[Skip to Content]

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2018, Click to Enter The 2019 Stevie Awards for Great Employers

Company: Citizens Bank, Cranston, RI USA
Category: ;Chief Human Resources Officer of the Year

Entry Title: Chief Human Resources Officer of the Year: Susan LaMonica

Individual Essay:

Citizens Bank successfully completed the largest bank IPO in U.S. history in 2014. The rapid change required to deliver the bank’s impressive success to-date has been in large part due to the multi-year people strategy led by Chief Human Resources Officer Susan LaMonica. Now in its 3rd year, LaMonica’s strategy has yielded impressive results - positioning Citizens for the future and meeting the workforce’s changing expectations.

The foundation of LaMonica’s strategy is that positive colleague experiences lead to unparalleled customer experience, both of which are essential to Citizens' growth and success. LaMonica identified four focus areas that would help deliver her vision of creating a culture and colleague experience that drives value for customers and positions Citizens as a leading talent destination:

Differentiating the colleague experience. LaMonica has implemented solutions that fit colleagues’ unique needs – from launching programs that empower colleagues to take charge of their career paths to creating a top-notch awards program and designing a state-of-the-art campus featuring a multitude of amenities (such as a wellness center, fitness center, walking trails and more) – thus retaining and attracting top-talent.

Redefining leadership. To LaMonica, leadership is the uber-level of any people strategy. Having the right leaders creates a culture, organization and workplace that inspires people. Over the last 18 months, she has launched six programs – which have touched 4,500+ colleagues to-date - to develop highly-skilled, well rounded, forward-thinking leaders at all levels.

Accelerating learning to build capabilities for the future. LaMonica has set Citizens apart from peers inside and outside the industry. She has evolved the bank’s development philosophy to focus on employability and retooling the workforce so it’s ready for changing customer expectations, innovation and human-to machine interactions. LaMonica facilitated a partnership with IBM to make Citizens among the first worldwide to pilot the cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) of Watson Career Coach. This virtual coach leverages data and cognitive computing to align business needs, career aspirations and development. It learns colleagues’ skills and interests and makes personalized career recommendations; information that can be mined to understand workforce capabilities and aspirations.

LaMonica has also launched innovative tools, like learning with gamification (Spark) and video coaching (Allego) that complement traditional learning opportunities. Since the start of 2017, LaMonica has increased training course completions 13% and hours 30% compared to 2016 and launched Career Development Months that provide workshops on topics that introduce colleagues to critical areas like digital learning and data analytics.

Improving how we operate. The concepts of cloud-based technologies and Agile have taken hold across industries; LaMonica has been instrumental in bringing them to Citizens. As a result, Citizens was first among peers to migrate pay and performance systems to the cloud, resulting in greater user-functionality and efficiencies in deploying upgrades. LaMonica also designed and delivered Agile training to 300+ colleagues, resulting in the company standing up 19+ Agile pods that empower colleagues to rapidly create value for customers. She has championed agile ways of working to help teams focus on getting better and improving outcomes using an iterative, collaborative framework to accomplish their work in new ways.

By offering colleagues what they expect, want and need to be successful, LaMonica is building a thriving organization and multigenerational workforce. Since executing her people strategy, Citizens’ Glassdoor ratings improved significantly (overall rating up 24%, recommend to a friend up 70% and CEO approval rating up 55%) and its annual employee survey showed an unprecedented 10-point improvement over two years (putting Citizens at the top of the second-quartile compared to benchmarks and seeing improvements in 8/9 survey categories). This is proof that LaMonica’s people strategy is delivering on all fronts – for colleagues, customers, communities and shareholders – and is only accentuated by the bank meeting or exceeding analyst expectations for 15-consecutive quarters.

Individual Summary:

-Designed and implemented systems and processes to create a simplified yet exceptional colleague experience.
-Aligned community efforts with Citizens’ overall business strategy; increased number of colleagues who
registered volunteer efforts (70% YoY) and the number of volunteer hours reported (28% YoY).
-Clarified and optimized organization structures, roles, accountabilities and headcount to deliver further
efficiencies and effectiveness.
-Enhanced culture through building leadership capabilities to drive customer-centricity, innovation, strong
execution, and decision-making leading to high performance; maintained highly engaged and motivated staff.
-Developed practices that enabled the acquisition, development, and retention of key talent.
-Developed high-performing cadre of diverse leaders at all levels and enabled a diverse and inclusive culture.
-Improved the effectiveness and impact of colleague communication to ensure awareness and understanding of strategies, expectations and resources available; strengthened effectiveness of leaders as key communicators; ensured holistic messaging.
-Drove disciplined talent practices.








Supporting Document