How Virtual Development Centers Helped Two Leading Insurance Companies

At People Business we have been helping companies improve business value by addressing employee performance and talent development issues. Our 18+ years of experience in this field has ensured that clients receive expert insights to drive strategic decisions about their people resources.

Here, we are presenting the cases of two well-known insurance companies with varied needs to highlight how Development Centers helped them in making better talent decisions- on identifying the right talent pool and diagnosing specific development needs.

The first company is a mid-sized insurance company under India’s biggest global brand and conducts a yearly Hi-Potential Talent Identification Program through Development Centers. This organization has partnered with PB for over five years and assessed 1000+ participants at the middle and junior management levels. Through Development Centers, they identify the high-potentials from their talent pool and then provide them with fast-track career opportunities, along with development interventions.

This company has a PAN-India presence and wanted to include the talent pool from across the country. PB supported this organization by bringing in a Virtual Development Center platform way back in 2016– that was ready to deploy, easily accessible, scalable and simple-to-navigate.


To actionize the Development Center, the PB Project team fine-tuned the existing competency framework to create a refined assessment criterion based on client requirements. PB also went a step ahead to suggest customized tools for varied functions (apart from the obvious requirement of different exercises for the levels) to ensure high face validity of the exercises. Similarly, PB also recommended a hybrid version of the Virtual Development Center, to provide a real-time assessment feel to the participants. All the participants were provided requisite support- webinars, process and navigation guides to familiarize them with the platform and process, as well as tech support. As an outcome of the Development Center, PB project Team supported the organization in identifying the cut-off as well as the high-potential talent pool. The ones that met the cut-off further underwent a 1:1 feedback, IDP goal setting and a milestone review with their assessors. While the rest of the participant pool were supported to interpret their individual reports to bring the assessment process to a logical conclusion. The entire experience of Development Center and the branding around it has made it aspirational for the employees to say the least; and has also created a sense of owning their development to ‘meet the cut-off’.

The second study is about a leading multinational insurance company which formed a JV and as part of the transition was focusing on realigning multiple HR processes and practices. Our Senior Consultants got to the core of the JV, to understand how the leaders would want the new entity to operate, and the direction / focus on human capital management. As a result of these discussions – several needs were identified – right from realigning the values of the organization, bringing about a cultural change in the way the leaders operate, creating a new employer brand, as well as a refreshed focus on assessing and developing their talent from a more professional lens.

As a part of the talent assessment and development initiative, the organization initiated assessments from the top levels. All senior leaders (N-1, N-2, and high potentials at N-3 levels) underwent a robust Development Center/ Multi-Source Feedback Survey. Before the pandemic of course- People Business organized an in-person Development Center for some of the leaders. Post the pandemic – we naturally moved to PB’s in-house Virtual Development Center platform to evaluate them on the newly formed values and Competency Framework. This was done with the purpose of understanding how the leaders demonstrated the inherent traits of the desired behaviors. The results obtained from the Development Centers helped the organization gain an insight into the gaps of the current and desired state. PB’s panel of Assessors then facilitated a 1:1 feedback session to provide insights into the nuances of their behavioural strengths and gaps. Accordingly a level-specific development agenda was created for the leaders.

Assessment/Development Centers can be a crucial part of any company’s talent management strategy and at People Business we customize and design them in a way that helps the company zero-in on the exact requirements. We undertake painstaking efforts to gain an insight into the organization’s functioning and future focus by engaging in structured discussions with critical stakeholders. Along with our 50+ years of cumulative consulting experience across varied industries, these conversations help us devise the assessment tools that have high statistical combinations – for e.g. face validity, content validity, predictive validity and finally, inter-rater reliability.

At People Business, we strongly live by the value that humans in their entirety cannot be assessed by machines only – and as a practice we ensure that our clients are given the best of technology and human expertise to make strategic decisions.


Written by Suraj Jaganathan and moderated by Divya Kaikini

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *