Internal audit executives are well aware that the profession is facing a talent crisis, but what can they do about it? The Institute of Internal Auditors has a few suggestions to offer.

Based on its annual Common Body of Knowledge study, the Institute of Internal Auditors has published a new white paper on ways chief audit executives can motivate their staff auditors to rise to the challenge of heightened expectations from audit stakeholders. The report provides five strategies for integrated performance management specific to the internal audit profession and 10 action items for motivating staff.  The report promises to help CAEs set goals, retain talent, equip employees, assess performance, and respond to success.

“If internal auditors are to become true agents of change, internal audit leaders must help them expand their capabilities, align their goals with the organization’s goals, and provide proper performance evaluations, incentives and recognitions,” said Larry Harrington, IIA chairman, in a statement. “The vital information and guidance this report provides will help us accomplish this.”

With respect to goal setting, the report advises CAEs to undertake a formal analysis of the organization’s strategy and align internal auditors’ personal goals with the organization’s strategy. To retain talent, the report says establish a talent management strategy and adapt motivation strategies to the different generations on staff. CAEs need to establish a comprehensive workforce plan and develop and implement a professional development plan, the report says.

To assess performance, the report suggests balanced scorecard reporting or other similar dashboard reporting, along with constant feedback that provides a learning loop. And where CAEs see success, reward systems beyond compensation are key, in addition to the development of an employee engagement model.

Theresa Grafenstine, inspector general for the U.S. House of Representatives, speaking at the IIA’s annual General Audit Management Conference, said she has seen the effect of failing to develop internal audit talent and leaving them to more menial or routine audit work. “People left,” she said. “We’ve had to look at opportunities to build abilities on staff.”

Source: Institute of Internal Auditors