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The Winning HR Strategies at QBE Insurance


Sally Kincaid, a keynote speaker at the marcus evans HR Summit 2014, on achieving a winning HR strategy.

Interview with: Sally Kincaid, CHRO, QBE Insurance


The strong symbiotic relationship between QBE Insurance’s Human Resources (HR) and business agendas was one of the key factors that led to the company’s recognition for Best HR Strategic Plan at the Australian HR Awards 2013, according to Sally Kincaid, CHRO, QBE Insurance.

A keynote speaker at the marcus evans HR Summit 2014 in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, 31 March - 2 April, Kincaid talks about business alignment and the HR strategies that led to the award. 

What is critical to achieving a winning HR strategy?

Our organisation has a performance, change and leadership agenda, all of which the HR strategy is aligned to and enables. Our HR initiatives and strategies support and drive each facet of the organisational strategy, through a push/pull approach, that reflects the symbiotic aspect of this relationship.

We are forward thinking about how our people strategy can contribute to where the business wants to go and, through our roadmap, deliver the key capabilities, resources and culture required to realise the desired benefits. QBE’s HR strategic plan considers what true success looks like at every level of the organisation, as well as in the eyes of our customers and the communities we work in.

Another success factor has been identifying proof points that help us measure success and determine how far we have come. We build three-year road maps to give our people a sense of the immediate priorities as well as the longer term vision.

What led up to the Best HR Strategic Plan award?

It was about our alignment to the business, what we were trying to achieve and the innovation we were delivering to do that.

As QBE shifted from a regionally-driven to a global operating model, the HR function was central to the change management aspects, particularly in the establishment of our Group Shared Service Centre. We partnered with leaders from across the business to make that happen, utilising business engagement, communication and knowledge transfer, as well as transitioning the workforce to a very different style of operating where end-to-end processes ran across geographies.

What are employees looking for and how do you identify them?

Our employees have told us they want a shared purpose. In 2012 our new Group CEO, John Neal, established our ONE QBE vision, with six values to drive the day-to-day behaviour of all leaders and employees. Those values now underpin a number of our HR systems and processes, including our performance management system and leadership development initiatives. For example we have established a Leadership Academy to help develop World-Class Leaders at every level of the business, who embrace and live our values.

Employees are also looking for our leaders to honour our commitments and to see them acting in accordance with our values; they want to know they are not just words hanging on a wall. They want transparency of communication and ongoing commitment about what we are delivering to them.

Over the last year we have segmented our employee population and identified what each particular audience needs from us and how we can best help them succeed. The strategy needs to be translated into what it means for them personally and how they contribute. It is about delivering on the vision for our customers, our business and our people.

Contact: Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian, Press Manager, marcus evans, Summits Division

Tel: + 357 22 849 313

About the HR Summit 2014

This unique forum will take place at the Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, 31 March - 2 April 2014. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The Summit includes presentations on winning HR strategies, the HR leader of the future, fostering a high-performance culture, and achieving long-term success.

For more information please send an email to or visit the event website

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The HR Network – marcus evans Summits group delivers peer-to-peer information on strategic matters, professional trends and breakthrough innovations.


Please note that the Summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.

About marcus evans Summits

marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world’s leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, case studies, roundtables and one-to-one business meetings. For more information, please visit

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