Multinational Consumer Packaged-Goods Manufacturer

Identifying and Preparing Future Leaders

THE CHALLENGE

Unable to objectively identify, then prepare and support future leaders.

Fiercely loyal employees have made decades-long tenures the norm at a major multinational company whose brands, now true household names, are manufactured, marketed, and enjoyed in every one of the world’s nearly 200 countries.

Despite the company’s overall success, its inability to effectively identify, promote, and manage its future leaders had negatively affected everything from operations and performance to innovation and employee engagement.

Although nearly 40% of the company’s executives were considered high potential, the HR team and senior leaders focused almost exclusively on the employees they knew best at the expense of the less experienced, less familiar junior executives. Unfortunately, despite their experience, the newly promoted but poorly prepared executives often struggled due to the lack of training and support and soon moved on.

Top performers, who regularly delivered superior operational results but were known to disrespect peers and subordinates, were also recognized and rewarded with promotions, which caused further disruption.

Fortunately, the CEO was very aware of the need for change and was committed to maximizing executives’ potential and fully realizing the company’s superior talent base.

THE SOLUTION

RHR delivers objective methodologies, data, analysis, and recommendations.

RHR was brought in as much for its ability to develop leaders for highly complex, cross-functional enterprise roles as its objective, unbiased perspective.  

As a result of the wisdom and insights acquired from working with thousands of executives in a broad range of industries worldwide, RHR knows which indicators best predict an employee’s advancement 10 to 15 years in advance. Together, RHR and the multinational company were able to determine which employees required training and support to prepare and position them for their future career paths.  

In addition, RHR’s proprietary Readiness for Scale℠ assessment provided impartial, credible, declarative data on internal leaders and specifically targeted executives’ ability to lead the business, people, and themselves.

Data from the Readiness for Scale assessment helped identify and assess the executives’ existing abilities and the capabilities they would need to develop to flourish in their new roles.

RHR International and the company have been successfully and consistently partnering on three key actions for four years now:

  • Systematically and objectively identifying employees’ strengths and gaps with comprehensive assessments based on multiple inputs
  • Providing HR and business leaders with holistic, integrated data to drive high-quality, future-oriented decision making to enable growth
  • Giving clear and candid feedback to individual leaders based on the Readiness for Scale assessment results to help them establish a development plan and prepare for the future

THE RESULTS

Strategic assessment and preparation of executives ensure successful transitions and superior success rates.

Because the entire strategy was initiated by the CEO and driven by the company’s senior executives, HR and department decision makers are leveraging RHR methodology, tools, and data to objectively identify, evaluate, and prepare future leaders.

RHR has worked with the company’s top five layers to ensure the organization focuses on employees whose innate abilities and attitudes are more relevant than their practical experience, their internal relationships, and how they’re seen by their superiors, peers, and subordinates.

While such significant change can be disruptive and uncomfortable, the HR team and the senior executives accepted and even embraced this new approach because RHR made sure they understood it and knew how and why it would work. Of course, the positive results have also ensured employees’ buy-in at all levels.

Once the company understood the wide-ranging demands and steep expectations their executives faced each time they stepped into new roles, they did everything possible to prepare and support them with trainers, coaches, and mentors.

The cultural shift has set a new tone, and executives not only recognize when they need help, they’re more comfortable requesting and receiving support.

Results and performance are acknowledged and rewarded, but now issues around management and communications styles are also noted and addressed. Ideally, these managers respond appropriately, but if not, they’re transitioned out of the company.

Going forward, the corporation will continue to leverage the value of its executives with a two-step strategy: a thorough assessment to identify the individuals’ unique needs followed by the appropriate support and training to ensure they’re fully prepared for future opportunities.

As this company has experienced firsthand, this more objective, yet completely personalized process delivers lasting transitions and better success rates.

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