Picture a months-long series of meetings in which leaders representing almost a dozen departments work together to define a standard of peak performance that uniformly applies to each of their fields.
It would be a challenging process. But it's a challenge PNC embraces every year when it bestows its highest employee honor to recipients of the Performance Award.
PNC's values — Customer Focus, Diversity and Inclusion, Integrity, Performance, Quality of Life, Respect and Teamwork — have served as guides for the Performance Award selection committee as it has typically chosen eight winners every year since 1993. Most years, more than 600 candidates are nominated by their PNC colleagues.
“When it comes to employee engagement, and the things that matter and keep you at a company, this honor is pretty hard to top," said Vicki Henn, PNC's chief human resources officer and a past Performance Award winner. “I think it says a lot that most of our previous winners are still with PNC.
"The award affirms to others that the winners have contributed a lot and have the ability to contribute even more. When I won the Performance Award, it was clear to me that PNC was willing to invest in me and my career, wherever that may have taken me in the organization."
The selection committee consists of representatives from across PNC, as well as the previous year's award winners. New representatives are rotated into the process every couple of years.
Selections are based on three criteria: business impact, which usually includes a quantitative measure of success; leadership and teammate engagement, which attests to the scope of the nominee's influence; and community involvement, which is not required but often serves as proof of the nominee's well-rounded activities.
Nominations are reviewed in successive waves by committee members who work in the same area of the company as the nominee as well as by those who work elsewhere within PNC.
Committee members offer expertise when they evaluate someone from their own world — a wealth management leader might explain the impact of a fiduciary advisor, for example.
Often the strongest arguments for winners and finalists come from members who know little about the specific business roles and responsibilities of the nominees but care passionately about serving customers, colleagues and communities.
Showcasing the best of the best of PNC's 52,000 employees in order to inspire others is a key part of the Performance Award ceremony, where the winners give moving speeches about their career pathways and experiences.
Other PNC awards programs recognize employees for top sales performance and customer service. All are part of PNC's talent-focused culture, which is centered on having the right employees in the right roles at the right time, doing their best work. Performance Award winners exemplify that culture and PNC's values, inspiring their colleagues and driving PNC forward.