Sunday, April 15, 2012

PNC Bank: It Starts From Within

Last fall, I was able to hear PNC Bank's Vice President of HR Analytics (and current Heinzer), Jay Wilkinson, speak to my Evidence-Based Management class. Jay detailed his contributions to PNC's current strategy of internal evaluation assessing performance gaps between internal candidates and external candidates. The March 2011 McKinsey Quarterly details the discussions that were had among top executives to determine which questions were most relevant to their inquiry and which would yield results that were impactful. For example: What is the business impact of training investment? Is there an optimal distribution of performance training?

Jay elaborated by offering an example of the role of branch tellers in PNC's mission and how through the company's analysis that tellers with prior cash handling experience were much more likely to be high value hires for the bank and allowed PNC to avoid training (and potentially losing) their human capital when tellers left the bank. By moving away from best practices, Jay touted PNC's approach to data-driven metrics of performance and the need to set very specific goals in order to receive meaningful results. His team honed in on this subset (also a large share of new hires and potentially the face of PNC to new customers) and drove into the data analytics. While critics could argue that narrowing your sample creates blind spots in order to avoid scope creep, follow through is essential to the success of a change in strategy.

How does leadership determine which divisions of labor within their company to include in assessment and major strategic decisions? Should certain divisions be of more concern than others?

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