Frequently Asked Questions

Absence; Benchmarks; Documentation; Facilitation; Grievances; Investors in People; Our People Review; Qualifications; Results; Tenure; Technical; Team; Trust; Turnover; Timing.

In the context of this Review, absence from work is that due to ill health, stress, strains, injuries, carer responsibilities etc. That is, for any reason other than holidays and maternity leave.

Typical levels of absence - the average number of days lost per employee per year - are:

All UK industries 6.3

UK Small to Medium Enterprises 5.5

Manufacturing and production 5.4

Not for profit sector 6.9

Private sector services 5.2

UK Industrial Sectors

Accommodation and food service activities 5.1

Administrative and support service activities ??

Agriculture, forestry and fishing 4.0

Arts, entertainment and recreation ??

Construction 4.9

Education 7.4

Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply 5.2

Financial and insurance activities 5.9

Human health and social work activities 8.9

Information and communication 3.7

Manufacturing 6.6

Mining and quarrying 3.9

Professional, scientific and technical activities 4.4

Public administration and defence 7.3

Real estate activities 5.9

Retail and wholesale 6.5

Trade and repair of motor vehicles/cycles ??

Transportation and storage 7.0

Water supply; sewerage and waste management  5.2

Source: Absence Management Report (2016), CIPD.

The benchmarks were established by multiplying levels of investor interest by ratings from medium sized enterprises:

Investor interest was assessed by surveying the views of investors attending the London Investor Show 2016. Of those 60 % had relevant professional qualifications.

100+ investors responded using ratings of interest relating to each management practice 1-5 (1 = of no interest; 5 = absolute must). 

Medium sized enterprises were defined as those employing between 50 and 250 people (an EU and UK definition).

200+ enterprises were surveyed. They also used ratings for each management practice of 1-5 (1 = not relevant to us; 5 = we are leading edge)

The 'Supporting Documentation' option is mainly for use as part of a 'due diligence' exercise. The documentation should provide information on which your ratings are based in order to improve the credibility of your ratings. Examples would include policy statements, employee newsletters, minutes of meetings, training records etc.


That would depend on the relationships existing between those carrying out your Review.

If you know of an external Consultant you would like to use, by all means contact him / her.

If you feel the need for a Facilitator / Coach, and do not know who to approach, please contact Peter or Dee Fargus


The research into leadership and management aimed at growing human capital has shown only a small correlation with financial results (e.g. correlations of .2. to .3). As such your results may be viewed as a leading indicator of enterprise performance. This is likley to be valued by investors. Indeed our survey of those investors who focus on longer term investments indicates a significant level of interest in both the leadership issues and the people oriented financials.

People-based finacial ratios, such as total pay over revenue or revenue per head, are best benchmarked against organisations in the same industry and of similar size to yours.

Our research is not yet extesive enough to provide this.

In the UK It is recommended you contact Xpert HR at who may be able to help you.

More information on ratios will be added to this site in due course.

Employee grievances are concerns, problems or complaints at work which, after an informal discussion, an employee progresses to a formal (written) stage.

Typically the number of grievances per 100 employees per year is in the region of 1.35.

Source: ACAS research paper 2014 for all UK industries

'Influencers' are activities or policies that aim to influence employee behaviour, particularly with a view to growing human capital.  The ones used in this Guide were chosen from a 'long list' by a panel of subject matter experts from academia (e.g. the Head of Human Resources and Organisation Behaviour at a university department) and consulting (e.g. a Partner at an international professional services organisation). 

Investors in People is a 'standard' which takes time and expertise to implement.

It is relevant to organisations aiming to reach and maintain a commonly accepted standard of people management.

Scaleup-leader guide aims to take a snapshot of current leadership issues, influencers and levels of deployment

The snapshot can be used either to inform investment decisions or to crystalise / improve your leadership  strategy.

Of course the guide can be used regularly (e.g. anually) to update thinking on your  people leadership and management.

Many attempts to define the concept of Leadership focus on the individual style of senior executives. For more on this go to You Tube and search Goleman's Leadership Styles by Brian Fulghum. Alternatively read  Goleman's article 'Leadership Gets Results' available at 

In the context of this this guide, leadership is defined as actions taken by a Leadership Team to influence behaviour in a rapidly growing (S)ME with 30+ headcount.

The Team carrying out a Review should rate the importance of each 'influencer' in the context of differing priorities and circumstances before assessing levels of deployment.



Scaleup-leader is the output of academic research supported by commercial piloting. The approach aims to provide two things.

Firstly a way of informing and improving the leadership and management of people in rapidly growing businesses.

Secondly, providing Investors and Analysts with a relatively quick and low cost approach to obtaining a comprehensive review of how a workforce is led and managed.

For more detailed information please search Can HR professionals generate human capital data that will influence investment decisions? or contact Peter Fargus (


There is research which backs up the intuitive assumption that there is a relationship between a well led and managed workforce and the achievement of business objectives. Although dated, a well-reasoned discussion on this may be found in the book People Management and Performance (Purcell et al. 2009).

However, there are many and varied barriers to establishing a causal link (e.g. differences in what is meant by 'leadership' and ‘people management’; different definitions of ‘performance’) but one study which strikes a chord with me is the research by Watson Wyatt (2001). To read this, search: Human Capital as a Lead Indicator of Shareholder Value. Here the researchers found ‘Superior human capital practices are not only correlated with financial returns they are, in fact, a leading indicator of increased shareholder value’ and ‘superior HR management leads financial performance to a much greater extent than financial outcomes lead good HR’.

In this Review, two levels of qualifications are used. Graduate level and ‘Other’

Graduate level qualifications:  include professional qualifications such as chartered accountant; chartered manager; lawyer / solicitor.

Level 8 qualifications (level 12 in Scotland): Examples include doctorates or level 8 awards / certificates / diplomas /

Level 7 qualifications (level 11 in Scotland): Examples include master’s degrees; postgraduate certificates / diplomas; 

Level 6 qualifications (levels 9/10 in Scotland): Examples include degree apprenticeships; degrees with or without honours (e.g. BSc. BA.)

Other qualifications.

Level 5 qualifications (levels 8/9 in Scotland): Examples include diplomas of higher education; foundation degrees; higher national diplomas.

Level 4 qualifications (level 7 in Scotland):  Examples include higher apprenticeships; higher national certificates (HNC); advanced highers.

Below level 4 the qualifications range from level 1 functional skills (Entry Level Certificate) to level 3 (GCSE 'A' level or Highers in Scotland)

Sources - for more detailed inofrmation:

What qualification levels mean.

UK Qualifications comparison chart.

Your results should be interpreted in the context of your business objectives.

Your report identifies both strengths and opportunities for improvement that you have identified as you progressed through your Review. Take a second look at each and then establish / update your leadership strategy. Note that the results are not 'black and white' . If your radar output / benchmark data suggest your results are different to those of the comparators, work back to see why. There could be a good reason for this. Alternatively there may be a verifiable opportunitiy for improvement.

If you judge you need help with this, contact us at:

The number of days lost due to stoppages in the UK is 9 per 1000 employees. There are significant variations depending on industry. Transport = 30; Information / communications = 8; Finance = 1; Public sector = 12; Education = 67.

Source: UK Office for National Statistics 2018.

In this context, tenure is the average length of time employees stay in your employment. This could mean either in the same role or in a series of roles.

Tenure figures differ depending on, for example,  state of the economy, different industries, age, gender, role, part-time versus full-time work and educational level.

Please use the average figure of 64 months as a guide and separate your data into Board level; Managers and Supervisors; Technical Specialists and other members of Staff.

Males: 67 months or 5.6 years

Females: 61 months or 5.1 years

Average: 64 months or 5.3 years

Source: Resolution Foundation analysis of Labour Force Survey (2014). Office for National Statistics

In 2018 in the USA levels of tenure ranged from 0.6 to 10.2 years with an average of 4.7 years, depending on industry and age. (Source: US Bureau of Labour statistics). It is not necessarily beneficial for an employee to remain in the same job for more than 3-4 years. It can result in boredom and reduced motivation. That is why some larger organisations encourage their employes to change roles on a regular basis.

In this context Technical Specialists are employees who are not Directors, Managers or Supervisors, and who provide technical expertise within their area of specialism. This may be a business area or a particular technology. The Review focuses on Directors, Managers and Supervisors separately and so it is imporant not to 'double count'.

During the piloting no individual reviews were carried out.

The best approach would be to involve all members of your Leadership Team because this would help ensure any changes proposed have a better chance of being implemented..


The content is relevant

The content has been reviewed by subject matter experts (academics and practitioners), as well as investors, and judged to be relevant when growing human capital  / formulating a competitive culture.

Technically, its 'validity' has been demonstrated.

That is, it assesses what is advertised as being assessed.

Technically speaking, that being assessed is a range of activities which grow the value of  'Human Capital'

Its reliability has been demonstrated.

Reviewers who have been willing carry out a Review twice have found the results of their second run to be similar to those of their first run.

'Generalisability' has also been demonstrated.

Executives from 14 of 21 industrial sectors have successfully contributed to the benchmark data.

An investor still needs to get to know the Leadership team of a potential investment, and make a judgement as to whether information provided can be trusted.

The results of  are most likely to be accurate when the ratings :

  - have been made by consensus of your Leadership Team and

 - when ratings have been backed up with relevant documentation.

Documentation can be uploaded during the Review at the base of each Factor .

Employee turnover varies depending on the state of the economy, industry, etc. For the purposes of the Review please base your answers on the data below. Employee turnover is calculated as follows:

(Total number of employees who have left voluntarily in a 12 month period)

divided by

(the average total number employed over the same 12 month period)

x 100

Typical turnover figures are:

  • Board level and senior managers - 12%
  • Managers and supervisors - 20%
  • Technical specialists - 25%
  • Other members of a workforce - 15%

Source: Resourcing and Talent Planning report (2017), CIPD / HAYES

The initial data collection will depend on how comprehensive your existing information is.

During piloting an enterprise with information in diverse spreadsheets took one person one day to collect relevant data.

Another already had most of the required data in its electronic information system.

During the piloting the ratings for all Leadership issues took approximately 4 hours, although this was  with external facilitation.