How People Analytics Powered a $66...

How People Analytics Powered a $66 Billion Dollar Merger

Truist’s HR and people analytics teams share how people analytics gave them the insights needed for a smoother merger process.

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In this Outsmart session, Truist’s Henning Powers, Human Capital Business Consultant and Nick Patriciu, Senior HR Strategist explain how working with internal and external stakeholders to provide workforce insights helped shape Truist’s recent merger process. Register now for Outsmart 2023 today!

In 2019, SunTrust and BB&T combined in a historic merger of equals to create Truist. This is the sixth-largest U.S. bank holding company, with 275 years of combined history serving clients and communities in high-growth markets. By gaining visibility into all their workforce data, Truist is building the foundation for operational success.

“We now regularly provide data and insights that our executive leadership and board expect to see. And in our own small way, we are contributing to creating a more inclusive and energizing environment for our teammates,” says Nick Patriciu, Senior HR Strategist at Truist.

The legal merger of BB&T and SunTrust was the largest bank merger since the Great Recession, and there were many considerations to keep top of mind: How would they adapt to the state of the industry, meet their business goals, and craft a talent strategy that aligns with their values?

Uncovering the complete history of their workforce with Visier

In 2022, the financial services market is expected to reach $26.5 trillion. As the U.S financial sector grows and shifts, there’s room for opportunity. 

Truist’s team uses people analytics to understand the history of their entire workforce and to build connections between HR data and business action. Getting all of the data in one place is what empowered them to begin making an impact.

“From an HR data perspective, we ended up with two HR information systems, one for SunTrust and one for BB&T. Due to technical considerations, Truist ended up using the BB&T HRIS with no import of historic SunTrust data,” explains Nick.

How could the team determine what the year over a year, headcount, turnover, hiring, and promotions were for Truist when we had access only to historic BB&T information? This is where Visier became part of the solution. Prior to the merger, SunTrust was using Visier for their people analytics. Within three months of the merger, they were able to load historic BB&T data into Visier as well.

“Having this Truist workforce history allowed us to start building connections and answer basic business questions such as who are we? How is headcount trending? What is our turnover rate? What does diversity look like throughout our organization? Are we hiring and promoting underrepresented teammates in a way that aligns with our purpose, mission, and values?” said Henning Powers, Human Capital Business Consultant at Truist.

Future-proofing the business with people data

To help answer questions about the future of their workforce, the merger team partnered with Visier. 

“We had at our disposal, not just the headcount and the expenses and the trending over time, but also the drivers of the change itself. That is the turnover and the backfill. These inputs allowed us to build a status quo model of what we expected the size of the workforce to be over the coming 12 to 18 months,” Nick said.

Truist now uses their workforce data to estimate how their workforce size would change. Their analytics help them find opportunities and flag areas that may require a leader’s attention. Ultimately, it helps them come up with better decisioning and intervention strategies and respond to any trends they uncover. 

“It’s not enough just to monitor a rate, but rather to help the business leader tell if the turnover was actually something to worry about. Visier enabled us to look at the historic trends for high performer turnover, which is used in turn to establish appropriate thresholds for each line of business,” Nick explains.

Additionally, Truist collects and analyzes data on their diversity mix across all teams to move them towards their DEI goals. Through people analytics, they’re able to gain an understanding of historical trends of turnover, external hiring, and internal movements. 

This understanding helped them identify, not only what their baseline was, but how much effort it would take to get where they wanted to be. The research they did within Visier around diversity was later published into a customized guidebook to support their HR business partners.

Speeding up the transformation process with actionable insights

Rolling out people analytics to leaders across the organization has made a significant impact on driving business forward and on company culture. For example, it’s become easier to build trust around data and have more productive conversations. 

“The drill-down capability has improved the trust level across the board with Visier,” said Nick. “If someone questions the data accuracy in Visier, we work through the answers to show that the concern isn’t with Visier, it’s a different source system.”

Nick also gave an example of what one of Truist’s HRBPs would often experience, and how having an efficient way to get data into everyone’s hands makes a difference:

“It would take her about half a day to extract the information needed from the HR information system to put it into Excel, to Vlookup everything…and then report it to the business leader. Now, it takes her less than 15 minutes to do the same thing in Visier.”

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