Addison Avenue Federal Credit Union enables better goal alignment and performance by embracing a comprehensive suite from Saba.
by Judy Dutton
For more than a half century, Addison Avenue Federal Credit Union was the in-house credit union for Hewlett Packard, providing employees a convenient place to save and borrow for purchases such as homes and cars. That changed as part of HP’s divestiture strategy that spun off Agilent Technologies and resulted in Addison Avenue becoming an independent credit union serving 140,000 HP and Agilent employees and other members nationwide.
In 2007, as we sought to implement new strategic HR processes to support its 400 employees in nine states and Puerto Rico, we recognized we needed a more robust performance management and learning solution.
The executive team had developed a comprehensive three-year strategic plan with key deliverables for the organization. To achieve this, we knew we needed to have our goals aligned from top to bottom. Part of the culture change also involved going to pay-for-performance.
Addison Avenue sought a proven platform for performance and learning management to support this and selected an integrated on-demand solutions from Saba.
In the past, Addison Avenue had tried to handle goal setting and performance reviews primarily using Excel spreadsheets, but this process proved too laborious. Preparing for annual performance reviews was so intense that managers would spend hours and hours preparing for them. It was almost like business would come to a standstill. Getting managers to provide more frequent checks or reviews was out of the question, due to the time involved.
The process improved dramatically with the implementation of Addison Avenue’s people management system, which is being used to centralize and automate performance and learning management.
The performance management solution has really helped our managers and staff to think about their goals, and to focus on alignment with organizational strategy. Many managers now offer quarterly goal check-ins, in addition to midyear reviews. They find this to be a tremendous timesaver when it comes to annual performance reviews because they only need to carry on the conversation from the previous quarter.
The solution also allows all employees to do self-assessments in advance of reviews—something only exempt employees had the ability to do in the past. By increasing the frequency and quality of supervisor and employee performance discussions, both alignment to strategic goals and operational performance are significantly improved.
Managers and employees are encouraged to add performance notes in an online journal as the quarter progresses. These notes not only save time by providing readily accessible documentation of progress but they also foster productive conversations between managers and their staff.
In the first year we implemented the Saba Performance solution, we had to mandate that managers use it for reviews. Now, people rely on it to think creatively about goals, and managers can hold staff members accountable for meeting targets. The rating system the solution supports has really helped cultivate our pay-for-performance culture and is now driving our merit pay increases and incentives.”
With instructor-led, in-classroom learning proving to be time- and cost-prohibitive, Addison Avenue also rapidly rolled out Saba Learning OnDemand, which is used to manage all course offerings from instruction-led training to e-Learning. The learning management system helps schedule and track everything from new product and sales training to leadership development and compliance.
The integrated people management solution also includes Saba Centra, which provides a real-time, interactive environment to support e-Learning, meetings, and collaboration. The environment includes audio, video, and application-sharing, in addition to a variety of tools from an online white board to user feedback such as symbols that indicate applause or laughter. In the beginning, many people wanted to only attend training sessions in person. Today, almost all our learners are comfortable with live or recorded Saba Centra sessions—and that has really been a big win for us in terms of saving time and money.
Saba OnDemand solutions enabled us to get our entire people management platform up and running within three months and ensured the organization will always have access to the latest capabilities and technology advancements—without draining IT resources.
Looking ahead, we want to maximize the use of the powerful tools we already have. But we are pleased we now have a platform that will enable us to eventually add talent management, succession planning, and other capabilities to help identify, develop, and track future leaders. By being able to link learning and performance, we’ll be able to target leadership training for high performers and integrate learning activities into our annual goals and activities. HRO
Judy Dutton has been the director of organization development & training at Addison Avenue Federal Credit Union since 2004.