Workforce of One: Revolutionizing Talent Management Through Customization

Workforce of One: Revolutionizing Talent Management Through Customization

by Susan Cantrell, David Smith


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Companies have excelled by treating customers as "markets of one"-offering them personalized buying experiences. But in managing talent, most firms still use one-size-fits-all HR practices. With today's diverse workforces, this approach is preventing organizations from attracting, retaining, and leveraging top talent.

In Workforce of One, Susan Cantrell and David Smith show how exceptional companies are tailoring work experiences to employees' talents and interests-customizing job duties, training, recognition, and even compensation, work schedules, and performance appraisals. Their reward? Lower turnover, greater productivity, improved profit margins.

The authors present four customization strategies:

-Segmenting your workforce; for example, by life stage and learning style

-Offering modular choices; e.g., choices regarding rewards, learning needs, or job duties

-Defining broad and simple rules, such as evaluating work by outcomes, not time invested, or hiring for potential in addition to specific skills

-Fostering employee-defined personalization, whereby employees define their own people practices (e.g., using peer-to-peer technologies to learn from one another)

Drawing on extensive proprietary research, the authors explain how to combine aspects of all four strategies to address your organization's unique needs.

Improving workforce performance through customized work experiences is the holy grail of the HR function. This book shows you how the workforce-of-one approach positions your company to win-while transforming your HR team into a strategic powerhouse.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781422147580
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Publication date: 05/04/2010
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Susan Cantrell is a Fellow at the Accenture Institute for High Performance and President/CEO of The Cantrell Group, a research and consulting organization. David Smith is a Managing Director of the Accenture Talent & Organization Performance practice.

Table of Contents


Part I: Toward a Workforce of One
1 The New Management Imperative

Part II: Four Paths to a Workforce of One
2 Segment Your Workforce
3 Offer Modular Choices
4 Define Broad and Simple Rules
5 Foster Employee-Defined Personalization

Part III: Cultivating a Workforce of One Organization
6 Designing Your Own Workforce of One
7 Workforce of One in Action: Procter & Gamble
8 Workforce of One Challenges and Solutions
9 A Call to Action for HR: Building Your Workforce of One Capability

About the Authors

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