To fuel its momentous growth, Union Bank must energize employees to perform at their best. How could it transform the employee management process to drive a performance culture for maximum impact?
Teaming up with IBM Services as the implementation partner, Union Bank transformed its approach to performance management, supported by a cutting-edge solution in SAP SuccessFactors.
Completeview of employee and team performance enables smarter talent decisions
50%reduction in time for staff to complete their performance assessments
100%of deadlines met during first year-end performance review with the new solution
Business challenge story
Performance culture driven by empowered people
Since its founding in 1995, Union Bank has achieved steady growth, propelling it to become one of the leading private commercial banks in Sri Lanka. The potential for growth attracted the attention of US-based global investment firm TPG Capital, which invested in 70 percent equity in the Bank in 2014 – one of the largest foreign direct investments in Sri Lanka. Supported by TPG Capital, Union Bank has grown exponentially in the spheres of personal and commercial banking.
Indrajit Wickramasinghe, Director/CEO of Union Bank says: “Employee performance management is a critical driver of business success. There is a need for a sound and transparent method of managing employee performance.”
Hence, there came a need to re-examine the Bank’s approach to employee performance management. The Bank followed a basic process with an annual year-end review. Although the reviews themselves were done on a system, the HR team and line managers relied on spreadsheets to consolidate data. These tools not only frustrated both employees and line managers alike, the process resulted in significant delays and left room for error. Most of all, the process did not leave much room for employees to take ownership of their performance, or for line managers to take accountability for their feedback.
In a timely move, Union Bank decided to invest in a performance management tool that was future-proof and supported the business agenda of embedding a performance culture.
Mr. Wickramasinghe continues: “This is a futuristic move which is much more than the implementation of a sophisticated technological solution. This change will enable a holistic approach to employee performance management, and the Bank aspires to reinforce levels of employee engagement to drive its growth objectives in the future. Investing in a globally recognized premium technology to support and strengthen this culture was one of our priorities.”
Investing in the right partnership
Union Bank invested significant time and effort to evaluate several local and global products in order to select the right implementation partner and the right system. After much careful deliberation and backed by the Board of Directors and the CEO, the Bank selected SAP SuccessFactors Performance & Goals as the foundation for its new performance management platform.
The Bank envisioned leveraging the flexibility offered by SAP SuccessFactors to tailor the right performance management tool for employees. This meant that the new tool would change the way employees and line managers experienced the entire performance management lifecycle. In order to optimize the features of the system and deploy the right configuration, the Bank felt it critically important to collaborate with an experienced and competent implementation partner. The decision to engage IBM Services was a given, having stringently evaluated many such service providers.
Ravi Jayasekera, VP of Human Resources for Union Bank, says, “With IBM’s global expertise, we look forward to changing the way we guide, measure, and reward our people with easy and seamless processes. This is an important milestone for the company as it embarks upon a journey to transform the HR processes for its employees who touch the lives of customers and drive the success of the Bank.”
Union Bank was delighted with the implementation expertise provided by IBM Services. The entire end to end software deployment process was done ahead of the 12-week deployment plan. The Union Bank and IBM project team worked in unison and with equal passion, to ensure the best solution was provided on time and within budget, displaying the true strength of collaboration.
Nurturing a culture of performance
Supported by the SAP SuccessFactors solution, Union Bank has transformed its approach to performance management, encouraging employees to become more invested in the process. Employees see SAP SuccessFactors as a tool that supports their performance and growth.
Previously, getting anyone to complete assessments was a struggle, and as a result the year-end review often ended up taking significantly longer than it does now. With the much more user-friendly SAP SuccessFactors, employees are much more likely to log on, record their performance assessments and set new goals for themselves.
The Bank recently completed its first year-end performance review, goal setting for the new performance year, and its first interim review using the SAP SuccessFactors solution. Not only was the cycle time to completion reduced by at least 50 percent, the employee and line manager experience of engaging in the performance management process significantly improved as well.
SAP SuccessFactors has useful features that enable the end user to access all the information and resources required for an effective performance cycle. The ease of configuration supports the system to be tailormade to organizational requirements, whilst leveraging its own strengths. In the process of setting up the system, the Bank was able to streamline the entire performance management process. In doing so, with the objective of bringing greater clarity to goals aligned with business directions, the Bank formed its own library of goals, which now consists of 15 department-wise goal libraries.
The system has also been configured to store, access and key in feedback by employees, line managers, and company stakeholders. This provides the opportunity for more holistic performance reviews and feedback. Line managers have the option to gauge team performance, and prepare more objectively for calibration. The entire process, end to end, is perceived as transparent by employees at all levels.
In its journey to drive a performance culture, the Bank has aligned other processes within the employee lifecycle with performance such as compensation and career progression. SAP SuccessFactors is proving to be a useful tool in recording performance feedback in a timely manner so that every employee has a view of their performance and feedback from the line manager.
The greatest success of an implementation is effective change management. Believing that the buy-in to the system and the process would only materialize if their value was cascaded, the Bank ensured that all line managers received training with regard to the new system. Intensive testing was also conducted prior to go-live so that the user experience was absolutely positive from day one.
Union Bank has laid the foundations for the transformation of employee performance management, and is excited to see how the system will support the improved performance management process and experience. The SAP SuccessFactors Performance & Goals solution deployed by IBM has had a very positive impact in a short time, and the Bank is confident that it will help to keep employees energized and performing to the very best of their ability.
About Union Bank
Union Bank is amongst the top private commercial Banks in Sri Lanka in market capitalization, offering a full range of products and services to personal and commercial financial sectors. Operating 67 branches across the country, Union Bank employs over 1,200 people.
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