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Powered by People: Joni Lorino

Lorino is considered Regions’ ‘guru’ for associates throughout the career development process.

OCT. 15, 2014 - Every year, beginning in December, the process begins. And Joni Lorino’s phone starts ringing. And ringing.

For four months straight.

Lorino is an analyst for Regions, working for the Human Resources’ Information Systems (HRIS) team. And one of her primary duties is handling the distribution, compilation and analysis of the annual Regions Performance Management (RPM) process, a company-wide initiative to build the best team and assess career development.

Needless to say, it can be a stressful time for associates, beginning when they compete a self-assessment.

“She’s a gem and she’s great at what she does,” said Quenton Lackey, Lorino’s’ manager for internal and external reporting on HR-driven data. “Her role is very important. But what makes her unique is the way she treats people, handling everyone perfectly. She goes the extra mile to make sure they have what they need.”

Joni is by far one of the hardest workers I have had the pleasure to work with,” added Pat Snodsmith, HRIS manager. “She’s a very caring person who gives personal support services to her customers. She truly makes my job much easier.”

A Birmingham native and graduate of UAB in computer sciences, Lorino spent 20 years with Baptist Health Systems before joining Regions in 2006. Two years later, she began working with RPM as it was integrated into the company.

How valuable is she today? Lorino is the only remaining employee to go through initial RPM training, which manages career development and assessment for associates throughout the 16 states Regions serves.

“They call me the guru,” Lorino said, with a sly grin.

RPM begins with self-assessments. Think about how hard that process can be, to rate your own performance objectively and candidly. It continues through four more steps.

While the objective is career performance, it can be an anxiety-ridden exercise.

That’s why the calls start, and continue to come.

“Joni is highly knowledgeable about all the processes tied to the RPM system so she can quickly diagnose the issues I bring to her,” said Carolyn Sanders, the HR Area Manager for Arkansas-Louisiana-Texas. “She then either fixes the problem or walks me through what I need to do from my desk. She is able to communicate effectively what needs to be done and brings it to the level that I can understand.”

While Lorino is a one-person data-collecting machine during the first wave of RPM, she always finds time to reach out and lend a helping hand.

“She is extremely responsive and timely in getting back to you,” Sanders added. “She projects confidence and calmness no matter how much is going on. No request is too large or too small for her to handle.”

To Lorino, that’s just part of the job.

“I’m here to help people,” Lorino said. “And I want to help. A lot of this information is confidential, and I’m here to explain it and make everyone comfortable.”

Lackey, her manager, sees in person how Lorino has a way of solving every problem.

“She’s very nurturing,” Lackey said. “She has to handle all different aspects of performance. Associates have one set of questions, managers have another and field HR reps, who are doing administration, are looking for something completely different. But she puts people at ease.”

The irony is that RPM, which garners Lorino most of the attention, is just part of her job. After the four-month RPM data gathering and analysis is concluded, she begins administering a talent management program, which lasts throughout the year.

And now, after becoming the acknowledged “guru” on RPM, she’s learning an entirely new HR information system that will soon be implemented.

“We’re converting to a new human capital management system that will encompass all the things – performance, payroll, human capital – we do,” Lackey said. “Joni’s been an integral part in the testing of the system. She’s taken the ball and run with it, even helping design the system.”

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