Technology and innovation
One of the major issues facing all large corporations is the increased pace of innovation and its ability to disrupt growth. We are embracing this challenge and appointed a new executive committee position to focus specifically on our technology and innovation capabilities. In addition to progressing the development of our CORE Systems Program, which will provide digital-ready platforms to increase efficiency and our ability respond to digital opportunities, this role will also focus on enhancing our ability to progress commercial outcomes from innovation projects.
As part of our CORE Systems Program, during the year we completed the delivery and implementation of SuccessFactors (Human Resources module) and are seeing significant efficiency gains including improved employee self-service and access to Human Resources data. Importantly, our employees are recognising improvements being made, with 100 per cent of employees recognising that we are improving systems and processes, and 81 per cent indicating that computer management systems are providing information to help them do their work (an increase of 35 per cent compared to FY17).
We have also enjoyed an overwhelmingly positive response from the community to our announcement of a $23.5 million solar rollout across ten of our retail town centres (bringing our total investment in solar to $30 million). This project’s excellent return on investment is a great example of the areas where we are enhancing our ability to deliver commercial outcomes from our innovation projects.
In August 2018, we announce the streamlining of our Executive Committee, combining our Residential and Retirement Living business into one integrated business, Stockland Communities, to be led by Andrew Whitson.
We are proud of our position as the leading creator of liveable and affordable residential and retirement living communities across Australia. These changes will ensure we continue to execute on our communities strategy, taking advantage of our integrated model and leveraging capabilities across the group.
The Chief Operating Officer function was also restructured and responsibilities reallocated across the Executive Committee.
In addition to these changes, after 12 successful years at the head of our Commercial Property business, in June 2018 John Schroder ended his time in the role. In his place we welcomed as our new CEO of Commercial Property Louise Mason, who joined us with over 25 years of experience in retail town centres, workplaces and logistics.
The operational synergies and cost savings created through the streamlining of our organisational structure and the introduction of new talent in Commercial Property and Technology and Innovation, will assist in lifting the quality of our retail town centres, growing our workplace and logistics portfolio and driving innovation and digitisation across our business. Overall these initiatives will save gross costs of $8 million per annum from FY20.
This year the importance of culture has become front of mind for all boards and executives across Australia as corporate culture dominated media headlines. We remain focused on promoting a strong culture; one concentrated on our customers and ensuring employees are a strong first line of defence for risk management.
How we engage with our customers is an important element of our culture. Understanding and responding to our customers’ changing needs and improving customer experience is critical to the success of our business. We remain committed to enhancing customer centricity and our engagement with customers at all stages of their journey with Stockland.
We continue to receive high customer satisfaction ratings across our business, with very strong 90 per cent satisfaction results in our residential and retirement living communities and at our logistics assets. Our retail tenants rated us as top two in the industry, however our overall score decreased in line with our peers to 72 per cent, largely due to the challenging retail sales environment.
We continue to enjoy a high level of employee engagement, above the Australian National Norm as measured by our annual, independently conducted employee engagement survey, ‘Our Voice’. We also recently conducted an internal review of our culture which has identified key strengths that we want to preserve, such as respect, customer focus and engagement, as well as areas for further focus and improvement including encouraging diversity of thought.
The Senior Leadership Experience program continues to be our flagship leadership development offering targeted at Senior Managers and General Managers and focusing on those areas of management and leadership we are seeking to enhance. The Senior Leadership Experience program delivers an immersive leadership development experience across inclusive leadership, design thinking, change and wellbeing.
The safety of our employees, customers and partners is always paramount. This year, we achieve the lowest lost time injury frequency rate (LTFIR) in seven years, dropping to 1.6 from 1.8 in FY17, a result of ongoing improvements in employee training and risk awareness.
We are proud to maintain our reputation as an employer of choice with recognition for our leadership in the areas of gender equity and graduate employment from:
Sustainability also continues to be a key part of our competitive advantage and a strong driver of employee engagement. Our proactive approach to emerging issues across the areas of governance, environmental management and social inclusion and development have kept us at the forefront of corporate sustainability. Pleasingly, we have retained our global sustainability leadership credentials from leading sustainability indices across the globe.
Global leadership credentials: