How MD Financial Aligned its Talent and Business Strategies

by Melany Gallant | Posted | Performance Management

How MD Financial Aligned its Talent and Business Strategies

MD Financial

Owned by the Canadian Medical Association, MD Financial Management is dedicated to serving physicians and their families — delivering expert, best-in-class advice and solutions to help meet their total wealth management needs.

In order to deliver best-in-class services and solutions, MD Financial needs its people to be best-in-class.

By aligning its talent strategy to its strategic business priorities, the company has built a workforce of customer-centric professionals committed to the financial well-being of Canada’s physicians. Employees understand what they are accountable for and how they support clients’ and ultimately, the organization’s success.

Here’s where the story gets interesting. Two years ago, MD made a decision to move from Halogen to another talent management vendor in an effort to simplify and integrate its learning, talent and compensation processes.

As it turns out, the grass isn’t always greener. After 18 months of challenges and frustration, MD Financial returned to Halogen and hasn’t looked back. This return has not only made it easier for MD to align its talent strategy to its strategic business priorities, but also helped to ensure these priorities are reinforced across the employee lifecycle.

We recently asked Angelika Klinger, Manager, Total Rewards and HR Systems for MD Financial to share a bit about the company’s journey back to Halogen.

Here’s what she had to say.

What factors fuelled MD’s decision to transition away from Halogen two years ago and then back to Halogen after 18 months?

 We were looking at the best way to integrate our performance management systems. We already had two systems in place; Halogen for performance and for compensation, as well as another provider that held our learning library and licensing for registration and compliance purposes.

 After an evaluation of the two platforms, we decided to go with the other vendor based on our requirements to maintain the licensing and certification process.

 With this other vendor we had an endless amount of issues with implementation. What we were shown in the sales demo and the RFP process didn’t hold up. As moved further into implementation, we kept being told “Oh, we can’t do that.”

 We had no project plan and no schedule provided to us, even after we requested it multiple times. Weekly meetings were cancelled at the last minute. There was no face-to-face training. We offered to fly to their location or to fly them to ours, but that request was denied.

 Our project manager was in the USA but the implementation and training consultant responsible for programming our system was in India. Implementation was to be done by them and once it was configured, “we weren’t supposed to touch it.”

 We spent 18 months trying to upgrade our learning platform and integrate the performance and compensation tools and in the end decided to break our contract, cut our losses and return to Halogen.

 I couldn’t be happier that we did.

 What are the unique challenges of conducting annual reviews without scores or competencies?

 Our performance and development culture has evolved over a number of years from a purely performance management culture to one where our people are empowered to take ownership of their performance, growth and development in conjunction with mentoring and guidance from their leaders. 

 The initial challenges were around mindset and making the shift from an annual score to having frequent and meaningful discussions. Now we look forward, focusing on development and what success looks like in the coming months.

 Our talent programs are built from performance and potential instead of forced rankings.  Employees are now accountable for building their development journey and focusing their development budgets where they want to use it instead of competency ‘gaps’. 

 Our framework is not about measuring competencies and assigning scores, rather we support people in reaching their goals and focus heavily on dialogue and feedback to enable growth and development. 

 What is the most important factor in aligning MD’s talent strategy to its strategic business priorities?

 Our talent program is designed to support every MD individual in reaching his or her performance and development goals. We focus on setting clear expectations that will drive business results and priorities. Our goal is to unleash the potential of MD talent through aligned talent systems, exceeding our business goals and optimizing our return on human capital. 

 We use a disciplined approach for making talent decisions with a goal of building a strong, dominant culture of accountability and action that will enable business growth.

 As a result, we believe our people are: confident in front of colleagues and clients and have pride in the organization; accept accountability and are driven to achieve business results; are continuous learners, seeking the skills, knowledge and attitudes to create a positive experience for our members.

Want to hear the full story?

Want to hear the full story of MD Financial’s talent management journey? Don’t miss Angelika’s presentation at the 2015 Halogen Customer Conference taking place September 9-12 in Ottawa Canada.

Angelika will be presenting on Day 2 at 11:15 a.m. Don’t miss out; register now!

Register Now for the 2015 Halogen Customer Conference

Learning. Sharing. Connecting. It’s all at the 10th Halogen Customer Conference!

Register Now

Register Now for the 2015 Halogen Customer Conference

Learning. Sharing. Connecting. It’s all at the 10th Halogen Customer Conference!

Register Now

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