In 1966, the founding members of Teachers Mutual Bank wanted to give teachers and their families better financial options. While the organisation's core mission hasn't changed over the years, its membership, assets and size clearly have. Today, this financial institution, based in New South Wales (NSW), has approximately 156 000 members and boasts $3.8 billion in assets, making it one of Australia's largest mutuals.
In 2012, for the fifth year in a row, Teachers Mutual Bank was named Employer of Choice for Women by the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA). The company has also been a finalist and winner in various other Employer of Choice Awards including the coveted Hewitt Best Employers in Australia and New Zealand Study.
Since replacing its paper-based employee performance management system with Halogen Performance™, Teachers Mutual Bank has been able to:
- Better align employee goals with organisational goals
- Increase employee motivation and accountability by capturing more substantive employee data and providing richer feedback
- Make employee appraisals more meaningful while saving time and effort in the process
- Attract and retain top talent by being recognised as an employer of choice
- Improve relationships between direct reports, in turn fostering a more inclusive workplace culture
With a vision to be the chosen financial services provider for employees in the Australian education sector, Teachers Mutual Bank is dedicated to providing exceptional service to its members, which it achieves through a professional and highly engaged workforce. Proof of this can be found in the company's annual engagement surveys, which consistently return scores averaging 85% — five percentage points higher than international standards.
Automation enhances the employee review processPrior to implementing Halogen Performance, Teachers Mutual Bank used a paper-based manual system for its performance management needs. The process was time-consuming and arduous, with employee reviews scheduled at a variety of times throughout the year. "Appraisals took place on employees' anniversary dates, which meant that we were busy all the time doing paper work. There was also no formal link to job descriptions," says Marco Sicurella, Senior Manager, HR.
In 2004, recognising that it was time to update and consolidate its methods, the company launched Halogen Performance to automate its performance management processes.
Since adopting the Halogen Performance solution, Teachers Mutual Bank has been able to take advantage of the software's functionality and features to standardise employee reviews, facilitate employee development plans, enhance its internal promotion policy, and much more — all of which help to build a more motivated and engaged workforce.
Higher employee satisfaction = less turnover
Teachers Mutual Bank enjoys a high employee retention rate, which can be attributed to several factors, one of which could be its online performance management system and programs. In pre-Halogen days, employee turnover was approximately 14 percent; today it is about 10 percent.
"Using the Halogen system has helped our people conduct structured and authentic conversations about performance. We praise performance and we link it to pay. A whole lot of satisfaction comes from people actually getting direct, quality feedback," says Sicurella.
Aligning people development with business goals
Teachers Mutual Bank isn't an employer of choice simply by chance. The company is strongly committed to helping its people be the best they can be through education, training and other internal development activities. "We're big on developing our staff and the Halogen solution plays a significant role," says Sicurella. "We've configured half our evaluation forms to be dedicated to employee development and training."
Through Halogen Performance, employees are able to align their career development to the organisation's strategic goals. They can link a particular course of study to a part of the company's strategic plan, ensuring that development ties back to the plan.
Employees have full-circle visibility into their job and performance with the system. Each employee's position description has a series of competencies that are then linked to their appraisal form. "We've seen a real benefit with having everything linked and archived all in one place," says Sicurella.
The Halogen solution has also helped with internal recruiting. "We have a really great internal promotion policy," says Sicurella. "A lot of our internal promotions are based on appraisal data. When people apply for jobs, their last two performance appraisals are taken into account by the interviewing manager. During interviews, managers have real insight into the background of the person they're looking to hire."
Elevating the quality of discussions and driving greater accountability
According to Sicurella, it's much easier now to talk with employees about their performance with real evidence, and to set a plan to improve. Staff members now feel accountable for their performance and have the motivation to improve. "With Halogen Performance we are also getting more feedback at the ground level, from line leaders who are really in touch with the staff on a daily basis."
Through the use of performance journals, the volume of quality performance discussions has also increased. Employees and managers regularly load notes on the quality of the employees' work into the system, so that come appraisal time, there is substantive data for discussion. "Our appraisal process not only fosters employee accountability but is quite transparent as a result," says Sicurella.
Halogen Performance also includes a third-party review option that the company is taking advantage of to gather valuable feedback about employees from across the organisation.
One size doesn't fit all, but one solution does
Before the move to an online performance management system, Teachers Mutual Bank used the same standard appraisal form for everyone. Now, thanks to the software's flexible form capabilities, the company uses multiple employee evaluation forms, customised for each employee group. "The ones size fits all approach is a thing of the past," says Sicurella. "Halogen Performance lets us customise the solution to how we like and need it, and tweak it from time to time."
Unparalleled support that transcends borders and time zones
Although Teachers Mutual Bank and Halogen Software headquarters are on different continents and in different time zones, the company continues to be delighted with the exceptional service and support it has received over the last eight years. "Any Australian business thinking about using Halogen should not hesitate to look into it further. The support is second to none, the systems are user friendly and their product ranges are continually improving with each update," says Sicurella.
"For anyone looking to bring their people-management processes online, Halogen Performance is a great way to go."