Deloitte, Target & Kellogg: Talent-Development & Engagement Tips

February 19, 2013 9:25 pm

Deloitte, Kellogg, Target: Diversity Leaders' Tips for Talent DevelopmentPARTICIPANTS:

Dr. Terri Cooper, Principal and National Inclusion Officer, Deloitte Consulting (No. 8 in the DiversityInc Top 50)

Kim Strong, Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion, Target (No. 30)

Mark King, Chief Diversity Officer, Kellogg Company (No. 49)

Barbara Frankel, Senior Vice President and Executive Editor, DiversityInc

Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

CHALLENGE: How Can Diversity Metrics Improve Regrettable Loss?

Solutions:

1. Kellogg has begun to tie diversity-and-inclusion goals into the executive-compensation bonus program. This includes questions evaluated in the annual employee-engagement survey. “We did a long research project identifying factors in why we lose folks—ineffective people managers and not having the career skill and opportunities to grow an individual’s career with the company,” King says. “We put these in our annual incentive program in the D&I goals.”

2. Cooper notes that these metrics enhance client relationships. Proving to the clients that Deloitte is a diversity leader yields business, which, in turn, improves engagement and retention.

3. All three highlight the need for company-wide diversity scorecards, reporting up to the highest levels to ensure that talent from underrepresented groups is placed throughout all levels and locations and is retained.

CHALLENGE: How Do You Get More Diversity at the Top?

Solutions:

1. King advocates having a balance between external and internal recruitment. Internally, Kellogg has started a worldwide talent review to look at demographics by every level and see who is ready now and who is going to be ready in the next 12 to 36 months. “We ask our leaders what they are committing to develop our talent and our pipeline so when the next opportunity comes around, we have a broader, stronger bench,” he says.

When a high-level opening comes up, they first look for internal candidates. If none are available, they partner with external agencies, and diversity and inclusion is one of the key components. King says, “When we meet with them, we say, ‘Give us a demographically diverse slate.’”

He notes that it can be hard to get hiring managers to hold off on really good slates: “If you aren’t happy with the first slate of candidates from the recruiter, keep pushing until you have a really strong demographic-diverse slate.”

2. Cooper points out that for the Big Four accounting/professional-services firms, retention of potential partners is a big concern, as they are often hired by their clients. The key to retention, she says, especially for people from underrepresented groups, is giving them challenging and important client assignments.

Those assignments are dependent on who is advocating for them at the firm. “In order for them to gain the right experiences, it’s really critical for them to have the appropriate sponsorship and networks within the firm,” she says.

She cites programs that have worked well in this regard for Deloitte, including Navigation to Excellence, a year-long program for nonwhite women working closely with senior executives to build their development plans and critical skill sets and learn best how to navigate the organization. “If they feel that their contributions are highly valued and they’re on the correct trajectory, then it’s more difficult to have them recruited away from Deloitte,” Cooper says.

She also notes that for women especially, examining how real flexibility is within the working environment will improve retention and promotion rates. “We spend a lot of time away from home with our clients, and that is a challenge across the whole population of Deloitte … We are looking at a whole host of initiatives to provide individuals with greater flexibility. So maybe they spend one week at a client and they have two weeks off. We are looking for different models than we’ve had,” she says.

3. Strong recommends as much cross-functional and cross-geographic experience as possible. “Having stores across the country gives us a lot more pull from talent as well as crossover experience from stores to headquarters and giving employees more exposure to different leaders within the organizations,” she says.

CHALLENGE: How Are Mentoring and Sponsorship Evolving?

Solutions:

1. Cooper cites the growing trend of the formalization of sponsorship, which holds both parties more accountable for the success of the relationship. “It’s about being responsible because you know that individual has the right potential and the talent and how you personally help them,” she says.

Deloitte measures promotions to the next level and how successful the senior person was in ultimately achieving the junior person’s goal of becoming a director or a principal. “We look at the metrics around how those formal programs have actually influenced the trajectory of our practitioners,” she says. The success of the junior person is factored into the overall performance evaluation of the senior person.

2. Target mandates that virtually all its managers have mentoring relationships and is now increasing that to sponsorship. Online tools identify everyone’s mentors, and those without are taken to task as part of the talent review. “And it can’t just be by name. We need to actually see you there and actually see work happening,” Strong says.

Mentoring programs are specific to areas where there is need, such as the distribution center and the technology area. Pairs usually last 12 months and then the relationships are reevaluated and can sometimes continue.

CHALLENGE: How Are Resource Groups Used for Talent Development?

Solutions:

1. King cites the ability to promote people into resource-group leadership positions and give them special projects to develop their skills. “So, for example, you’re not a people manager, but serving as a resource-group leader, you’d be running a group of several hundred people,” he says.

He also sees the groups being used increasingly to recruit talent, even at the intern level, and cites as an example Kellogg’s Latino group, which offered to help find interns at universities close to headquarters in Battle Creek, Mich. “They identified a great group of candidates and orchestrated a Campus Orientation Day,” King says. “The results were that the candidates they identified were much stronger.”

2. Strong notes that the exposure of resource-group leaders to executive-council members is valuable, as is the ability for individual contributors to lead resource groups and for people to develop cross-functional transferrable skills in these groups.

3. Cooper cites the growing use of resource groups to note and develop cutting-edge benefits that improve engagement and retention, such as the LGBT group at Deloitte starting discussions on tax-equalization benefits for same-sex domestic partners.

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