Posted on 02 May 2018

From tapping your card for a coffee, to splitting the dinner bill with a few swipes of your thumb, the rise of the cashless society has signalled a new phase in the way we consume. While it may be liberating to leave the wallet at home, for some businesses, this convenience comes at a cost. In the case of Linfox Armaguard Group, the growing trend away from cash to card has spelt major disruption for the secure currency management company. Despite being Australia’s largest provider in this field, when faced with an industry in flux, the organisation had a simple choice: adapt to this rapidly changing landscape or become irrelevant.

Their response was multi-faceted and implemented across all levels of the business. CEO Gary Allen worked with the HR team to roll out Linfox Armaguard Group’s new strategic direction, and in the process, the organisation’s approach to managing people was also reinvented.

 

Making data-driven decisions

When considering innovative responses to industry disruption, an HR overhaul may not be the first thing that comes to mind. For Linfox Armaguard Group, however, it was a new ability to automate rolling out their strategic direction, job roles and performance standards that facilitated its success. With technology, including implementation of a new Talent Management solution playing a pivotal role in the company’s transformation, it has become agile enough to adapt with the industry as it changes.

Allen says another benefit of the system is improved data and insights. “We can build data from the ground up to identify activities that we need to focus on inside the business to correct processes and behaviors and identify improvements,” he shares.

Strategically, this means he now has a mechanism to access the people analytics needed to make make data-driven decisions.

Engaging employees

While these procedural improvements increase system efficiency, real company transformation couldn’t have happened without employee engagement.

In an organisation of thousands, the challenge was not just effecting operational change, but also facilitating cultural change.

“When you have an organisation of our size any hint of change comes with some reservations by the employee group,” Allen concedes.

Change can be less intimidating when everyone’s on the same page, so managing expectations for this large-scale process overhaul was integral to its success.

Here, transparency was key. By defining role responsibilities in a straightforward and inclusive way, employees were positioned as collaborators in driving collective change. “That gave clarity and a real purpose to each of the individuals,” Allen shares.

Employees now have a framework that allows them to understand their role in the company and how it contributes to the company’s future. Management works with employees on delivery of strategic company goals from the ground up, rather than the top down.

“I had a number of people thank me for the introduction of the system, and how much clarity it gave them for their own role moving forward,” Allen says.

From firefighting to future-planning

This proactive approach is a far cry from the reactive position the company had been in in the past.

“We were firefighters. We were constantly focused on the task at hand, or the task for tomorrow, or the task for next week,” Group Manager of Organisational Development Jonathan McConachie says.

Done with battling blazes, McConachie says management is now adopting a forward-thinking approach that is both collaborative and aspirational.

Linfox Armaguard Group now uses technology to enable a real-time conversation between management and employees. Future expectations and goals are set and clearly communicated, and objectives are tracked and reported.

Administrative improvements lead to strategic success

On an administrative level, implementing HR technology has not only saved time and energy, it has also helped the company and prospective job candidates start off on the right foot.

“Previously HR was really focused on the day-to-day operations: recruitment, scanning paperwork, doing all that administration work,” People and Capability Advisor Grace Kostelenos says.

In the interview process the first point of contact an employee has with the business there was considerable room for improvement. Kostelenos says each interview generated significant paperwork for both the hiring team and the candidate, with the existing online system unable to retain any information.

Mired in these administrative processes, the hiring team were not only inefficient, they were at risk of giving an unfavourable impression of the company to prospective employees.

Without that burden, Kostelenos says her team can now afford to spend their time working towards strategic future goals.

“We’re more solution-focused which is seeing a really good, positive change from people and capability,” she says.

Hit the ground running with early onboarding

From the first interview to the first day on the job, Linfox Armaguard Group continues to optimise processes by allowing employee onboarding before their first day. By accelerating the transition from hiring to competency, employees are now able to quickly find their feet and overcome the steep learning curve of a new position.

For Kostelenos, streamlining these HR processes has not only driven internal efficiency it also means an employee’s first contact with the business is positive, transparent and supportive.

“Candidates love the process,” Kostelenos says. “Candidates are calling us and saying, ‘Thank you so much for responding to us within a week’ ‘Thank you for letting me know what licenses I may require’ compared with not having any contact for weeks, sometimes months.”

Michael Bradtke says the journey from application to onboarding when starting his role as Group WHSE Manager at Linfox Armaguard Group was streamlined and straightforward.

“I’d been going through a few different recruitment processes and the Armaguard process was quite simple in comparison,” he says. “With a lot of the other companies I applied for you basically had to copy and paste your whole resume into the system, whereas I didn’t have to do that. It seemed a lot easier.”

When it came to his first day, Bradtke found he was prepared to dive into the new role, having already completed his induction training online.

“The onboarding was fantastic, there was induction programs through the system I was able to do before I even got here,” Bradtke says. “That meant that when I started, I was able to hit the ground running.”

Innovating from the ground up

From establishing high-level corporate goals, to optimising the employee journey from the moment a candidate applies for a role, Linfox Armaguard Group can now respond quickly to a rapidly-shifting industry landscape.