Fiona has been Suncorp’s Group Executive, People, Culture & Advocacy since  January 2021. In this role, she is responsible for the functions of People & Culture, Corporate Affairs, Customer Advocate and Regulatory Affairs. Fiona previously spent five years as Suncorp’s Chief Risk Officer. Prior to this, Fiona was Chief Risk Officer – Insurance and Associate General Counsel and has held several leadership roles within legal, risk management, compliance, internal audit and customer advocate functions since joining Suncorp in 2001.

What does a better world of work look like to you?

As the world continues to evolve and adapt at a rapid pace, a better world of work to me is quite straightforward. It means giving employees the opportunity to have a positive impact on our customers, our colleagues, and the communities we serve. A better world for our people means we provide a safe and inclusive workspace where our people feel inspired to challenge and bring their whole selves to work, where they can fulfil their passions and continue to develop and grow.

What is your business doing to build a better world of work?

At Suncorp, our purpose is incredibly inspiring: Building futures and protecting what matters. This purpose sits at the core of our business and continues to inspire me to contribute to a better world. In my role, I am lucky enough to see our purpose in action every day – be it individual customer interactions, building the capability of our workforce or positively contributing to the financial, environmental or societal aspects of the communities we are privileged to operate in.

For our people this means a focus on what’s important to them.

As the world of work evolves, our people want to be seen as humans, where their voices are heard, and their differences are respected and celebrated.

For Suncorp this means an elevated focus on the following important areas:

1. Creating a workspace where the diversity of our people is valued, and people feel safe to bring their whole self to work.

2. Transitioning to a hybrid way of working where we balance the needs of our people and the needs and experience of our customers.

3. Elevating the conversation of Mental Health at all levels of our organisation, including being championed by the Board and our Group CEO, to ensure we understand and offer the support needed for our people and their families, our customers and the community.

4. Acknowledging the impact of AI, automation and augmentation helping support the transition of our people into the roles of the future.

Research also tells us that employees now expect the organisation they work for to make a difference in a broader sense. Suncorp is committed to building Financial Acumen for individuals and building Natural Hazard and Social Resilience within our communities. We are driven to make the world a better place.

What are your predictions for how work will shift over the next few years?

The experience of the past two years and the pace of change has further prompted organisations to prepare for the future of work. Whilst I expect transformation in both what and how we deliver, the three key areas of impact I predict include:

  1. Organisations being truly purpose-led. As employees are placing greater emphasis on their purpose and sense of contribution at work, organisations will need to have a clearly stated purpose that is lived and will increasingly be able to attract and retain the best people. This also extends to an organisation having a broader impact on issues outside of their workspace including environmental, social and governance issues. Employees and our customers expect us to play a bigger game, and organisations will need to contribute to important sustainable opportunities.
  2. Automation & Digitisation. The advancement of automation and digitisation will re-define the way we work and how customers engage with us. Such technology will have an impact on many jobs as well as the capability required within an organisation. This trend is forcing organisations to prepare their people for the future, and in some instances, this will require re-training and deployment to potentially newly created jobs.
  3. The supply and demand of talent. Closely related to the point above, a very active recruitment market will require organisations to think differently about how they grow and attract talent. Investment in internal capability will be required as well as the need for our leaders to think more broadly around what talent is required to deliver organisational success. Hybrid working has opened up talent markets for organisations who are comfortable with remote delivery and leadership. In addition to this, progressive organisations will be focused on the employee experience right throughout the lifecycle.

What is interesting with possible workforce trends, is some are new challenges, meaning we will need to explore new ways of doing things, with existing “best practices” becoming rapidly obsolete.

What is the biggest challenge you see for companies who want to improve the experience of work?

A challenge and opportunity for companies is evolving leadership styles, rituals, and behaviours to enable businesses to transform into their future selves. Leaders will play a pivotal role in creating and reinforcing organisational culture, developing our people, and ensuring talent pools are identified and available.

Leader capacity and capability is the single most important driver of the experience of our people at work. The opportunity is to ensure they are clear on this role and they have the capacity, resources, and passion to deliver.

Organisations will also need to remain focused on their purpose and strategic priorities. With so many competing needs and a variety of internal and external voices to consider, good companies will streamline and simplify their focus areas and be clear on what success looks like. This clarity will remove the noise for employees and will be a game changer for organisations looking for momentum and value.

What is one piece of advice you would share with businesses that are wanting to build a better world of work?

Always connect back to your purpose and aim to leave your company, your community, your customers, and people in a better place than when you started.

With so many competing priorities and multiple stakeholders, use your purpose as your compass to make decisions and help lead the business.

Is there an individual you admire who you believe is building a better world of work?

It’s hard to nominate one person, instead I think what has been most inspiring is the way our Suncorp people have withstood the challenges of the last few years and are still passionate about delivering great outcomes for our customer and communities and driving us, as leaders, to want to do better every day.

Know of someone who's building a better world of work?

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.