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WIB Benchmarking

Benchmarking for success. Benchmarking workforce investment boards critical success factors 2006Behind the scenes for the region’s high-profile economic and workforce development initiatives, the WIB functions as a valuable third-party extension for key local and regional organizations. The WIB provides research, technical, and administrative support to help the partnerships and their initiatives successful.

The WIB focuses its talent, business, and regional development strategies externally to customers and stakeholders. The WIB’s Quality Benchmarking strategy works internally to make sure the non-profit corporation performs at its highest level to reflect quality and efficiency for all of its the talent, business, and regional initiatives.

The WIB bases the organizational development effort collectively on a set of sixteen Critical Success Factors (CSFs) in the WIB Quality Benchmarking report. The benchmarks reflect national research in key areas prevalent in successful local WIBs expressed in the categories of measuring success, managing board objectives, focusing strategically, and leveraging resources. In addition to the WIB’s core values, the Success Factors provide a roadmap to manage the WIB for the highest positive impact and return on investment.

Measuring Success (CSFs 1-3)

1.  Measures Success of the Board

  • Indicators to Consider:
    • Assesses board impact
    • Evaluates plan progress and outcomes
    • Measures the board’s growth
    • Assesses relevance of the board to key individuals and groups in the community
    • Assesses relevance of the board to the members

2.  Measures Success of the Delivery System

  • Indicators to Consider:
    • Sets standards for the one-stop delivery system that “raise the bar”
    • Establishes measures beyond individual programs, beyond federal requirements

3.  Measures Community and Economic Growth

  • Indicators to Consider:
    • Assesses factors of community success that are greater than the 
board’s span of control

Managing the Work of the Board (CSFs 4-8)

4.  Manages the Board as a Business

  • Indicators to Consider:
    • Incorporates
    • Develops its own budget
    • Invests in research and development
    • Plans for growth
    • Markets to the right audiences

5.  Takes Responsibility for its Own Membership

  • Indicators to Consider:
    • Connects membership to strategic objectives
    • Recruits the right level of people on the board
    • Practices good “on-boarding”
    • Takes ownership of the nomination process

6.  Structures the Board and Committees to be Effective, 
Efficient, and Strategic

  • Indicators to Consider:
    • Uses consent agenda
    • Develops the agenda around strategic goals
    • Connects committees and task forces to strategic goals and board work
    • Minimizes standing committees in favor of task forces
    • Involves non-board members in the work of committees and task forces
    • Uses strong, empowered committee structure

7.  Hires and Grows the Right Staff

  • Indicators to Consider:
    • Hires a great exec. director and gives that person autonomy to act
    • Develops a sustainable culture
    • Defines staff positions and hiring qualifications consistent with strategic
    • objectives and the work of the board
    • Provides compensation to attract and retain the best staff
    • Develops all staff
    • Invests in high-quality employees
    • Has enough staff to be able to take advantage of opportunities

8.  Maintains a Clear Focus on Board Level Work

  • Indicators to Consider:
    • Builds a clear firewall between board work and one-stop operations
    • Develops policy at the 40,000-foot level

Working Strategically (CSFs 9-13)

9.  Data Driven

  • Indicators to Consider:
    • Collects data and turns it into workforce intelligence
    • Uses data to demonstrate success, or lead to new action

10.  Sector/Business Driven

  • Indicators to Consider:
    • Uses a sector-based approach
    • Develops an organized process for working with business and industry
    • Establishes sector/business expectations for the one-stop system

11.  Plans Strategically

  • Indicators to Consider:
    • Spends time and resources on planning
    • Involves non-board members in the process
    • Engages local elected officials
    • Links to/aligns with other strategic plans
    • Plans regionally
    • Holds high expectations for staff in the process

12.  Focuses on the “Big Issues”

  • Indicators to Consider:
    • Looks beyond traditional workforce development issues
    • Looks beyond programs and “eligibilities”
    • Addresses root causes and ultimate fixes, not band-aids

13.  Turns Plans Into Action

  • Indicators to Consider:
    • Builds alliances and coalitions
    • Demonstrates action

Developing and Managing Financial Resources (CSFs 14-16)

14.  Exercises Fiduciary Stewardship

  • Indicators to Consider:
    • Evaluates effectiveness of investments
    • Oversees integrity of funds

15.  Grows the Business

  • Indicators to Consider:
    • Develops a plan to generate and diversify resources
    • Leverages funds

16.  Budgets Strategically

  • Indicators to Consider:
    • Allocates resources consistent with strategic objectives
    • Budgets for opportunity

More about WIB Quality Benchmarking Initiative

Promoting the success and generating further momentum is only possible with an effective way to measure the performance of the WIB. The Missouri Division of Workforce Development and the Corporation for Skilled Workforce selected the Southwest WIB among four leading-edge WIBs in Missouri for the national quality benchmarking project. This was the first-ever national body of research into the common characteristics of the most successful WIBs in the country.

The WIB Benchmarking Project examined high-profile, top-performing WIBs for a series of site visits and interviews with staff and Board members at each of the participating sites. The WIBs ranged in geographic scope and population from rural to suburban to urban. Locations included local areas in the states of Texas, Connecticut, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Florida. Southwest WIB’s executive director and two board members participated in the site visits and evaluation efforts.

The research team of CSW, DWD, and WIB partners summarized these insights in a report on Critical Success Factors for WIBs. The success factors identified and explained in the report provide a baseline for the Southwest Missouri WIB to continually measure its organizational effectiveness. It’s easy to find numerous examples of these success factors alive and well in the operational practices of the WIB along with its services and initiatives for customers and stakeholders.

High Impact Workforce Boards

(Updated November 2016) Kentucky’s statewide workforce board partnered with the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) to offer a technical assistance initiative with a re-boot of WIB benchmarking standards for the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act. ETA launched the initiative in November 2016 through WorkforceGPS in an online event called WIOA Wednesday: High Impact Workforce Boards. In addition to the presentation slides, other webinar resources included a two-page Strategic Boards Toolkit and a group exercise format that lists all of the criteria.

Strategic Local Boards from WorkforceGPS on Vimeo.