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Gurbani Walia

Consulting on the HR Transformation Process at CUNA Mutual Group

by Gurbani Walia, Class of 2018 Tuesday, May 15, 2018

This spring, I worked with two Wisconsin MBA colleagues, Marcus Alston and Brad Zemp, on a consulting project to apply my classroom knowledge to a real-world business need. CUNA Mutual Group, our client, has begun its journey of an HR Transformation and is exploring the idea of implementing a Core Competency Model at an enterprise wide level. CUNA wants to use a core competency model for talent management – identifying and developing high performers, performance management, recruiting, learning and development, etc.

Our client enlisted us to research the benefits and risks of a competency model; develop an implementation plan should they decide to develop a competency model; metrics to measure success and recommendations on the topic. We also added to the scope Change Management since a competency model is an enterprise wide change initiative.

The sources for our research ranged from the Society of Human Resource Management and Bersin by Deloitte to academic journals. We relied on research by Michael A. Campion, Herman C. Krannert Chaired Professor of Management at Purdue University, for best practices since these best practices were used by SHRM to develop their competency model. Keeping in mind these validated best practices, we developed a 3-phase implementation plan with each action item linked to one or more best practice.

Our recommendation on “should CUNA invest in a Competency Model?” was to create a hybrid version in the short term and evaluate the need for a formal competency model in the long term. CUNA currently is undergoing a substantial amount of change in their HR function, and our recommendation stems from the concern of change fatigue and change saturation. As a part of our recommendation, we demonstrated to our client how they can use their recently developed Values and associated behavior statements to achieve their goals via a competency model.

The recommendation was well received and is likely to be implemented.