Talent Management Part 4– Measuring success

In this Talent Management series (Part one: Do you have a lack of talent?, Part two: exploring the employee journey and Part three: getting confused with definitions?) we have defined Talent SuccessManagement as a series of interconnected development activities that when executed thoughtfully, add value to the employee journey and the organisation’s brand.

As our sector continues to grapple with the VUCA environment and shrinking risk appetites from Boards and executive leaders, there has never been a more crucial time to invest in our organisations. This puts pressure on workforce leaders to provide evidence based measures of program success.

Typically, TM programs are seen as expensive investments and particularly in the nfp sector, these are usually funded by hard fought surpluses. While the business case for investing in TM is generally accepted across Board rooms, we sometimes find ourselves on the back foot when trying to provide tangible proof or measuring success of our TM efforts.

We often think about how to evaluate our programs once they are nearing completion. However, by this time it is often too late. The time for identifying measures for success is at the design stage.  Once we have qualified what our desired business outcomes are, we can turn our attention to the most appropriate business metrics that provide independent metrics and standards. Without these, any evaluation and return on investment conclusions leave room for unconscious bias to take hold.  The consequences of using incorrect data for decision making then speaks for itself.

With the right measurements as our focus, we are able to identify both employee productivity improvements and overall business improvements. So from the vast list of metrics that we can choose from, which ones are most likely to highlight the success or otherwise of our TM efforts?

One key business measurement to consider is Return on Workforce (ROW).

Return on Workforce = Operating Income
                                     Total labour cost

TM programs aim to improve ROW percentages by positively impacting productivity, discretionary effort, increasing organisational knowledge, skills and capabilities, attracting and sourcing talent, to name a few. You will notice that ROW is outcome focussed and moves away from the traditional activity based reporting metrics. These still have a part to play in measuring success and go towards the direct and indirect labour costs for ROW.  Here’s a sample of some of these:

  • HR Cost per employee: How much are you spending on HR
  • Cost per recruitment: Cost for recruiting, hiring and on boarding
  • Time per recruitment: How quick is the recruitment process
  • Employee turnover: Percentage of employees leaving employment with you for any reason
  • Revenue per employee: Total revenue divided by number of employees
  • Average performance rating: How well do employees ‘score’ in your performance reviews
  • Identified TM employee retention rate: TM identified employees staying your organisation
  • Bench strength: measures the depth of the succession pool for a key position
  • Average retention periods: How long do your employees stay with you
  • Employees eligible for retirement: Can include both voluntary and involuntary
  • Employee satisfaction metrics: usually collected through surveys

Being able to draw from these metrics and make conclusions from data is just the first step in the evaluation process. Data in itself is inert, purely objective and provides hard evidence. What metrics do not do however, is supply us with the answers. We have to apply our knowledge, experience and wisdom to the metrics to critically assess the success of our TM efforts.

If you would like to know more about Talent Management programs, contact Andrea Collett.

Andrea Collett

Andrea Collett
Senior HR Consultant
Phone: 0422 437 153
Email: acollett@cbb.com.au

Talent Management Part 3 – Getting confused with definitions?

Are you getting confused about all the definitions that are thrown into the conversation when we manage and develop our talent?

If you answered yes, you are not alone. It can be a real turn off for operational managers to deal with ‘HR speak’ at the best of times. Being crystal clear about what we mean becomes an important part of our organisation’s underlying approach to Talent Management. Our managers and leaders are the major stakeholders and drivers of our Talent Management efforts, and so it becomes our responsibility as HR professionals to make it as easy as possible to reduce confusion and inspire engagement. It is easy to get into semantics when we are developing our terms of reference and essentially at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter which words we use to describe what we mean. The most important thing, is that we develop a shared understanding across the whole organisation.

Here are the five key definitions that we regularly use and what I think they mean in the Talent Management context:

Continue reading…

Talent Management part 2: exploring the employee journey – it’s a marathon, not a sprint

Talent management: the employee journey marathon


In my last article of this Talent Management series, we concluded that Talent Management (TM) was not a stand-alone activity that can be ‘done’ to people.  It is the compounding effect of people practices, leadership and thoughtful execution. As a definition TM is having robust people and culture structures, practice and initiatives that when combined add value to the employee journey while enhancing organisational brand. Continue reading…

Talent Management Series – Part one

Do you have a lack of talent? It could be a reflection of the leadership culture

Often in my consulting work I am asked to help ‘fix’ the culture of a team, unit and in some instances, a whole organisation. So as I listen to leaders describing the unproductive behaviours, workforce issues and customer problems, I ask questions that help to uncover why these issues have arisen in the first place. Continue reading…

Customer loyalty – it’s simple yet complex

Loyalty is hard to come by these days – even in the not for profit sector.  Our communities are becoming more sophisticated, informed and savvy about the services they chose to engage in.  For community based organisations the issue with developing customer loyalty is not attracting new customers – it’s more about how we retain them.

Our regular customers need to walk away from every type of interaction feeling better than the start.  Think about it this way – every time you meet someone’s expectation you have only partially engaged them for their next visit.  If something newer or different comes along they may tempted to ‘check them out’.  We need to continually exceed expectations so when other options come their way they think – ‘nah I love where I am now’ or the best case scenario is that they don’t even see your competitors – it’s not even on their radar to try something else.

Loyalty is about creating a sense of allegiance in your customers where they become your advocates rather than a transactional customer.  Here are five ways to promote a sense of allegiance in your customers. Continue reading…

Customer Service or Customer Experience?

There is no doubt that consumer directed care has placed our service standards under the spotlight.  In a market place that is becoming more crowded and noisy, finding that special ‘something’ to attract and retain our customers has become a necessity for survival rather than a ‘nice to have’.  With so much focus on packaging effective and efficient products and services, the disability sector has come to the harsh realisation that ‘commercialisation’ and ‘bottom line’ results are now standard items on the strategic agenda.  The attraction and retention of our customers has become a vital part of our organisation’s success.

To keep our doors open we need customers that Continue reading…

Using carrots to focus on customers first

focus on customers first

Employee engagement principles are easy to understand, at least on a theoretical level.  Employees that feel valued for their inputs (knowledge, skills, experience, work ethic, ideas, feedback, performance etc.) are more likely to have higher engagement levels.  They go beyond the basic service deliverables and as a consequence they deliver positive customer experiences that add value to their customers’ everyday lives.  From a practical point of view, how can we encourage our employees to feel valued?  Here’s a few ‘carrots’ to consider. Continue reading…

Five tips to bring your customer service charter to life

Customer service charters can often be bland documents full of big hairy promises that sound more like a fairy tale than real life.  We often mistake these charters as vision statements and promise the world. Delivering on these promises becomes a stretch goal rather than the minimum standard required.  Consumers have more information available to them than ever before and are usually well prepared for their purchases.  So if we are to stand out in a crowded market place we need to manage the consumers’ expectations and be truthful about what we can deliver.

The reasons for having a charter in the first place is to sell our organisation and differentiate ourselves from our competitors.  To do this we have to identify what we do better than anyone else.  Creating a service promise is just the first step.  Once all the elevator speeches and tag lines are done and dusted we then have to deliver on that promise, and that is where the hard work begins!

  1. Can you deliver on the promise?

Continue reading…

Power – it’s not a dirty word: it’s all about how you use it

As 2017 comes to a close and we head off to enjoy the holiday season, it is often a time of reflection and planning for the new year ahead.  One of the underlying themes in the consulting work that I have been involved in this year has been the effect that ‘perceived personal power’ has when we communicate, work and grow together. Continue reading…

Get used to it – change is here to stay (Part 4): A final word

Organisations are in the business of providing products and services to consumers, who in turn, provide organisations with currency to continue their work.  Most products and services have a lifespan.  It is this lifespan that triggers our need for organisational change: changing what we do and the way we do things to remain relevant by satisfying emerging needs.  We do this so we can survive and continue to serve the customers that sustain us.  Consequently, organisations must change to survive.

In a logical sense, most employees understand this cycle and would nod their heads in agreement – we’ve all been on this merry-go-round before and have seen many changes to our professions during our careers.

So why is ‘organisational change’ so difficult to manage, especially when we know at a cognitive level that it is a necessity for our economic future? Continue reading…