Ingenia Communities Group is one of the largest owners, operators and developers of quality land lease communities and holiday parks.
At Ingenia we are committed to creating a high-performance, diverse and inclusive work environment. One where people can bring their ‘whole self’ to work and feel safe, empowered and motivated to be the best they can be.
Our core values reflect what is important to our business. We demonstrate them in our daily interactions with everyone we engage with.
We embrace and value all employee differences including gender, age, culture, disability and lifestyle choices and support each of our employees to achieve their potential and their career goals.
Our people provide a competitive advantage for our business, with a high level of sector knowledge and expertise that is critical to our overall business performance.
We work to maintain a performance oriented and inclusive culture; to attract, develop and retain talented people; and to drive a high level of employee engagement and success.
In the past 12 months we have focused on a number of key initiatives that were borne from engagement survey feedback:
- Foundations for effectiveness: Implementation of 3 key online HR platforms to enable greater productivity and efficiency – recruitment and onboarding; learning and development; and engagement, reward and recognition. These platforms have enabled frontline teams in particular to be more responsive and give the business the opportunity to communicate more effectively and consistently to a diverse and geographically dispersed workforce.
- Implementation of a simple but effective performance and development process – with individual objectives linked to company objectives, vision, and values, which in turn link to remuneration reviews and succession planning.
- The focus for the next 12 months will be on further developing Ingenia’s learning and development framework and implementing up skilling programs across the business.
Employee engagement and recognition
We know that the well-being and engagement of our team is essential to delivering community for our residents and guests and ensuring the ongoing growth and success of the business.
Regular employee engagement surveys serve as an indicator of the level of engagement of our team and provide insights and feedback on a range of topics. Insights from the survey are shared with the whole business (and the Board) and are utilised by management to identify areas of improvement and future needs.
The Group-wide survey undertaken in FY20 provided the following insights:
- Our top three strengths were:- teamwork across the business (81%); high level of satisfaction with immediate line management (76%); and high level of job satisfaction (76%) – this suggests an inherently positive culture
- There was a strong alignment to the company’s vision and values
- Significant improvement had been achieved in the area of communication, systems and processes.
Over the past 12 months the following key initiatives focused on enhancing employee engagement and recognition have been undertaken:
- Grant of Ingenia Communities Group Securities (value of $1,000) to eligible employees to provide alignment with investors and the opportunity to participate in returns delivered by the Group.
- Launch of Happy Days – an online communication platform accessible by all staff (including site-based employees) providing regular up to date communication, employee reward and recognition (including peer to peer recognition) and easy access to documents, policies and procedures.
- Improvements to key people systems – introduction of new payroll system which is integrated with time and attendance to ensure accuracy and efficiencies in payroll processing.
We also offer employees discounted accommodation at our holiday parks and require Corporate and Service Centre staff to undertake ‘work experience’ in a community to ensure that there is greater understanding across teams of different parts of the business.
Opportunities to recognise and reward performance continue to be introduced and include Employee of the Month and the Employee of the Year which recognise team members who embody the Group’s values and achieve excellence in their role.
More recently, an employee health and wellbeing portal went live on the Happy Days platform, offering all employees access to education, support and tools to help them live a healthier and happier life. This portal was actively and highly utilised by employees during the height of the COVID-19 lockdown period.
Another key employee benefit is the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which gives employees and eligible family members free access to professional, confidential coaching and support.
We recognise the competing demands that are often placed on employees outside work and seek to provide appropriate options to achieve work-life balance. Over 50% of our employees participate in formal or informal flexible work practices either regularly or on an ad hoc basis.
This approach to flexible work practices was essential during the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing our office-based teams to efficiently move to a work from home model supported by increased use of in place technology. Pleasingly we found that 97% of people received enough support from their manager during this period and 99% were happy working from home.
As we negotiate a post COVID workplace we continue to work with our people to refine our work practices to ensure a balance of personal productivity and collaborative efficiency while maintaining the required flexibility to work in a rapidly changing environment.
Developing our people
Rapid business growth has created significant opportunity for staff development. We believe that investing in the development of our people will benefit the business as well as motivate individual employees to achieve their own career objectives while delivering sustainable results.
Our development, talent and succession planning processes seek to ensure that we maximise learning and progression for our people and continue to attract and retain individuals aligned with our vision and values. These processes include:
- A defined performance management process that sets clear and measurable goals for individual employees which are aligned with the Group’s strategy and values
- Regular performance reviews which consider alignment with Ingenia’s culture and values and are tied to performance rewards
- Development planning as part of the goal setting and performance review process
- Customer service training for all levels of the business to create a consistent customer experience
- Foundation leadership training available to all line management. Over 2018 and 2019 more than 60 participants completed the program
- Future leaders program, which provides conceptual and practical training aimed at developing high potential future leaders. The one-year program provides externally run training and exposure to Ingenia Communities Group Directors and Senior Executives. A total of 20 people participated in the 2019 and 2020 programs
- Participating in industry mentoring and networking programs for key employees. In 2019 and 2020 this includes the Property Council of Australia Women in Property Mentoring program.
- Role-specific training across all departments e.g. food safety, software training, and professional development for various occupations.
Over FY20 90% of employees participated in external or in-house training and all eligible employees had a performance agreement in place. Financial assistance and study leave is provided to eligible employees for career related studies.
There is a substantial focus on the creation of the ‘INA Learning Academy’ in FY21, which will consist of online learning modules specific to Ingenia. The initiatives currently in the pipeline include work health and safety, working remotely effectively, leading teams remotely, employee induction and employee handbook.
We promote an inclusive workplace where all employees are valued and respected regardless of their gender, race, religion, gender identity or beliefs. Our commitment to diversity extends to all aspects of employment, from recruitment to development, promotion and remuneration.
We are committed to improving diversity and in particular, the number of females in leadership and other traditionally male dominated roles within the business. We have an initiative in place to proactively recruit females in the Development team, which is traditionally a male dominated industry. In the past two years we have recruited 5 females into this team.
Our workforce is currently 66% female and we have increased the representation of women in senior management from 37% to 41% over FY20.
For more information refer to:
Health and Safety
In operating our communities and undertaking development the safety and health of our people, residents and guests is something we take very seriously. As we increase development across the Group safety is particularly important.
We aim to create and maintain safe and healthy environments, ensuring that the operations of the Group are conducted in a manner which safeguards the health and wellbeing of our teams, residents, guests, contractors and other visitors to our communities. Relevant staff have KPIs which are related to health and safety, reinforcing the importance of our health and safety framework. We ensure that contractors who have operational control of development activity hold appropriate accreditation standards for safety, environment and quality and are appropriately inducted on work practices required at our sites.
Our dedicated health, safety and environment team is responsible for providing support and training to on the ground teams, identifying and mitigating health and safety risks, and ensuring compliance with relevant legislation.
Ensuring that we have resources and processes to address risks to health and safety, responding to any issues in a timely manner and reporting to management and the Audit and Risk Committee are key priorities for this team.
Throughout the year we continued to expand our work health and safety system. This included implementation of an incident management portal, improved audit process for communities and developments and development of detailed emergency response plans.
Future initiatives include:
- Automated contractor management
- Online safety inductions for employees
- Further development of internal safety network
- Generation of more detailed reporting.