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ADP Focuses on Employee Engagement & Talent Retention with StandOut


Hiring is cited as one of the top challenges faced by CEOs in 2017, set against a backdrop of government and regulatory changes. However, it is effective performance management, including employee engagement leading to retention of talent, that will be key to enabling organizational success. Here I take a quick look at how ADP is approaching this with a recent acquisition.

Last month, ADP announced that it was acquiring The Marcus Buckingham Company (TMBC) to expand its talent portfolio. TMBC’s cloud-based performance and talent management offering, StandOut, enables more effective performance management and employee engagement, with both tools and coaches/consultants. It will now be offered as ADP StandOut.

Core components of ADP StandOut include:

  • Know Your People: an assessment tool to discover the strengths of your team members. Frequency is one-time completion
  • Focus Your People:
    • Check-Ins: conversations to accelerate team member engagement, which includes determining if you are focusing on the right thing, how you feel about the work you are doing, and what help you need from your team leader. Recommended on a weekly basis
    • Milestone Connect: In-depth strengths conversation, recommended quarterly
  • Engage Your People with Engagement Pulse: an 8-question survey to measure and accelerate team engagement, recommended quarterly. Results can also be aggregated across all organizational levels. Questions can be added as needed. Team Leaders receive coaching on actions they need to take
  • Organizational Talent Insights with Performance Pulse: providing quantitative insights on how to measure performance, recommended quarterly.

Using StandOut in 2016, 71% of users were checking-in bi-weekly or more often. Translating the benefits into engagement, in five studies ranging from two months to a year, across different industry sectors, the percentage change of those fully engaged increased by +10%, +29%, +46%, +62%, and +83%.

The addition of TMBC’s technology, consulting and research will be a key ingredient of ADP’s expansive cloud-based talent offering, which includes recruiting, onboarding, learning, goals, performance management, compensation and data analytics. Combining ADP DataCloud, ADP StandOut, and ADP Talent, engagement pulse scores can be used to determine turnover probability and other predictive analytics, which then triggers notifications to managers to take action as applicable.

Given that performance management, including engagement and retention of talent, is vital to the success of all companies, ADP has a large number of clients that could benefit. But with a base of ~630k clients globally, ADP will be strategic in its deployment, first targeting the larger market, including clients of ADP Vantage HCM and ADP GlobalView. 

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