“Laggard” is a term often used to describe companies making slow progress or those who fall behind peers and/or competitors. In short, Laggards struggle; strategic objectives are less-than-impactful, and productivity does not meet expected targets.

Coinciding with Cielo’s brand launch on May 12, 2014, we introduced the Cielo Talent Activation Index.

This inaugural (and annual) study authenticates the idea that talent is skyrocketing in impact and importance. Cielo surveyed more than 750 HR, talent and recruitment executives from organizations with 1,500-15,000+ employees across the globe and across all industries. Respondents were segmented based on specific criteria:

  • 25% of surveyed organizations fell into the Laggard category—rating their performance as “average,” “fair” or “poor” in achieving their three top strategic talent objectives.

  • 23% of respondents fell into the Leader category—rating their performance as “excellent” in achieving at least two of their top three strategic talent objectives.

How does your organization stack up? Are you a Leader, a Laggard, somewhere in between? For a deeper look at the traits of Leaders and Laggards, we take a closer look at the results of the TAI study and present this week’s Talent Activation Fast Facts:

5% of Laggards are “very satisfied” with the quality of their workforce.

  • 84% of Leaders are “very satisfied.”

84% of Leader companies are "very satisfied" with the quality of their workforce, compared to 5% of Laggards (Cielo Talent Activation Index).

7% of Laggards believe they are “very prepared” to adapt to the demands of the 2020 workforce (i.e., changing needs, wants and engagement tactics for a new generation of workers).

  • 69% of Leaders believe they are “very prepared.”

4% of Laggards rate their organization as “excellent” in terms of supporting work-life balance (e.g., remote working, job sharing and flexible schedules).

  • 65% of Leaders rate their work-life balance strategies as “excellent.”

5% of Laggards use “sophisticated quantitative metrics” (talent/HR analytics) to measure the quality of their workforces.

  • 43% of Leaders use “sophisticated quantitative metrics.”

6% of Laggards actively practice Workforce Segmentation—the process of subdividing the broader employee population into groups with similar characteristics to tailor employment terms, incentives and other factors with the goals of increasing employee satisfaction and fine-tuning motivational approaches for different segments.

  • 41% of Leaders actively practice Workforce Segmentation.

5% of Laggards rate their organizations as “very effective” in empowering workers from diverse cultural backgrounds to work in their own styles (Diversity & Inclusion).

  • 69% of Leaders rate their organizations as “very effective” in this category.

6% of Laggards rate their ability to meet the varying needs and aspirations of workers from different generations (i.e., Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials) as “very effective.”

  • 61% of Leaders rate their capabilities in this area as “very effective.”

According to the TAI study, the results of this survey “make compellingly clear” that Leaders are far more likely to consistently accomplish their most important business, bottom-line priorities as well as achieve and sustain long-term competitive advantage. Do you agree? Where does your organization rank in terms of the categories above? Are there strategies explored above more important than others?

To determine where your organization stands on the Leader-Laggard spectrum—and to view additional “Detailed Findings,”—download your complimentary copy of the Cielo Talent Activation Index and check out the “Index” section, which provides eight questions and a chart to evaluate your organization against others.


This comprehensive, global report – featuring feedback from 750+ HR and talent executives – reveals the bottom-line value of superior talent strategies.

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