Voya Financial’s corporate responsibility (CR) strategy includes stakeholder engagement as part of our efforts to integrate CR throughout the company. Obtaining thoughts and ideas from those who have an interest in what we do is an important exercise as it provides a window into how our initiatives are perceived and a vehicle for understanding expectations. We engage with key constituencies on our strategy, CR Commitments, progress and outcomes to help ensure Voya operates in a way that is ethically, economically, socially and environmentally responsible. Additionally, all areas of the business engage with their priority stakeholders in ways that help carry out strategy and meet goals. As CR topics arise, the CR team collaborates cross-functionally on related stakeholder engagement when needed.
The process for identifying and selecting stakeholders with whom to engage stems from the focus of our CR business integration strategy in a particular year and is therefore fluid. For example, if we are collaborating with Procurement to develop training on environmentally preferable purchasing, the Sourcing staff and select suppliers become priority stakeholders that year. The graphics below depict the comprehensive universe of our stakeholders – both internal and external. The corporate responsibility team mapped our stakeholders based on our purpose and key projects and programs, including historical, current and future. With input from the Corporate Responsibility Executive Council (see our Governance page for details on their role), the map was finalized.
The following is an overview of the engagement of select key stakeholders across a variety of methods and where available, the outcomes.
General Employee Base:
Each year, we call for feedback in the report by clearly outlining how to contact us with input. We review all feedback we receive and consider suggestions, as appropriate, during our annual strategic planning sessions. Recently, we encouraged readership and feedback of the CR annual report with a survey and a quiz on report content, in which prizes were awarded. We've learned the following from employees and took the following actions:
- Employees are personally affected by certain areas of our corporate responsibility strategy but are unaware of the full gamut of all that we do – we increased our communications efforts on our CR outcomes.
- CR annual report content is valuable but lengthy – we summarized stories in the report and offered links to more detailed information on our website.
- Clients and prospects are interested in our corporate responsibility strategy – we developed a CR Toolkit that provides documents and other materials that specifically can be used by sales, marketing and client teams to convey our CR performance.
We engage employees in environmental sustainability, diversity & inclusion, employee volunteer and employee giving strategy and initiatives through various employee-led committees, including our Orange Goes Green (OGG) teams, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), National Day of Service committees and Employee Giving Campaign committees. These groups develop campaigns, events and learning sessions, based on our CR strategy, which are organized at each of our major office locations as well as enterprise-wide through our Intranet.
We use Voya Financial social media properties as a tool to communicate with and educate employees, which also helps drive consumer engagement. Employees become self-proclaimed CR-ambassadors by reposting and retweeting CR-related content and engage with us when they have ideas sparked by our posts and tweets.
Managers, Senior Leadership and Board of Directors:
We established a governance structure for CR oversight, which created a regular vehicle for input from the company’s top leadership (quarterly) and the board of directors (via the Nominating and Governance Committee (opens new window), annually and as needed) on our CR strategy and performance outcomes.
We engage Voya Financial leaders across the company to help integrate and drive our corporate responsibility strategy into business operations with involvement in our materiality analysis as well as meetings and calls as needed. Please see our Materiality page for a full discussion of how we involved leaders to impact the outcome of that analysis. General conversations include department leaders, mid-level managers and others who have purview over high impact areas that are prioritized in the current sustainability strategy and include discussions of the business case for integrating corporate responsibility, CR-related risk management, CR-related opportunities for product and service development, prioritization of CR projects and innovative ways to make a positive impact. Their work supporting enterprise-wide CR initiatives complements the employee-driven, local site employee-led teams such as the OGG teams.
We collaborate with our Procurement department colleagues on our Sustainable Supply Chain Program, which aims to identify risks and opportunities in our supply chain related to environmental sustainability. The program encompasses training on environmentally preferable purchasing for our sourcing department employees as well as employees who make the bulk of the purchasing decisions across the company. It also includes the development of a supplier assessment to gather data on top suppliers in order to assess risks or opportunities related to their own sustainability initiatives.
We develop ad hoc employee committees to collaborate on projects related to corporate responsibility, such as when we revise a related policy or procedure. Ad hoc committee teams are cross-functional in nature and work across the business lines and functional departments to develop and roll out policies and revise procedures where needed. The committees provide an avenue for corporate responsibility education to a wide audience of employee stakeholders. This was the case when we revised our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Risk Policy. An ESG Risk Working Group was formed, which reports to the Risk Committee consisting of senior leadership and other key employees.
Sales, Client and Request for Proposal (RFP) Teams:
As noted above, we learned from employee surveys, as well as inquiries from specific teams, that clients and prospects are interested in our corporate responsibility strategy and outcomes. As such we developed a CR Toolkit that provides documents and other materials that specifically can be used by sales, marketing and client teams to convey our CR performance. The CR business integration team also collaborates with sales and client teams by supporting the meeting preparation process and by presenting at meetings where needed.
Our corporate real estate staff engages our facilities’ landlords in the development of recycling programs and methods to reduce building energy and water use. Where landlord-run environmental programs exist, we often look to expand them and where they don’t, we seek to develop them. We also work with several suppliers, such as office supply and technology vendors, to provide us with information and product options that take environmental sustainability into consideration regarding their products’ raw materials, usage, packaging and end of life disposal.
As a public company, Voya Financial has been approached by numerous data providing companies that represent investors who wish to ascertain information on our corporate responsibility or ESG performance. In addition to providing the information in our CR annual report, we answer many data providers’ surveys, providing specific information that meets their analyst’s and subscriber’s needs. We engage with a selection of data providers beyond the provision of our information to better understand their criteria and best practice standards. Where applicable, this helps to inform our CR strategy and the way in which we measure our performance. Please see our Awards and Recognition page for details about our listing on indices, rankings and ratings.
Nonprofit Partners and Associations:
Working with outside organizations helps us better understand the impacts that our company, sector and industry has on our constituents, communities and the planet. Please see our External Affiliations page for details about key select relationships.
On an annual basis, Voya Financial engages a cross section of our constituents and the public through the publication of our CR Annual Report, which includes information on our strategy and approach. In 2016, we encouraged readership and feedback of the 2015 CR Annual Report with a survey and a quiz on report content, in which prizes were awarded. Each year, we call for feedback in the report by clearly outlining how to contact us with input. We review all feedback we receive and consider suggestions, as appropriate, during our annual strategic planning sessions.
As mentioned above, we use Voya Financial social media properties as a tool to dialog with and educate our clients and customers on CR-related activities.
Enterprise Digital Experience Program Improves the Customer Experience1
Customer accounts with authentication simplified
At Voya, it is important to us that our clients and customers understand the array of financial services we offer. In 2016, we introduced an Enterprise Digital Experience, providing customers with the ability to access all their Voya accounts, including retirement, life, and annuity plans, in one place. Additionally, our account creation and sign-in process is being updated across the firm, utilizing the most modern security practices and simplifying the authentication process for 6.7 million customer accounts.
Through our focus on the Customer Journey, we have improved messaging capabilities, providing more than 21,000 plans and nearly 3.8 million participants with status updates on their transactions and steps they must take. This resulted in close to 200,000 participant transactions that were eligible to receive status updates over the past year. Additionally, customers are now able to automatically upload required documents.
Voya has extensive experience assisting customers in planning across life stages and financial goals. While retirement may be the ultimate financial goal for many people, more-immediate life events can affect an individual’s ability to save for retirement. Taking a broad view plays an important role in financial planning. In 2017, our Retirement business extended its digital offering for customers. Customers were offered a range of online services and professional support to help improve their overall financial wellness and to empower them to take immediate and meaningful actions. We began with a limited launch to employees, with clients to follow in 2018. Whether using online resources or working with a professional, Voya customers benefit from tools and guidance providing them a personalized roadmap to financial wellness.
1 As of March 31, 2017.