Citibank: Performance Evaluation - Essay

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Harvard Business School

9-198-048
Rev. October 14, 1999

Citibank: Performance Evaluation
Frits Seegers, President of Citibank California, was meeting with his management team to review the performance evaluation and bonus decisions for the California branch managers. James McGaran's performance evaluation was next. Frits felt uneasy about this one. McGaran was manager of the most important branch in the Los Angeles area, and his financials were impressive. A year ago he would have received "above par" rating with full bonus. But last year, the California Division of Citibank had introduced a new performance scorecard to highlight the importance of a diverse set of measures in achieving the strategic goals of the division. Among the new measures introduced was a customer satisfaction indicator. Unfortunately, James McGaran had scored "below par" on customer satisfaction. Frits looked at Lisa Johnson, the area manager supervising James McGaran. Frits had read Lisa's comments (Exhibit 1). The comments were very positive, but Lisa had not wanted to give a final recommendation until she had discussed it with Frits. She knew that James' case would be watched closely by many managers within the division.

The Financial District Branch
James McGaran was manager of the most important of the 31 branches in the Los Angeles area. Located in Los Angeles’s financial district, James’s branch had a staff of 15 people, revenues of $6 million, and $4.3 million in profit margin. The customer base was very diverse. Individual customers ranged from people who worked in the financial district with sophisticated retail banking needs to less informed individuals banking for convenience. Business customers were sophisticated buyers who demanded high service quality and knowledgeable employees who could satisfy their financial needs. “Mom and pop” businesses, the dominant segment in other regions, were also present but to a much lesser extent. Competition was intense. Two competitors—Bank of America and Wells Fargo—had offices less than a block away from James’s branch. James joined Citibank in 1985 as assistant branch manager. He had worked in the banking industry since 1977. Within a year, in 1986, he was promoted to manager of a small branch. He progressed quickly through the ranks until 1992 when he was given the responsibility of managing the Financial District office. His performance in this office had exceeded expectations every single year. He had delivered impressive financial results for four years in a row. In 1996, when the division expanded its performance indicators to include non-financial measures, it became apparent that his branch’s customer satisfaction ratings did not follow the same pattern as its financial performance. Doctoral Candidate Antonio Dávila and Professor Robert Simons prepared this case as the basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of an administrative situation. Copyright © 1997 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. To order copies or request permission to reproduce materials, call 1-800-545-7685 or write Harvard Business School Publishing, Boston, MA 02163. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, used in a spreadsheet, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise—without the permission of Harvard Business School. 1

198-048

Citibank: Performance Evaluation

James reported to Lisa Johnson, Los Angeles area manager. Lisa was a long time employee of Citibank. She joined the company in 1978 in Chicago and moved to California in early 1988. Her area was the biggest in the division and included two regions that had previously been managed separately. Lisa was a hands-on manager who spent a lot of time in the branches supporting the managers and becoming familiar with the events in each branch.

New Performance Scorecard
Citibank was a...
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