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International Personal Finance - Employee and Agent Engagement Project

Added on 22-03-2013


International Personal Finance



Business challenge

  • International Personal Finance, despite running engagement surveys across all markets, recognised a need to adapt its approach to obtain better feedback to deliver targeted improvements.
  • To have a more quantitative and robust approach to link employee attitude measures with behaviours and business measures to understand what drives engagement and the relative impact each of the factors have on improving the current engagement levels.
  • To determine what can be improved to motivate and retain employees and Agents in the company to improve business results through competitive advantage. 


An Employee and Agent Engagement survey is conducted across the company every two years, coves 7 countries, and approximately 4,800 employees and 26,000 agents are given the opportunity to participate.  To ensure confidentiality, the survey is conducted and results analysed by an external company.

About the survey

The survey is an essential mechanism used to obtain employee feedback so that the company can assess how much its people what to SAY (good things about the company), STAY (working at the company) and STRIVE (to meet goals of the company and achieve success). International Personal Finance believes its people are critical to success and the survey helps the company to understand if approaches to people management are appropriate and to understand the perceptions of the overall working experience at IPF. 

The first survey was conducted in April 2005 and from the survey results the action planning process is undertaken in each country.  Engagement working groups are set up in each market and local action plans are developed to address the key impact areas.

The Engagement survey was repeated in 2007 to understand what effect the implemented actions had on the workforce/business and also to identify further improvement areas to focus on. 

New engagement champion approach - obtaining better insights

Immediately following the 2007 survey we took a different approach to action planning. We set up an engagement champion system and focus groups to present results and go though the key findings of the survey to dig deeper into the responses.

An engagement champion was sought in each department to ensure we could obtain a more accurate picture by department. This approach meant everyone in the company was invited to give more insightful feedback. The champion used various approaches to obtain feedback but in general held workshops by level.

The key areas of attention from the 2007 survey are:

  • Work tasks and intrinsic motivation
  • Recognition
  • Feedback/Communications
  • Career Opportunities

Action planning

Following the focus groups, the engagement champions then meet to discuss the detailed feedback, and develop and agree priorities. The role of the champion is then to feedback on workshop outcomes, action planning and progress.

This process effectively means communication and action planning is more effective and precise and that ownership of issues is shared as opposed to being perceived as a HR initiative. It also means we can make targeted improvements as some issues are specific to departments.

Measures of success are/ will be via future surveys and employee/agent feedback meetings.


  • Return on investment and how this is demonstrated
  • Cost of survey
  • Resources to administer the survey
  • Time

Challenges/Lessons learned:

  • The response rate exceeded 90% in some of the countries which is a good representative sample.
  • Gained insight regarding employee/agents perceptions of their employment experience
  • Identified and shared best practice approaches/people management practices across the company to adopt a fair and consistent approach
  • Aligned the HR Business Plan with the needs of the business
  • Prioritised HR actions to achieve greater impact on business performance and customer service
  • Provided an effective communication mechanism for employees and Agents across the company

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