IAG Impact Framework – proving a win-win partnership

Background

IAG became a partner of Jawun in 2014, and has since seconded 40 employees to Indigenous organisations across four regions. From the start, the organisation saw the potential value of the partnership as a ‘win win’, as explained by Coordinator of the Jawun partnership and Manager, Indigenous Engagement Phil Lockyer:

“By participating in Jawun our people get to spend time working in Indigenous communities to develop the skills and capacity of local Indigenous organisations. But it also provides them an opportunity to develop their capability and build professional skills and experiences they may not gain in their current role.”

This aligns with the ‘shared value’ approach IAG applies to being a purpose-led organisation. Executive General Manager for Shared Value, Ramana James, explains the concept of shared value as “tied to the business purpose of making the world a safer place – to create social change and generate commercial return as well”. The company’s investments in ensuring and demonstrating this approach are unique.

Phil and other IAG managers saw clearly the shared value of the Jawun partnership, where benefits to Indigenous communities were matched by benefits to IAG employees and the company as a whole. Post-secondment surveys captured individual experiences of this, as did feedback from managers whose staff had been on secondment. But until 2017 much of this was anecdotal, and in IAG’s ‘culture of data’ did not amount to a business case. Ramana, Phil and colleague Erin Gooch began looking at how to articulate the business value of Jawun, knowing that having a quantitative argument for its value would reinforce management buy-in, employee interest, and ultimately the positive effect of IAG’s partnership on both Indigenous communities and IAG itself.

Approach

In 2017, IAG began working with impact management software Socialsuite, applying it to the Jawun partnership to define how its outcomes translated into employee, community and business impact. That formed the basis of an evaluation plan built around short and long-term outcomes.

Short-term outcomes of a Jawun secondment for IAG employees were agreed as:

  • Improved knowledge, skills and experience
  • Increased community connection
  • Improved community capability

Longer-term outcomes of a Jawun secondment for IAG employees were agreed as:

  • Improved employee capability
  • Increased values alignment
  • Improved talent pipeline
  • Improved leadership capability
  • Increased social capital
  • Increased organisational culture

Outcomes informed a data collection plan for all secondees from 2017 onwards. They complete a post-secondment survey, to allow the business impact to be gauged. Another survey is issued 12 months after the secondment, to assess the sustained impact of the program.

Outcomes

The results of the evaluation, applied to 60% of secondees so far, are compelling: 100% of secondees reported that they gained new knowledge, skills and experience as a result of their Jawun secondment; and 89% felt their knowledge of the culture and history of Aboriginal peoples had increased.

From a shared value perspective, the results are particularly exciting for IAG: 90% felt the experience had had a strong or a lot of impact on their leadership capability; 89% felt they could apply what they had learnt in current and future roles at IAG; and the core business capabilities most enhanced as a result of the experience included courage, demonstrated self-awareness, and driving vision and purpose.

Luke Thompson is a secondee who brings these statistics to life. He spent six weeks on secondment at Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative (RAC) in Shepparton, Goulburn Murray. As a planning and governance specialist in IAG’s People and Culture team, Luke was a perfect fit for the brief: to support RAC with a capability assessment to inform their strategic planning. He facilitated around 30 hours of interviews for an assessment reflecting staff, the community and key stakeholder perspectives, and designed an employee engagement survey to support management to invest in RAC’s people to best deliver the organisation’s vision.

The community impact of what Luke achieved is best summed up by Ron Cooper Thomas at RAC, who described the work as having “set a strong foundation for the ongoing growth of the organisation”. RAC delivers a range of culturally appropriate services to the community – from health to aged care to justice services – and is also a significant economic contributor to the region, including through employment of around 200 people. In supporting this, Luke reflected that his secondment was directly linked to IAG’s overarching purpose to “make the world a safer place”.

For IAG, the shared value of Luke’s secondment is also in the strengthened capability and leadership effectiveness that he returned to work with. Luke spent four weeks of his secondment “testing the skills he’d learnt at IAG”, getting people to acknowledge his understanding of the business and trust him enough to be frank in their inputs to the assessment. The result is he now feels “confident to enter any business unit here [at IAG] and know I can approach anyone to help them define a business need, identify possible solutions and help IAG work more efficiently”.

Luke also believes he’s learnt to better frame things in terms of a business’ ‘big picture’: “I’ve challenged everyone since I’ve come back to look at how our actions are rooted in the intent and vision of the organisation, just as I challenged those at RAC for the sake of them having a stronger impact overall”.

Luke’s manager David Vincent has seen the positive outcomes too:

“Luke has come back from his secondment with a deeper understanding of how culture and purpose informs performance, mindset and behaviour.  He’s always known this, but the chance to see this in practice in a very different organisational setting has given him a greater depth of experience to draw upon. On a personal level, he’s developed deep insights into his own working style and I’ve seen him apply this in his role”.

An employee ‘net promoter score’ captures the likelihood of employees to recommend IAG as a place to work, and their loyalty to the organisation. The shared value tool delivered by Social Suite to calculate this for Jawun secondees established an average score of +55, considerably higher than the score (around 20-30) attributed to other programs offered to IAG employees. Luke explains this as follows:

“I love working at IAG and have worked here for five years. But to be afforded the opportunity to take that much time out of the business and experience that much growth through a Jawun secondment, it’s hard not to say that increases my sense of loyalty to the organisation.”

Next Steps

IAG’s shared value approach to evaluation will continue to be applied to its Jawun partnership. Having played a key role in the design and implementation, Erin explains that the effort that went in justifies the significance of the results coming out:

“It’s becoming increasingly important for organisations to be able to demonstrate the social value they create in addition to commercial value and whilst it’s taken some time, the impact framework we’ve created allows us to consistently measure both social and commercial indicators across the various programs and initiatives we run or participate in.

Our Jawun results are a great example of how we can make a meaningful contribution to Indigenous communities whilst simultaneously building the capability of our employees and improving our organisational culture”.

This affirms Ramana’s description of Jawun and IAG’s other community programs as “tangible, meaningful demonstrations of our purpose”.

IAG plans to second at least 12 of its employees to Indigenous organisations in 2019. Jawun looks forward to the positive community impact they will have, and is proud to partner with an organisation which takes its positive societal impact so seriously in the context of shared value for its business.