Situation

A nationwide railroad company wanted to develop its first-ever Human Capital Strategic Roadmap – linked directly to the company’s Strategic Plan – and identified the following strategic outcomes that were to be delivered using the Balanced Scorecard approach:

  1. Hire and on-board best fit talented people who thrive living the brand
  2. Train and develop all levels of talent base
  3. Continuously improve the company’s culture of safety and security
  4. Drive rigorous performance management and development
  5. Develop a consistent Total Rewards strategy linked to performance and talent management
  6. Deliver effective labor management and employee relations outcomes
  7. Proactively manage human capital risk

Solution

The Human Resources executive, now a NextLevel team member, introduced a set of integrated organizational processes—known as Integrated Talent Management—to create a high-performance, sustainable organization that delivered on the company’s strategic and operational goals and objectives for: (1) a geographically diverse workforce of 21,000 employees; (2) a unionized workforce; (3) distinct business lines; (4) a company that had a high percentage of different crafts represented (machinists, welders, engineers, boiler makers, linemen, etc.).

The Integrated Talent Management approach led to streamlining the recruiting process, utilizing hiring flexibilities and using an automated application system that led to an increase in the number and quality of candidates. It also led to the redesign of the Total Rewards program, which included sunsetting pension plans, eliminating retiree health benefit plans and restructuring the benefit plans to make them more employee affordable.

Results

The Human Capital Strategic Roadmap approach transformed performance management and differentiated pay, strengthened career growth and development opportunities, and implemented best-in-class recruitment, retention, and governance strategies.

  • Strengthened processes resulted in a stronger link between individual performance, customer service, and organizational outcomes
  • Pay and performance differentiation was implemented without a forced ranking system
  • A simplified career structure ensured internal equity and consistency. Unique job titles were reduced by 58 percent
  • A self-funding mechanism was created for professional and technical training and development by reducing waste and making changes to retirement and health benefit plans
  • The first CEO and company succession plans were implemented
  • The hiring cycle was reduced from 107 days to 64 days
  • Six SAP SuccessFactors modules were implemented on budget/spec/time in close collaboration with the CIO and IT team

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