Workforce Scorecards

What Is a Child Welfare Workforce Scorecard?

A Workforce Scorecard is a tool that can be used to track key performance indicators (KPIs) related to workforce outcomes of interest. This approach is derived from the balanced scorecard (Kaplan & Norton, 1992) and HR scorecard (Becker, Huselid, & Ulrich, 2001) strategic planning tools. The process involves linking key strategic goals to workforce-related initiatives and KPIs to demonstrate the alignment between the outcomes being measured and overarching child welfare strategic goals. The scorecard allows agency leaders to monitor progress towards key HR and workforce objectives. The scope of the scorecard can be tailored depending on the need, from monitoring progress on a narrowly defined project to tracking a range of KPIs relevant to agency strategic goals.

What Are the Benefits of a Child Welfare Workforce Scorecard?

Child welfare agencies are often disconnected from their HR departments with infrequent communication. The creation of a Workforce Scorecard specific to child welfare can serve as a helpful tool to guide more frequent and productive conversations between HR and child welfare. Thoughtful monitoring of KPIs by agency leadership bolsters the use of important agency information and data in strategic planning and decision making.

What Are the Limitations of a Child Welfare Workforce Scorecard?

Because the development of a Workforce Scorecard is driven by the unique strategic goals and needs of the agency or project, there are no predetermined metrics to include in the scorecard. Child welfare and HR will need to collaborate to create a useful Workforce Scorecard, which can be a challenge if the two departments are not accustomed to collaborating.

Steps for Creating a Child Welfare Workforce Scorecard

  1.  Identify key stakeholders to include in development process

    Individuals responsible for carrying out the missions of child welfare and HR (or a specific project) are important to include in the development of the Workforce Scorecard because these are the individuals who will utilize the information to inform their work. Depending on the intended purpose and scope of the scorecard, this may include supervisors and managers/directors.
  2. Identify strategic goals and key initiatives and strategies

    Next, the team should define child welfare’s (or the specific project’s) key strategic goals. These can be pulled or adapted from existing strategic plans. The team should then ask what key HR or workforce-related initiatives and strategies assist in achieving the overall strategic goals. Initiatives affecting workforce outcomes outside of HR should also be considered in this step.
  3. Create a strategy map

    A strategy map is a graphical illustration or table that links the strategic goals to the workforce-related initiatives and strategies that will lead to achievement of the goals. If there are multiple strategic goals, you may want to create separate strategy maps for each goal and then consider whether/how to integrate the strategy maps. With multiple strategic goals it can be messy and confusing to combine them all into one strategy map.
  4. Identify KPIs and target scores

    For each of the workforce-related initiatives and strategies identified in the strategy map, the team should identify KPIs, current and target scores of the KPIs, and projected timelines to reach the targets. Refer to the Workforce Metrics Resource for metrics that can serve as KPIs. KPIs should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound).

Child Welfare Workforce Scorecard Examples

  1.  A child welfare agency has formed a task force to reduce caseworker turnover. After reviewing and segmenting the available data, the task force decided to prioritize the following strategies, KPIs, and target scores to achieve the goal of improving caseworker retention over the next year.

    Goal: Improve caseworker retention





    Implement merit pay increases to retain high-performing caseworkers

    Dysfunctional Turnover Rate

    (# of good performers who left agency/average headcount x 100)



    Reduce new employee (tenure < 1 year) turnover through improvements to employee selection process

    New Employee Turnover Rate

    (# of new employees who left agency/average headcount x 100)



    Increase employee engagement by addressing issues important to the workforce

    Annual employee engagement survey score (1-5 scale)




  2. After discovering that a large percentage of job candidates were dropping out of the hiring process, a child welfare agency has decided to focus on shortening the length of time it takes to fill vacancies. The work team decided to prioritize the following strategies, KPIs, and target scores to achieve this goal over the next year.

    Goal: Decrease candidate dropout rate





    Child welfare and HR collaborate to streamline the processes for each stage of hiring process    

    Average time to fill

    (Total time to fill across job openings/# of openings filled x 100)

    43 days


    30 days

    Candidate dropout rate

    (Total number of candidates declining interviews/# of candidates offered interviews x 100)



  3. A child welfare agency wants to build workforce-related KPIs into their annual strategic plan. One of their strategic goals is to improve the effectiveness of their workforce. The executive team identified the following strategies, KPIs, and target scores to achieve these goals over the next year.

    Goal: Improve the effectiveness of the workforce





    Caseworkers who routinely meet documentation and contact timeframes are recognized by agency and rewarded by their supervisor

    Percent of employees meeting monthly contact timeframes



    Percent of employees meeting monthly documentation timeframes



    Supervisors provide regular, specific coaching on performance and formally rate competency-based performance semi-annually

    Percent of high performers

    (# of high-performing employees/total employees x 100)



    Percent of employees who agree that they receive regular feedback on annual survey



Resources/Additional Reading kpis/#third

Becker, B. E., Huselid, M. A., & Ulrich, D. (2001). The HR scorecard: Linking people, strategy, and performance. Boston: Harvard Business Press.

Cunningham, J. B., & Kempling, J. (2011). Promoting organizational fit in strategic HRM: Applying the HR scorecard in public service organizations. Public Personnel Management, 40(3), 193–213.

Kaplan, R. S., & Norton, D. P. (1992). The balanced scorecard—measures that drive performance. Harvard Business Review, 70, 71–79.

Niven, P. R. (2008). Balanced scorecard: Step-by-step for government and nonprofit agencies. John Wiley & Sons.


For more information on this topic, read our blog post.

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