Learning Curves Have Significant Financial Impact, Especially for External Hires, Mellon Survey Results Show

Nov 12, 2003, 00:00 ET from Mellon Financial Corporation

    RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J., Nov. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- External hires
 take up to twice as long to reach full productivity, compared to those hired
 into new positions from within the organization.  Learning patterns also
 differ significantly between internal and external hires, with nearly half of
 internal hires rapidly reaching a relatively high level of productivity,
 versus only a fifth of external hires.  These are among the results of the
 "Mellon Learning Curve Research Study" by Mellon's Human Resources & Investor
 Solutions, which examines the time it takes to attain full productivity for
 both internal and external hires in eight job categories -- executives,
 managers, professionals, sales representatives, customer service
 representatives, technicians, office/clerical, and operatives (workers who
 operate machines or processing equipment).
     Results of the study, noted below, include the median time to achieve full
 productivity for internal and external hires in the eight different job
      Job Category                            Median Time to Achieve Full
                                                    Productivity (Weeks)
      Executive External                                    26
      Executive Internal                                    16
      Manager External                                      25
      Manager Internal                                      14
      Professional External                                 20
      Professional Internal                                 12
      Sales Rep External                                    16
      Sales Rep Internal                                    12
      Customer Service Rep External                         12
      Customer Service Rep Internal                          6
      Technician External                                   12
      Technician Internal                                    9
      Office & Clerical External                            12
      Office & Clerical Internal                             8
      Operative External                                     8
      Operative Internal                                     4
     The study also looked at the shape of the learning curve, determining
 productivity levels at different points along the path to 100% productivity.
     "By looking at both the length and the shape of the learning curve we were
 able to calculate an average number of unproductive days for a typical
 employee in each job category," said Edward Mactas, a Mellon principal and
 consulting actuary. On average, internal hires had 50% fewer unproductive days
 than external hires, a difference the study calls "The Internal Hire
     "Unproductive days can also be converted into a financial measure of lost
 revenues," added Mactas. "Our calculations indicate that lost productivity due
 to learning curves may total between 1% and 2 1/2 % of total revenue."
     Mellon Financial Corporation (NYSE:   MEL) is a global financial services
 company.  Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Mellon is one of the world's leading
 providers of financial services for institutions, corporations and high net
 worth individuals, providing institutional asset management, mutual funds,
 private wealth management, asset servicing, human resources and investor
 solutions, and treasury services. Mellon has approximately $3.2 trillion in
 assets under management, administration or custody, including $625 billion
 under management.  Its asset management companies include The Dreyfus
 Corporation and U.K.-based Newton Investment Management Limited.  News and
 other information about Mellon is available at www.mellon.com .

SOURCE Mellon Financial Corporation