To reach that goal, Mirghavameddin realized he needed to invest in employees able to provide the best customer service to customers. Three particular areas were identified as important:
- ensuring employees were as regulation-compliant as possible
- being able to track the success of its learning and development initiatives
- linking performance to pay and bonuses.
With a detailed breakdown of performance per employee, the bank would be able “to raise the bar” for under-performing staff, as well as pinpoint and reward the high achievers.
Together with HR consultancy, HR Solutions, Mirghavameddin agreed the best way forward was to ditch paper-based performance appraisals for a cloud-based solution with integral employee development planning capabilities. Mirghavameddin explains:
We considered traditional paper-based performance appraisals to be less effective and more time consuming; data would have to be scanned into a computer for analysis, or analysed ‘manually’ by consultants, with resultant delays and the possibility of human error creeping in.
What the bank wanted was real-time, error-free and objective analysis as and when required. The solution we agreed on would allow that and completely dispense with paper-based performance appraisals, which we concluded would not be welcome by staff in a busy work environment.
Greg Guilford, managing director of HR Solutions recommended Dinamiks, an online employee performance management solution, which would also help the bank meet its need for auditing the effectiveness of its training:
It shows where training is required and then tracks the effectiveness of any training given. It does this by using EDP at every stage of the performance measurement and training process and linking training to performance targets and corporate objectives.
Being cloud-based, there was no need for software installation on site and the new system could be promptly set up. All front- and back-office employees were quickly able to participate in regular performance appraisals. Training was given to those staff that needed it. Mirghavameddin adds:
The EDP element actively encourages those being trained to keep a diary within it of what they think of the training and how it is helping them, post-training. They can also give a score for their training. Interactivity like this creates extra involvement by staff in the training, which we believe achieves better results.
Compliance with statutory regulations is clearly important to the bank and as Mirghavameddin says:
Staff can be prompted to be acquainted with any changes or additions to financial services regulations, and tested to ensure they are familiar with them.
Keeping staff on track with company values such as integrity, customer service and the ability to work collaboratively is also made easier to track with the new system, points out Mirghavameddin:
We can use it to create an audit trail not only of FSA compliance but also of compliance with our values.
The bank also uses Dinamiks for supporting and managing the competencies of each staff member. These competencies include how well staff are in areas such as customer service, technical support, innovation and creativity, team or other leadership and business focus.
Staff simply log on and access best practice tick lists. Data from the responses is analysed in real-time, with all input and analyses treated in confidence and accessed by an appointed administrator. A Notes function enables employees to keep their own record of training and other work-related material.
Employees even receive automatic email reminders to ensure they meet compliance deadlines, as well as for starting and completing performance appraisals and training. The reminders form part of each employee’s audit trail of performance, compliance and training.
Mirghavameddin is confident that the chosen solution is contributing significantly to the quality of the bank’s front and back office operations and its reputation among clients:
It has enabled us to fine-tune our processes and front office service levels, with the result that our response times are faster and of higher quality – and are staying that way. It is also giving us a more precise, audit-trail led way to link pay and bonus to employee performance.
Using a cloud-based appraisal and performance system offers clear benefits over the bank’s existing paper-based approach. In particular, the ability to track and link performance, compliance and training easily is powerful in an environment such as banking, where auditing is rife.