The Pohlad Companies, owner of NorthMarq Capital, prides itself on a commitment to its most valued assets: people. One way they demonstrate this commitment is through regular employee engagement surveys. A clear message received in the most recent survey is that employees want more feedback on performance, additional opportunities for collaboration and a better understanding of career development paths.
In 2015, NorthMarq Servicing responded to this message and made a substantial commitment to a new software system that promised to address these needs in a significant way. “CareerMarq,” as it was named, became NorthMarq Servicing’s principal means of providing performance feedback and tracking employee development.
CareerMarq is a repository of position competencies, goals and performance reviews. Competencies outline the detailed criteria for expected skills within every position at NorthMarq; goals identify the expected results in each role and provide the opportunity for personalized professional development objectives. Our work identifying competencies and goals highlights all of the critical work behaviors and skills that a successful NorthMarq employee possesses. At a glance in CareerMarq, Servicing employees can see their own strengths and growth areas, giving them significant ownership of their own professional development.
Another benefit of CareerMarq is the built-in feedback capability. CareerMarq is a real-time, continuous feedback system in which NorthMarq’s employees at every level are encouraged to leave each other regular feedback. This produces a feedback-rich environment that provides affirmation and appreciation for a job well done, as well as constructive comments for professional growth.
One CareerMarq capability currently in development is its training potential. In recent years, NorthMarq has sensed the need for a more flexible approach to training that would grant more autonomy to enterprising learners, ensure needed skills are mastered, and enable supervisors to engage in more employee development activities. CareerMarq offers exciting opportunities in all these areas. We envision an online library of training courses that employees can work through at their own pace. The training curricula will enhance employee competencies, develop skills, and further professional growth. Energized by this vision, we are brainstorming a variety of training resources—videos, articles, books, classes and more—all potentially customizable for the employee.
In evaluating CareerMarq, Servicing management saw that realizing its potential required a full-time position to oversee the comprehensive deployment of all of CareerMarq’s capabilities. In February, a new, full-time Manager of Training & Systems Development position was created.
The newly created position was filled by Deanna Samaraka, one of our most capable and admired employees. She is admired for her remarkable intelligence and organization, as well as her strategic vision and ability to summon the best from people. Deanna’s experience in several areas of NorthMarq Servicing, most notably serving as Escrow Manager for the past nine years, gives her a deep understanding of all of the functions of commercial loan servicing and what it takes to be successful in those areas. In addition to her leadership and unique perspective of loan servicing, Deanna was one of the principal NorthMarq managers spearheading the implementation of CareerMarq from the outset. Deanna also recently achieved the Project Management Professional (PMP) industry designation, helping her further develop the skills needed to oversee the status of the initiatives and the ongoing implementation of new resources within CareerMarq.
NorthMarq Servicing is now poised to help employees reach their highest potential by using CareerMarq to engage in their professional growth, provide enriching feedback, and create training synergies—all under the direction of one of our most dynamic leaders.