Background and Challenge

A leading global animal health company asked WLH to help create and deploy a human capital strategy. There were two drivers for this engagement. First, the organization was evolving its customer engagement efforts with a focus on account management. Secondly, the company was experiencing an alarming rate of colleague attrition in key roles. The company had poorly defined career progression ladders, which was a significant source of frustration for those interested in advancing in the company. The goal of the strategy was to attract, develop, and retain the best managers and colleagues in various country markets.

Approach and Deliverables

  • Defined and validated the key leadership capabilities to support its new mission and strategic objectives
  • Created career progression ladders for the sales and marketing teams that clarified the capabilities, time, and accomplishments needed for advancement in role
  • Turned capabilities into a 360° Feedback Instrument and administered it for the client
  • Trained coaches to support the feedback process
  • Created innovative, intense discovery-based workshops to train managers to accelerate development of these capabilities
  • Created learning modules (digital and print media) to strengthen leadership capabilities at the team level. This was then linked to improved business performance
  • Implemented retention strategies to retain high-potential managers
  • Launched a talent planning process to identify leadership needs, specific candidates, and monitor initiatives
  • Created metrics to gauge success of the talent planning initiative


  • Team leader turnover rate declined significantly in key markets the year following the WLH engagement
  • Employee engagement, as measured by an annual Gallup Survey, saw statistically significant increases in the areas of development support and feedback
  • Sales employees from key markets received clarity and documentation for the first time on what was needed to be eligible for promotion
Wendy L. Heckelman, Ph.D.

Dr. Wendy Heckelman, president and founder of WLH Consulting, Inc. has over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 100 industry clients. These include pharmaceutical, biotech, health care, animal health medicines, and consumer products, as well as international non-profit organizations and growing entrepreneurial companies.

Change ManagementRetentionCase Studies