Westpac leads the way with its human resource management


Westpac was founded in 1817, making it Australia’s first bank and interestingly, the country’s first company. The bank supplies business, consumer and institutional banking services as well as wealth management, administration and insurance services to customers in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region.

In 2015 Westpac was recognised as an ABA100 Winner for Human Resource Management in The Australian Business Awards for the Aggressive Customer Training initiative.

Westpac drew on the research surrounding aggression to deliver a program to assist employees in dealing with aggressive customers. After the program the company experienced a notable reduction in high level aggressive incidents, with a massive increase in the reporting of these incidents – showing that employees saw this kind of behaviour as unacceptable after the program.

The reason for establishing the Aggressive Customer Training Program was primarily to protect employee wellbeing, assisting them in deescalating aggressive customers and to reduce the emotional cost to employees. All these factors effect employee’s ability to perform and therefore provide customers with a lesser service. The program has helped allow Westpac employees to understand the issues that relate to parts of society, which ultimately cause people to behave in such aggressive ways.

David Ninnes, Westpac Group Head of Health, Safety & Wellbeing said, “We are proud that Westpac has won an Australian Business Award for Human Resources Management.

“Our vision is to be one of the world’s great service companies and programs like this focus on delivering great customer service through all types of customer interactions. Service leadership is about empowering our people to have great relationships with every customer and this program takes a new approach to responding to customer incidents. Our employees are now able to resolve customer issues with confidence, building stronger, more positive relationships and taking ownership of the entire experience.”