Archive for the 'Company Initiative' Category

Why reward and recognition has value outside the workplace

By Dave Adler, Chief Executive, Leasing and Fleet

Our CEO Deven often talks in this blog about the achievements of our staff here at Smartgroup and our newest Community Award, which recognises the work our people do outside of their day job, is a fantastic illustration of this.

David Dick is a Fleet Maintenance Controller with Smartfleet. The following words don’t really do his story justice…

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David and Samantha Dick

“Unfortunately my story starts with a sad beginning as my wife Samantha and I lost our first daughter Emily back in 2004 when she was just a few days old. This had a big impact on our life in more ways than one – some things matter much more than the small stuff we all seem to stress about from day-to-day. I also learned that when you have an opportunity to make a difference in this world, you should take it, as life is precious.

We’ve been foster carers for the past three years. My wife and I initially attended some information nights and quickly discovered there is a lot more to being a foster parent than just looking after another person’s child. I can’t say fostering is without its challenges, but we have now had nine children, from newborns up to 9 years of age, and the rewards far outweigh the difficulties.

Many of the young children we have cared for have unfortunately been affected by drugs in many different ways and are often in a bad state, and on medication, when they arrive with us. Seeing them overcome this is something I can’t quite put into words, but it’s what I am most proud of.”

David is the winner of the 2018 Community Award for his commitment to foster care. The Award is about celebrating the positive difference our team members make in their community and recognises those who demonstrate compassion, integrity and kindness in their everyday lives. I’ve had long chats with David, and I nominated him because you can really see how his dedication and resilience in his private life are qualities that shine through in his work life.

Our reward and recognition program goes beyond performance in the workplace. It really honours the individual and their values. We are proud to have David Dick in the Smartgroup family.

Going above and beyond in 2017

Creating a better experience for our customers is something we continually strive for and our quarterly Fully SIQ award at Smartgroup (named after our ASX ticker) honours that. Our team members win all sorts of awards, but what makes our Fully SIQ unique is it recognises an act that is so memorable, we know people might just remember it for years to come!

Sally Heys is a Salary Packaging Consultant at Smartsalary, and earlier this year, she was hospitalised for complications after a routine tonsil procedure. As Sally lay in bed recovering at Sydney’s Mona Vale Hospital, one of the nursing staff recognised her and asked if she worked for Smartsalary. It turns out this nurse was also Sally’s next-door neighbour and a Smartsalary customer. She had packaging in place, but wanted more information around meal entertainment and wanted to understand the benefits associated with this product. Still in bed, and hooked up to a drip, Sally ran an impromptu information session on the value of meal entertainment. Before she knew it, she had four more nurses join her audience as the word quickly spread.

Once she was on the mend, Sally dropped off five meal entertainment cards to her neighbour’s letterbox and set up a presentation at Mona Vale Hospital so we could reach out to interested staff.

Sally’s quick thinking under less-than-ideal circumstances, demonstrates her undeniable dedication and is a shining example of how our people go above-and-beyond for our customers.

Sally thought, “The nurses had done such a wonderful job looking after me I thought the least I could do was give them a bit more info and drop off an application form to make applying as easy as possible!”

Sally exemplifies our company values, and I want to thank her for an exceptional job in delivering extraordinary customer service. She joins a fantastic group of previous Fully SIQ winners whose past stories range from baking 400 scones for a client event to flying 1,000 miles to pick up a leased car from a dealer in time a wedding and family reunion. We are lucky at Smartgroup to have such dedicated people in our company!


Fully SIQ in 2016



Every quarter here at Smartgroup, we recognise the great work of team members who go above and beyond to create a better experience for our customers.

Amongst the various awards, we have the “Fully SIQ” award (named after our ASX ticker).  Team members receive awards for all sorts of amazing things that they do.  What makes this award different is that the team members must have done something that is so memorable that people would be talking about it for years to come.  Since the launch of the award following our IPO in July 2014, we’ve had five Fully SIQ stories that I would like to share with you.

Katrina Wilson, Smartsalary Team Leader, was 26 weeks pregnant and undergoing testing when she met a hospital employee who recognised Katrina from a presentation she done the year before. This employee knew she would benefit from salary packaging but as a single mum in a busy job, setting it up hadn’t been a priority.  Katrina’s tests involved some waiting around, so she used the time to help the employee understand her entitlements, organise the paperwork and submit for processing. By the time Katrina’s testing was complete, this employee’s salary packaging was set up and ready to go.

Fionna Hamilton, Field Sales Consultant, went out of her way to organise the catering for an event at St George Hospital, getting up before dawn on the morning of the event to bake 400 scones; in fact, 200 plain scones and another 200 date scones! As you can imagine, the staff at St George were impressed with the freshness and home-baked quality, and no doubt left feeling pretty special that someone would go to such lengths for them.

Harish Dahal, Infrastructure Engineer, had spent hours going back and forth with Leasing Consultant, Carlee Jones working to solve persistent issues with Carlee’s phone and computer.  Even though it was late in the afternoon, Harish knew the best way forward was to pay Carlee a visit almost 200km away. So Harish hopped in his car and drove from Sydney head office to Newcastle to solve Carlee’s technical issues once and for all!

Michael Bell, Mobile Leasing Team Leader.  After severe storms had delayed new car deliveries in Queensland, one of our customers was not going to receive his car in time for a wedding and family reunion. So Michael went the extra mile (or 1000!) and took the initiative to fly from his home in Townsville down to the car dealer in Brisbane to pick up the car and drove it back up to his customer in Rockhampton.  Of course, he also cleaned and refuelled the car along the way!

Peter Arthur, Salary Packaging Consultant, was stopped for a random breath test (which he passed of course!).  Not only did he get to chatting with the officer about novated leasing, but he went back to the police station to chat with the officer’s colleagues about their novated leasing options, too.  Talk about making the most out of a situation!

They may be outside the norm, but each of these acts demonstrates the calibre of our employees and their commitment to customer service, and I certainly am immensely proud and appreciative!

So congrats Katrina, Harish and Fionna, Michael and Peter. You are all indeed Fully SIQ

Smartgroup’s new award for ‘Fully SIQ’ employees!

At Smartgroup (stock market ticker SIQ.AX), we recognise our team member’s efforts at quarterly awards breakfasts.  Some of our staff go to extreme efforts to satisfy our customers, so we recently introduced the ‘Fully SIQ’ award to acknowledge team members whose story best encapsulates the Smartgroup spirit!  Over the last two quarters we’ve had some fantastic nominations for the award, and I wanted to share the stories of our last two winners with you:

Michael Bell, Mobile Leasing Consultant

Back in December, our QLD customers and staff were hit by severe hail storms.   As a result, there were delays with new car deliveries from dealerships.  In fact, one of our customers was not going to get his car in time for a wedding and family reunion.

Michael Bell, the Smartgroup Mobile Leasing Consultant, went the extra mile and took matters into his own hands.  He took the initiative to fly from his home in Townsville down to the car dealer in Brisbane to pick up the car and then drive it back up to his customer in Rockhampton.  Of course, he also cleaned and refueled the car!

Michael said: “It was the right thing to do – I think that the core values of Smartgroup actually demanded this response. I met the client in Rockhampton – there was true country gratitude – I made new friends which was rewarding in itself and Smartgroup proved that what we say we do is followed through with action.”


Peter Arthur, Salary Packaging Consultant

Another great QLD story from one of our Salary Packaging Consultants Peter Arthur. Peter was on the road in Bundaberg, when he was pulled over for a random breath test (which he passed of course!).  Not only did he get to chatting with the Officer about novated leasing, but he actually went back to the police station to chat with the Officer’s colleagues about their novated leasing options too . . . talk about making the most out of a situation!

Peter said: “I got pulled over for a random breath test and was asked what I was up to today by the officer. I told him I was actually going to be dropping in at his police station to provide staff with some information about salary packaging. I thought it couldn’t hurt – you have to make the most of any opportunity you can get when you are on the road!”

Of course Peter would have been happier to get a few sales after his visit, though we can’t help but admire his efforts!

Peter Arthur

SmartIdeas – fanning the spark of innovation

Innovation is a key KPI for Smartgroup and we have some aggressive goals in maturing this capability throughout 2014. In preparation, last year we formalised the ideas pipeline, integrated it into Salesforce and renamed it SmartIdeas. We’ve also invested in innovation with two dedicated Innovation Champions to drive the program – Joelle Jenner and Jess Sorrasson (image L-R).

SmartIdeas helps to drive recognition and awareness amongst all of our employees that innovation is something we’re all capable of and is critical to any organisation’s ongoing success and growth. And it’s not just about game-changing big ideas – small, continual innovative improvements are just as important.

We’ve set a goal of implementing 100 ideas this year. To hit that we’ll probably need to generate at least twice that figure but this has the added advantage of demonstrating to employees that there’s a good chance their idea will be implemented.

We’re knocking it out of the park already! We’ve implemented in excess of 28 ideas in the last couple of months and we’re well on track to reach our goal of 100 ideas.

ImageOur employees are really energised and engaged by the process and our Innovation Champions are recording and enabling ideas at a rapid pace. Jess says the reason she loves being an Innovation Champion is that she gets to make ideas a reality and work on some amazing projects: “To be able to tell a colleague that their idea will be implemented and rolled out to the rest of the company is incredibly empowering and makes me feel like I’m just helping to make everyone’s life easier.”

Many of the ideas are currently focused internally and are operations based. As the year proceeds we’ll look to implement ideas more widely across the business and introduce some targeted customer feedback sessions.

Joelle says she loves bringing the innovation spark to life and keeps a Nelson Mandela quote in mind: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

And next month is InnoMAYtion, a whole month dedicated to learning about great innovators of the past and open everyone’s minds to their own inner innovator.

Thanks to Jess and Joelle for being such a positive driving force!

Smartfeet – Global Corporate Challenge

Smartgroup is always looking for ways to make a tangible difference in people’s lives – be it customers, employees or beneficiaries of the many charities and not-for-profit associations we support.

Our latest initiative is participating in the Global Corporate Challenge, which raises money for UNICEF and motivates employees to get active.

GCC logo

Now in its tenth year, the Global Corporate Challenge is the world’s largest corporate health initiative. It aims to unchain people from their desk and get them moving.

It’s a common misconception that you need to spend hours in the gym, guzzle protein shakes and eat lettuce to get fit. All you have to do is get on your feet and start walking.

Unfortunately, the average Australian office worker only takes 3,000 steps per day – a staggering 7,000 steps short of the daily recommendation.

The Global Corporate Challenges tries to rectify this situation by getting employees moving. Over the 16-week program, small teams of usually sedentary workers will motivate each other to take at least 10,000 steps a day.

Each team of seven receives two accelerometers to track their daily activity, which they will then record on the Global Corporate Challenge website or smartphone app.

This allows participants to track their progress over the course of the challenge and gives them access to a variety of health and fitness material to keep them inspired.

Smartgroup will also be organising walking groups and holding fortnightly competitions to keep employees motivated and walking meetings have recently become all the rage!

In addition to getting everyone at Smartgroup in great shape, the proceeds go to a really good cause. This year, the Global Corporate Challenge has partnered with UNICEF to improve water supplies in impoverished regions worldwide.

So far 175 staff members (about 60%!) have signed up to take part, demonstrating the strong culture of compassion that is cultivated at Smartgroup.

We get moving on May 23. To find out more about the Global Corporate Challenge, click here.

Deven Billimoria
Chief Executive Officer

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