set of wellness initiatives around stress management and managing mental health in EMEA.
Our people and the community
Giving back to the communities in which we operate has long been part of the Link Group ethos. Throughout FY2019, we continued to support charitable and community causes across the globe through financial and in-kind donations as well as sponsorships and volunteering. Below are just a few ways our teams have contributed to their local communities during the past year.
Link Group continued supporting the Cerebral Palsy Alliance through this annual global event, which asks participants to take 10,000 steps for 28 days. In September 2018, over 200 teams of four participated and raised over $45,000 towards this cause.
Mother’s Day Classic (MDC)
For the third year running, we were a National Gold Sponsor for this fun run and walk in Australia. MDC raises money for breast cancer awareness, research and treatment. In FY2019 our collective fundraising efforts across Australia saw us raise a total of over $20,000 towards this cause.
Kaipatiki Environment Centre Project
Our team in New Zealand volunteered to help the Kaipatiki Environment Centre with weeding work and plant nursery work. Over a collective total of 75 hours, we were able to pot approximately 378 seedlings which the centre is able to sell to the public to raise further funds.
Food Angel is a food rescue and food assistance program in Hong Kong, launched in 2011 by Bo Charity Foundation. The programme rescues edible surplus food from the local food industry, which is then prepared as nutritious hot meals and redistributed to underprivileged communities in Hong Kong. Our team volunteered 84 hours of their time to help prepare over 1,000 of these meals.
World Hunger Day
Our UK team supported World Hunger Day through a donation rally in our London office. We donated essential items for Whitechapel Mission, a charity that has been helping the homeless and marginalised since 1876. Our teams donated enough essentials to deliver multiple boxes of toiletries, food, clothing and other essential hygiene items to the Whitechapel Mission.
A splotlight on our people
Head of Corporate Registry, Link InTime (India)
“There is absolute connection between other offices and ours in India, where distance does not matter at all. The team give me the energy to work and do my best every moment.”
Swati manages our corporate registry operations in India, providing share registry services for over 1,000 listed clients who represent approximately 26 million investors. A competitive badminton player, Swati joined the business over 20 years ago and has risen through the organisation as a junior officer to take on roles in areas such as HR and Product, before joining the registry team in 2015 and taking on her current role as Head of Corporate Registry in 2017.
Leading a team of more than 200 team members, Swati enjoys the opportunities she has to mentor others, as well as the open and professional working culture that Link Group provides. With no two days ever the same, Swati most values the connections she’s made with her fellow colleagues both in India and in other offices across the globe.
Team Leader, Retirement & Superannuation Solutions (Australia)
“Having a platform to share my Indigenous culture with my peers in an open and non-judgemental environment really fosters a better understanding of Indigenous diversity.”
As a team leader in the Link Group contact centre for one of our largest superannuation fund clients, Laura works with a large team of customer service professionals and other like-minded team leaders to deliver the best level of customer service for our client’s own members.
Having recently undergone medical treatment, Laura has found Link Group and the team around her to be especially supportive and empathetic during both her recovery period and as she returned to work.
As an Indigenous Australian, Laura has also found Link Group to be extremely encouraging in celebrating diversity in the workplace. For Laura, this culminated in being able to share her cultural background through artwork that Laura created for Link Group, during National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) week this year.
Head of Strategy, Banking & Credit Management (Ireland)
“The successful integration of so many different business lines, in so many countries and the diversity of cultures is what makes Link Group a unique employer. Yet it still feels like one global family.”
Scott joined Link Group in 2016 as Head of Business Integration, before being appointed as Head of Strategy, Banking & Credit Management in 2018. Scott is responsible for enabling and delivering a compelling strategy to support our Banking & Credit Management business in becoming a global market leader.
An unwavering focus on always delivering for the client – no matter what the circumstances – is Scott’s approach and philosophy to his role, one that is also shared by his other team members and reflected in the ‘can-do’ attitude of everyone in the business.
On working at Link Group, what Scott loves best is the appetite that we have as an organisation for positive change and innovation, while continually seeking out new and diverse growth opportunities.
Head of Customer Experience and Operations, Fund Solutions (UK)
“At Link Group, I feel empowered to make change happen and be accountable for my own decisions, while playing a part in driving the development and growth of this business.”
As Head of Customer Experience and Operations based in our Leeds office in the UK, Gail is focussed on ensuring that the service provided to retail customers and institutional clients of our Fund Solutions business is seamless and exceptional at all touch points.
Gail particularly enjoys working with stakeholders across the business to seek out ways to constantly improve the processes, systems and people in her team, so that we deliver outstanding service to our clients.
Link Group offers Gail the opportunity to be part of a growing global team where she is always learning new skills that enable her to stretch and develop herself. In turn, Gail thrives on supporting the development of her own team members, so that they too can fulfil their own career goals.
Looking ahead to FY2020 and beyond
As we look to FY2020 and beyond, our focus will be on:
- continue to drive an integrated, global approach to how we collaborate, innovate and work together;
- further support the development of skills, competencies and capabilities at all levels;
- further advance our diversity & inclusion strategies including a launch of our “FlexTogether” flexibility initiative; and
- expand the Link Wellness Hub into other regions as part of a global wellbeing approach.