The client is one of the most respected business houses of India with 100+ years heritage. The businesses spanned a wide variety of industries from consumer products to complex industrial products. The various business divisions of the company acted as individual silos with limited mobility of leaders and managers across the divisions. Promotions depended to a large extent on the perception of the manager with some inputs on performance data.
We were mandated to create a robust, scientific, and an equitable process for managerial promotions that can be applied across the entire organisation and rolled out quickly.
We proposed some radical changes to the promotion process which relied on data rather than perceptions. The role of the reporting manager in the promotion process was reduced considerably. In order to provide uniformity and equitable approach to potential measurement, a detailed competency framework was created, which would serve as the standard template for measurement of managerial and leadership potential. A comprehensive assessment centre was designed with wide variety of tools that reflected different businesses the company was operating in.
The performance data was used as a screener to shortlist those who can appear for the assessment centre. With this one step, good performance became a threshold for being considered for promotion. The managerial potential was measured through assessment centres on the competency framework exclusively created for the company. These centres had simulated environment with a mix of individual and group activities which gave deep insight into the competency level of each candidate.
Such an approach helped every stakeholder to feel confident that they have had a fair chance to present their potential and the organisation got clear visibility of the leadership and managerial talent available with them. Once the range of talent available to the organisation was known, mobility across divisions was encouraged by the company. Within a year the initial apprehensions of the employees was replaced by a sense of deep satisfaction among them.
Our assessment centre process has become a key pillar of organisation development in this venerable conglomerate.