The New ROI: A return on individuals
“At a time when offering someone a career for life is really no longer an option, employers need to demonstrate that they care about their employees’ lifetime careers.” - Alan Wild, VPHR, Employee Relations and Engagement, IBM
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The path to The New ROI isn’t about investing more – it’s about investing differently and moving away from a replaceable workforce toward one that is renewable.
The New ROI - from replaceable to renewable
There is no singular roadmap to The New ROI. The path will be different for each company; however, the fundamental objective remains consistent: find ways to invest in people and drive better return while reducing the costs of severance and recruitment. During a company’s New ROI journey, at any moment in time, they can analyse and reflect on where they currently are with respect to their investments and talent initiatives – and how they are mapping to the vision of their future talent ecosystem.
The descriptions below of the five stages of The New ROI are far from finite. Think of them as way to begin to assess readiness, plot your company’s position on the path to a renewable workforce, and identify the incremental steps that can be taken today to start revealing opportunities for your people and your company.
The organizational structure is largely hierarchical. It’s more common to buy talent vs. grow it, and to fill new jobs with external hires. Most employees see upward promotion or leaving the company as the only way to change roles or grow their careers. Development opportunities are non-existent or at best, disparate and disconnected. Valuable talent is frequently lost during layoffs. Outplacement typically checks a necessary box but is not viewed as a strategic investment, and often does not account for the full range of employee needs – or social impact.
Employees see some opportunity for career advancement and internal mobility. Coaching and leadership development are employed when viewed as necessary to achieving a defined – though likely narrow – outcome. Talent assessments are used for hiring but less so for understanding the current workforce. Redeployment is sometimes used during layoffs, though not sustainably or in a way that links to upskilling or development. Outplacement services are more carefully selected to provide better outcomes for individuals and communities.
There are notably more people-centric initiatives evident in the culture, championed by leaders and driven by managers. Employability and engagement are considered important to the talent strategy. There are building blocks in place for sustainable and integrated redeployment – including assessments, coaching and the necessary shift in mindset. Managers recognise that talent hoarding is counterproductive, and they create an environment for people to develop and move around the organisation.
A people-first philosophy is evident and there is a continuous focus on seizing opportunities to attract, nurture and retain outstanding talent. Assessment, up- and reskilling, career development and coaching are woven into the fabric of the culture. Employees feel empowered to take ownership of their careers, develop new skills and explore internal opportunities. Redeployment is part of the talent ecosystem and the employee experience. The company has a reputation for being a place people want to work, and those who leave do so with positive sentiment.
The company is recognised in the market for being one of the best places to work, nurturing a high-performing culture and investing in its employees’ lifetime careers – from onboarding to transition. Development and growth opportunities are abundant and linked to business outcomes. Managers are supported, accountable and empowered to make decisions. Agility and innovation come much more naturally, enabling the company to respond quickly to market changes and thrive when faced with disruption and transformation.
Download our whitepaper to learn more about the path to The New ROI.
Open for Business: The Future is Now
A conversation with Alan Wild, former Head of Employee Relations & Engagement at IBM
Thursday, May 14, 2020
16:00 -16:45 (GMT+1)
Join us for a conversation with global employee relations guru and former Head of Employee Relations & Engagement at IBM, Alan Wild. Alan will talk about the urgent need for a new restructuring and workforce strategy playbook based on agility, transformation and renewal. Companies need creative solutions that scale fast as they prepare their businesses for a post-pandemic future. We will highlight case examples of leading employers who are thinking about talent in a new way, including:
- How to solve short-term labour dynamics emerging from COVID-19
- Creating a sustainable talent ecosystem based on renewal vs. replacement of talent
- Gaining buy-in from the CFO by demonstrating a reduction of restructuring & severance liabilities