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HR Awards: Michael C. Smith

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Michael C. Smith
VP, Total Rewards

Company: Navient (Wilmington)

What initiatives or processes have you introduced that have helped your organization and team be successful?

After the separation of Navient and Sallie Mae in 2014, Mike was asked to create and optimize a new total rewards strategy that supported our diverse business lines and employee demographics. Mike championed the creation of the MyNavientWellbeing portal, a data-driven, employee-centric tool that provides a holistic, employee-centric experience. As a result, attrition rates have dropped and engagement has increased. 

Mike also leads Navient’s Diversity and Inclusion initiative, which included the creation of a three-year strategic roadmap, and established a Workforce analytics. Navient’s competitive edge is through the application of predictive analysis and innovation and Mike has translated that into HR by developing data analytics/reporting that is accessible to Navient leaders at a click of a button.

In the wake of the Wells Fargo incentive compensation scandal, Navient assessed its own Incentive Compensation Plan (ICP) Governance Policy to ensure proper controls and oversight were in place to balance the risk of the plans with the pay-for-performance approach taken by a large portion of the company. Mike led the effort to assess and enhance the governance policy and coordinated a variety of affected departments and business areas across the company to develop a framework that met the needs of our leaders and our employees. 

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