- How can an organization attract, select, and avoid losing its best talent? Read case study.
- How can an organization make sure it has the talent pipeline to grow and protect the business? Read case study.
- How can an organization that grows by acquisition ensure efficient, consistent integration of its operations? Read case study.
- How can an organization decrease the cycle time and resources required for learning and productivity growth? Read case study.
- How can an organization improve its top leadership team and its capabilities? Read case study.
- What if the leadership capabilities an organization needs to cultivate are highly specialized and technical? Read case study.
- Once the initial Six Sigma program is deployed, how can an organization ensure optimal results? Read case study.
- How can an organization measure and significantly improve its processes related to human resources? Read case study.
- How can an organization ensure it is maximizing the performance of all employees? Read case study.
- How can an organization capture and leverage all its knowledge resources? Read case study.
How can an organization attract, select, and avoid losing its best talent?
A multinational conglomerate came to Schoonover Associates to help transform its salesforce from a focus on product selling to a more comprehensive approach to selling solutions and services.
Schoonover Associates led the client through a specific needs analysis that identified the following four critical areas of need.
- The sales organization was not following a clear sales process.
- The activities of entry-level sales professionals were not aligned with a clear sales process.
- Little professional development was in place.
- Hiring and selecting sales professionals into the new selling environment was hit or miss.
Schoonover Associates helped the client develop a future-oriented sales competency model that focused the sales organization on the required success criteria.
In addition, we helped the organization develop competency-based tools to use in its hiring, selection, development, appraising, and performance management processes.
We developed a developmental toolkit that outlined the success profiles for various sales roles, assessment tools, hiring and selection tools for interviewing, and developmental activities linked to competencies.
In addition, we created a handbook that outlined key responsibilities, tasks, and tools related to a consistent sales process. This handbook helped new hires gain a quicker start in their jobs.
To help the sales regions understand how to focus training and development of its salesforce, we conducted 360-degree assessments on the entire salesforce and debriefed the sales organization in regional meetings.
The sales organization was able to focus its hiring and selection approach using competencies. By using the new sales hiring profile, the organization was able to measure that the new hires produced three times the revenues compared to a control group.
As a result, communication of performance standards, development opportunities, and alignment with a sales process increased the speed of assimilation and levels of satisfaction of new hires.
How can an organization decrease the cycle time and resources required for learning and productivity growth?
A regional telecommunications company came to Schoonover Associates as they were transitioning from a “telephone” company to a national provider of “telecommunications and information services.” In addition, the company was experiencing a crisis in management as employees underwent “culture shock” while the company moved from a regulated to a more market-driven environment.
Schoonover Associates helped the client develop a set of core values to communicate the company’s “strategic intent” to the employees. These core values were articulated in the form of a competency model so that all individuals could understand how their behavior was related to the strategies of the organization.
In addition to the core values, we helped develop “future-oriented,” function-specific competency models. We used these models in a 360-degree assessment on all managers to identify rapidly critical development planning needs. We also provided one-on-one coaching to the executive team coaching to the Board of Directors.
As part of an overall program to upgrade leadership, we built a core leadership curriculum for all levels of management. This curriculum was offered in four-hour segments on specific leadership topics throughout the year.
We also built competency-based tools and development activities directories for all functions and implemented them through a customized performance management/coaching curriculum for all managers.
We created specific measures of performance to ensure that employees were able to align their activities with the company’s strategies. As a result, while the company grew from $1 billion to $4 billion in sales, it’s workforce was able significantly to expand product/service offerings and improve profitability and stock value.
How can an organization make sure it has the talent pipeline to grow and protect the business?
How can an organization measure and significantly improve its processes related to human resources?
The client, a diversified financial services company specializing in mortgage financing, was undergoing rapid expansion of both its services and its employee population. But vulnerabilities in certain key leadership positions and a bench strength deficit resulted in the need for new leadership capabilities to manage this growth. The board of directors recommended that the company create appropriate success criteria (competencies and position descriptions) and develop a leadership growth program as well as an organized succession planning process.
We were engaged to identify appropriate competencies, job descriptions, positions titles, and structure for all levels of leadership and functional groups. In implementing the engagement, we created the following.
- Competency and job descriptions for all levels of leadership and each major role in every job family.
- An integrated talent mangement system including the design, testing, and rollout of applications ranging from hiring to assessment to development planning; from performance management to succession planning.
- An organized leadership program for all executives and a group of identified high-potential employees.
This was done sequentially through focused project phases over two years.
Our work resulted in an organized, consistent, competency-based talent management program that achieved the following.
- Significant increase in backups for key positions.
- 360-degree assessment, development plans, and one-on-one feedback for all executive and identified high-potentials.
- Coaching and leadership training for top two layers of management.
- An organized succession plan based on objective data (competency assessments and goal achievement) that made it possible to replace several top management positions in the context of the financial crisis in the mortgage market.
- Statistically significant improvement in leadership competencies over a period of years.
How can an organization improve its top leadership team and its capabilities?
A rapidly growing Fortune 500 information technology company was losing significant market value and customer confidence as a result of perceived leadership problems.
We conducted a needs analysis with the top leadership team and developed an approach to leadership and integrated performance development that included the following.
- Development of criteria related to vision and values.
- Design and implementation of a series of vision and values workshops for top leaders in the company that helped communicate the company’s vision and helped managers identify critical leadership gaps.
- Development of multifunctional competency models and technical knowledge and skills profiles.
- Design of a competency development module and 360-degree assessment for a corporatewide, longitudinal leadership program.
- Design and implementation of a performance development workshop series.
- Design of a competency-based curriculum for mid-level managers.
- Creation of tools and processes for hiring/selection, assessment development, and performance management.
- Clear expectations for all employees.
- Significantly improved development and career planning opportunities.
- Much more consistent performance planning and evaluation.
How can an organization capture and leverage all its knowledge resources?
A food production and services company was experiencing significant problems with hiring and retaining key talent, creating talent pipelines to ensure that high-potential leaders were identified and groomed to fill key positions, and producing alignment between employees’ behavior and the company’s business strategies.
Schoonover Associates developed an approach for the company that included the following.
- Consulting to the top leadership about best practices related to performance management.
- Designing a competency architecture that included articulating core values, leadership competencies, and function-specific competencies.
- Designing and delivering an online development toolkit that included key information about competencies, assessment tools, development guides for each function, and support materials.
- Designing an implementation workshop to communicate best practices, the new process, and how to use the toolkit.
- Developing a systematic, competency-based approach to hiring and selection that included key probe questions and interview aids and tools.
The client was able to implement an online portal to hiring/selection and performance management processes. In addition, it was able to implement a more competitive strategy to compete for key talent. And, as a result of providing a systematic process and performance enhancement tools for managers and employees, it was able to achieve greater accountability for performance.
Once the initial Six Sigma program is deployed, how can an organization ensure optimal results?
How can an organization ensure it is maximizing the performance of all employees?
A large multinational conglomerate needed to accelerate the deployment of its Six Sigma program. The company was finding that the impact of Six Sigma after the initial implementation, technical training, and project implementation was producing suboptimal results.
We helped the client identify that the role of the Master Black Belt and the Black Belt require significant leadership skills such as alignment of business success factors, systems thinking, project selection skills, and strategic influence. We conducted a study that identified the specific leadership competencies of the Master Black Belt and designed and implemented the following solutions.
- Developed and validated a success profile for the Master Black Belt and Black Belt.
- Designed and implemented a Master Black Belt leadership workshop.
- Conducted online 360-degree assessments for all Master Black Belt participants.
- Designed and implemented a “virtual team” workshop for Black Belts that was taught virtually worldwide.
- Developed online toolkits that included key tools such as development directories, assessment tools, hiring and selection tools, coaching tools, and articles.
- Conducted pre- and postclass assessment of the impact of the training on competency acquisition by participants.
- Used Six-Sigma analyses to refine and revise the workshop to sharpen its impact on competency development.
- Very significant behavior change of key Six Sigma leaders as a result of course intervention.
- Significant shift from statistical/;project focus of Six Sigma efforts to total business impact.
How can an organization that grows by acquisition ensure efficient, consistent integration of its operations?
The client, a global financial services organization, was experiencing rapid growth through a series of strategic acquisitions. This expansion resulted in disparate standards, culture, and processes within the various financial organizations.
Top management identified the need for a common talent management approach and decided to start a top-down program, focusing on developing the CFOs of each operating group, twenty-five in all.
Our engagement focused on creating executive financial competencies for the CFOs as well as the financial professionals at lower levels.
- The initial focus on the project entailed performing 360-degree assessments on each of the CFOs and analyzing the aggregate data to create a common leadership program that targeted the competency gaps.
- We then delivered a training program to the group of CFOs tailored to their needs.
- We provided subsequent personal coaching for each executive.
- We provided advice to the leader of the finance organization about developing a pipeline of competent finance leaders for the future.
- We delivered training and transfer of knowledge to the human resources group to continue the rollout locally at each operating unit for those in other finance roles.
- Significant improvement of competency capabilities over time.
- Rollout of competencies, job descriptions, and position titles for financial roles in all operating units.
- Significant enhancement of HR skills and ownership for assessment and development capabilities across the organization.
What if the leadership capabilities an organization needs to cultivate are highly specialized and technical?
The client is a highly successful, rapidly growing global pension management organization. As the organization expanded its size and influence, regulatory agencies and other key stakeholders became increasingly concerned about the functional leadership capabilities of the current executives.
As a result, top management decided to create a consistent competency framework to be applied across all talent management applications.
The focus of this project was to create a common set of leadership competencies for the management job family as well as consistent job family competencies and role descriptions for each functional group.
The key interventions implemented during this engagement included the following.
- We analyzed business drivers.
- We developed a common competency architecture and business rules.
- We developed “straw man” competencies for leadership levels and for each functional group.
- We conducted separate focus groups with various levels of management and each functional area.
- We revised competencies based on feedback and tested them with stakeholders.
- We finalized the competencies and wrote accompanying job descriptions.
- We collaborated with HR business partners throughout the competency model development and implementation process so they became credible subject matter experts and change agents.
- We packaged, communicated, and provided a train-the-trainer program for each HR business partner to distribute and implement within each functional group.
- A consistent set of leadership competencies across the entire organization.
- Highly engaged employees using competencies for development discussions in each group.
- Communication and competency capabilities transferred to the HR business partners.