Working with key stakeholders is important to us at Experian. Our CR programme is about taking account of society's views and ensuring we are aware of our own impacts. Progress has been made this year with some audiences but we realise there is always more to do. A formal structure and set of priorities for our stakeholder programme in fiscal year 2011 will be a priority.
Experian's global people survey, carried out every 18 months, provides valuable insights into the views of employees and their level of engagement with the business, which we know is strongly related to their awareness of our CR programme and our achievements as a corporate citizen.
Experian's second global people survey in 2009 achieved 84% employee participation, up from 73% the previous year, with improvements across all survey categories. The Group's performance is now at or above the norm in 10 out of 14 of categories when compared with its closest peer group of global financial services companies.
Action plans are in place as a result of the 2009 survey and the following key measures of success have been selected:
- a tangible improvement in
employee engagement scores; and
- a positive response regarding our employees' belief that action has been taken as a result of the survey.
The next global survey will take place in June 2010 and Experian has set an employee participation target of 85%. The results, available in September 2010, will be used to benchmark performance against the 2009 results.
Experian's target is for the Group to be in the global 'high performing organisations' category by 2012. In order to achieve this, an improvement of 3% points is required by June 2010 and further 3% by the 2012 survey.
And one of the actions from the survey has been to improve communications with employees around CR and their part in it. CR performance is now routinely built into our CEO's announcements about the progress the company is making, our global and regional publications provide a CR focus, our corporate website features a full section on CR and in the UK we undertook a piece of separate research into people's understanding of CR and its impacts.
Clients and consumers
Consideration for consumers' and clients' point of view is being taken into account in a number of ways; in North America we have established a Consumer Council to create a dialogue with consumers, their champions and industry experts and stay close to consumer needs. Across our other regions we run customer and consumer surveys, reach out through proactive PR work which sees hundreds of informative articles appear in the media, and use our consumer facing websites and call centres to monitor our performance. Our work with our major clients also has a route for their regular input through three key mechanisms:
- an annual customer satisfaction
survey, which reaches all levels of
our relationship and surveys 10's of
people within a given client
- our in-depth account planning
process, involving the client
directly in building appropriate
engagement plans, focused on co-creating
solutions to their issues
- an Executive Sponsor programme, which builds a channel for communication with senior executives to get their feedback on how we are doing and where we need to do better.
As part of the process of engaging any supplier, we ask them to sign up to a set of supply chain principles through their contracts. These principles are regularly reviewed as part of our interaction with both suppliers and clients.
We have developed a very short questionnaire on our corporate website but at present we do not make its completion a mandatory condition of engagement. Feedback, and our own experience as a supplier, has shown us that lengthy questionnaires are not popular and the outcomes take a lot of resource to manage. We are aware that we should take the performance of our suppliers seriously and are in the process of resolving how to ensure we have a measure of their sustainability without imposing a large work burden.
Our corporate website was developed this year to improve the visibility of our CR programme and as part of this site we have established a feedback link and ask people to give us their input and reflections on our CR strategy. If you are reading this report, please take a couple of minutes to give us your feedback.