man running from clock

Why You Should Measure Time to Full Productivity

Despite recognition of the fundamental benefits of integrating talent management, many organizations acknowledge that they are not as effective as they'd like to be at managing their talent.

To address this gap, i4cp assembled a talent management working group from select organizations to explore four key talent management effectiveness metrics. Based on insights from that group, i4cp Senior Analyst Carol Morrison developed the Metrics of High-Performance Talent Management white paper series:

The fourth and final paper in the series, Time-to-full-productivity, is now available exclusively to members.

Time-to-full-productivity is a metric few organizations use, but which many acknowledge they should be tracking. Just 16% of respondents to an i4cp survey stated that they use the time-to-full-productivity metric to a high or very high extent, but 64% say they should be using it to manage talent more effectively.


There are various ways of approaching and defining time-to-full-productivity:

  • The time required to ensure that a new employee has all the credentials and equipment necessary in order to perform his or her job duties.
  • The period required for the new employee to master the skills needed to perform his/her job duties at a fully productive level.
  • The time required for the new employee to achieve a degree of proficiency that matches that of a colleague with two-to-three years' experience.

Tracking time-to-full-productivity offers the benefit of yielding insights into multiple organizational functions. Four ways organizations can use time-to-full-productivity to improve programs and the effectiveness of the workforce are:

  • Gauging the success of the recruitment process.
    A candidate who was accurately sourced and screened should come up to speed in an expedient manner, while a poor hire (perhaps lacking in credentials or skill sets) might be more likely to founder.
  • Aligning job descriptions to the reality of the workplace.
    Using the previous example, a slow path to proficiency might indicate to HR that it is not providing accurate job descriptions to candidates.
  • Determining training success.
    If a new hire has been assigned a mentor or a coach, the employee's speed to productivity can offer one means of evaluating the effectiveness of that mentoring/coaching experience.
  • Identifying impediments to productivity.
    Time-to-full-productivity can reveal multiple factors that lengthen the time an employee requires to reach full competency.

This new, member-exclusive white paper explains other uses for this powerful metric, as well as additional considerations and calculation recommendations. Download the Time-to-full-productivity White Paper now.

*It is important to note that no single metric is likely to definitively confirm or refute complete success in any given area, but at the very least, time-to-full-productivity can serve as a valid clue to help identify wins and pinpoint potential problems.

Erik Samdahl
Erik is the head of marketing at i4cp, and has nearly 20 years in the market research and human capital research industry.