Organizational Diagnosis:

Credit Union of Southern California 

Project Description

Organization Development is the process through which organizations can successfully implement planned change. There are several approaches to consider for organization development, all guided by theory. An organizational diagnosis helps to pinpoint how an organization is currently functioning, so that a change intervention can be designed to fit their needs. This diagnosis includes data gathering and analysis that were used to create a set of prioritized recommendations to be implemented in the organization. 

Company Background

Credit Union of Southern California (CU SoCal) is a financial institution based in Anaheim Hills, CA. They have an estimated 350 employees, and throughout their 19 branches, they serve members in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. The organization is very active in their communities, regularly making donations from their internal charity, Helping Hands. They are driven by their mission and vision, which are both deeply embedded in their culture. 

Mission:  Build better lives through exceptional Member experiences, every time.

Vision:    Exceed Members' and employees' expectations, making CU SoCal a significant financial competitor in                     Southern California. 

Problem Identification

CU SoCal's performance evaluation process was recently digitized from a paper and pencil format, saving the company time and money. In their efforts to continuously improve, they would like to explore ways to further improve the process. The current performance evaluation workflow is depicted below. 

Data Gathering

The initial plan for data collection was to host interviews with several key personnel across the organization. The data would then be compiled to extract common themes, and be shared during a meeting with all of the interviewees. This plan had to be altered when the organization began working remote. Two key individuals in the Human Resources department were selected for interviews, and their responses were recorded along with data from observations and various documents. The data analysis revealed a misalignment between the current performance evaluation process and the organization's culture, strategy and HR systems. 

Recommendations

The following three recommendations were given to alleviate the misalignment between the current process and the culture, strategy and HR systems. 

Incorporate Self-Evaluation Questions

01

Performance evaluations serve as an opportunity for management to foster their team's engagement. Employees should be given the opportunity to describe their greatest strengths, top achievements and areas they could have improved on. The questions should include verbiage from the mission and vision statements. There are many variations of questions that can be used. Here are a few examples:

  • How have you exceeded Members' expectations over the past year?

  • What did you accomplish this past year that you are most proud of? 

  • How have you helped to build better lives this past year? 

Update the Workflow

02

The workflow process should begin with employee self-evaluation questions so the employee can reflect on their performance. After the manager completes their portion of the review, the discussion will provide an opportunity for coaching and goal setting. The employee should then answer another set of questions that are future facing. These questions will prompt the employee to create personal goals for themselves. There are many variations of questions that can be used. Here are a few examples:

  • What are your professional goals for this year?

  • What can your management team do to support your growth?  

  • How do you plan to exceed Members' expectations this year? 

 

The responses to these questions should be the starting point for the following year's evaluation to track progress and motivate the employee to meet their goals. 

Create Employee & Manager Success Tools

03

A mandatory manager training should be developed to establish a set of guidelines to follow when facilitating discussions with employees. While each discussion is unique, there should be a standardized general process to follow. The training should cover topics such as:

  • How to help employees to set goals 

  • Verbiage to use, and verbiage to avoid

  • How to deliver a review for an employee who received a low score

  • How to speak to an employee who is not engaged in the discussion

The training should be complemented with a handbook that includes all of the information covered during the training. 

Similarly, employees should also receive a guidebook with advice on how they can get the most out of their performance evaluations. The guidebook should cover topics such as:

  • How to set SMART goals

  • How to receive constructive feedback 

  • How to effectively communicate with their managers

  • The purpose of performance evaluations and how they can benefit from the experience

Alignment Matrix

The following matrix summarizes each recommendation's impact on aligning the performance evaluation process with the organization's strategy, structure and HR Systems.

Retrospect

Conducting this organizational diagnosis for CU SoCal was a very empowering experience, as it was the first diagnosis I completed on my own. It was a unique experience compared to any work I had previously completed because it happened during the COVID-19 pandemic, which challenged me to get creative with how to complete the project. Completing this diagnosis helped me strengthen my adaptability, organizational assessment and diagnostic abilities. 

Adaptability 

This project did not follow the timeline or project plan that I had originally established. I had to adapt to new developments in real time. As a result, I feel confident in my ability to thrive in future situations with uncertain climates. 

Organizational Assessment

When I was unable to conduct interviews and meetings as I originally planned, I got creative with how I obtained my data from a smaller sample of key personnel.  

Organizational Diagnosis 

The interpretations I made from the data I collected reflects my ability to effectively perform organizational diagnoses. This will be useful to me in the future, as I plan to continue performing these types of diagnoses within the HR department at CU SoCal.