Australia Post road tests its transformation scope with staff first

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Australia Post road tests its transformation scope with staff first

Uses the same software to manage COVID-related fatigue.

Australia Post used SAP Qualtrics to source ideas and scope internal sentiment towards its current business transformation.

Executive general manager for transformation and enablement, John Cox, told SAP’s HR Connect conference that AusPost is also using Qualtrics to manage employee fatigue after a challenging first half of the year.

Cox said AusPost is a “big user” of Qualtrics, which became part of SAP in early 2019.

“It's really important to understand the state that our teams are in [and] how they're feeling,” he said.

Cox was recently elevated from CIO to his current transformation role, and said AusPost used Qualtrics to scope the extent of its transformation efforts as well as to measure internal attitudes towards change.

“I've recently just come into this role and one of the key things we did was understand how our people were feeling, how they felt about transforming the company, what their involvement would be, how much they were willing to change, and what they thought we should change,” he said.

“That's been a really valuable set of insights that are helping guide us where we want to go.”

Outside of the transformation effort, Cox highlighted the pressure AusPost staff are under generally, handling huge increases in parcel volumes and service experience expectations of customers.

“I think a lot of people know that the volumes have just been insane in Australia Post, and that we were struggling,” he said.

“We put a lot of our mail and parcels onto airplanes - often on passenger airplanes - and with all of those [being cancelled] over the last month, we have seen some of the delays.”

Cox said parcel volumes on some days were up to 220 percent higher than pre-COVID.

He said that where AusPost might ordinarily have three days a year during the Christmas period where it delivered two million parcels, “we've now had over 20 of [those days] just during the COVID era.”

In addition to its customer-facing activities, AusPost saw substantial changes in the backend to enable the organisation to cope with sudden changes to its ways of working.

“We rolled out 16,000 WebEx clients in three days, something that we'd planned to do in six months, and it was a similar story with the number of VPN connections that we had to set up,” Cox said.

“There was so much done in such a short period of time. 

“What was amazing was the response and that people were very buoyant, but I do worry as that euphoria drops off, you can already start to feel people are just fatigued.

“It's actually exhausting trying to do so much so quickly, so being able to [use Qualtrics to] pulse the team and understand where they're at is really important.”

Workforce verification built on SAP

Cox also revealed that a workforce background screening service called Workforce Verification that Australia Post launched in the middle of last year sits on an SAP Successfactors backend.

The service “provides a thorough yet efficient way to conduct a range of screens, including identity, police and visa checks,” AusPost says in its documentation. 

“And with real-time visibility of the status of all candidate and existing employee checks - it can help to streamline reporting and ongoing compliance.”

Cox said the service could be even more useful to employers post-COVID. 

He also said that volumes were beginning to pick up at post offices for other services such as passport renewals.

“It's been interesting over the last couple of weeks as people are starting to think about renewals,” he said.

“For a long time, with no international travel that softened, but it's actually picking up again.”

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