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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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Posted On MAY 05, 2020 

A perfect storm has dramatically changed the world of work, and this change has created the need for a new talent investment strategy.

perfect storm


Download our whitepaper for more information about the forces causing the shift and the benefits of this strategy change.  

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 analyze 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 realizing 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 recognize that talent hoarding is counterproductive, and they create an environment for people to develop and move around the organization. 




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 recognized 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.


The Athlete Journey: Tapping into the Unique Skills Athletes Bring to the Workforce

Thursday, September 30, 2021 @ 11AM ET (US and Canada)


Elite athletes bring unique skills and attributes that are vital to future employers. With the Tokyo games having drawn to a close, many elite athletes are now facing retirement from sport. Organizations have an opportunity to tap into the unique talents these elite athletes bring to organizations to build a high performance talent pool.

Join Mayi Cruz Blanco, Global Head of LHH Sports Solutions and Athlete Programmes, Danny Crates, Paralympic Gold Medalist and World Record holder, TV presenter, personal development and performance coach, and Pedro Alejandro Yang Ruiz, Olympic Athlete and Community Integration Manager at LEGO Group, for a fascinating conversation about the life of an elite athlete, the unique challenges they face when preparing for life after sport and the transferable core attributes that make them coveted by top organizations.   
We’ll discuss:

• The elite athlete journey and life after sport
• The transferable core attributes that make elite athletes successful in sport and business
• What sports organizations can do to empower athletes



How to Unlock the Power of Coaching in Your Business


Coaching is a powerful practice to enhance performance, giving leaders the tools to develop and navigate the challenges ahead. Unfortunately, coaching often fails to deliver the results it promises. Research reveals that not making coaching a priority, having infrequent coaching session and the low skill level of coaches are top barriers to coaching success. To maximize your investment and drive greater success, you must first know the answer to some key questions to help you understand when coaching is right for your business and what an effective coaching program looks like.

Join Pauline Muldoon, Senior Principal Consultant, LHH Talent Solutions – Coaching, for an insight conversation with our panel of coaching experts, Marc Dufraisse, LHH EMEA Master Coach and Christophe Touton, ICEO Europe Managing Director, LHH. They’ll be sharing insights based on years of real-world experience on how to build and deliver an effective coaching program, including how to identify objectives, provide training for coaches and evaluate results.

This session will help answer questions like:

• Is coaching right for my business?
• What does a coaching culture look like?
• What are some common pitfalls to avoid
• What best practices will drive success?


We are at an inflection point as we witness significant change in how organizations and individuals address the shared goal of building a diverse and inclusive workplace. This goal has been elusive and filled with unrealized potential when companies simply check the box on building diverse pipelines of talent yet fail to embed the fundamental values of diversity and inclusion into their organizational culture. The result? Companies are building diverse and inclusive talent pipelines but neglecting to address development, succession and retention issues.

Claudine Debice and our panel of experts, Rob Hosking, Leonard Posey and Doug Freeman have a thought-provoking conversation on how to infuse a new way of thinking about diversity and inclusion into your leadership and culture that will make your efforts more meaningful and value-based. 

In this session, you will learn about:  
• Moving beyond “check the box” compliance
• Systemically integrating D&I into your company culture
• Evolving D&I to a value-driven approach to talent management

Coaching is recognized as one of the most powerful development tools available for accelerating performance. Yet many organizations find it challenging to fully integrate coaching into the fabric of their culture.


Jennifer Fickeler, SVP Global Master Coach at LHH, leads an engaging discussion with Helen Basford, Global Capability Lead at AstraZeneca and Sean Bartman, VP of Leadership Development at the Royal Bank of Canada about the importance of their coaching program and how they overcame the challenges of implementing coaching into their organization.

Key Learnings:

  • Why coaching matters to the organization
  • How to achieve buy-in from key stakeholders
  • Typical barriers to implementing coaching
  • What coaching may look like in the future


The pandemic has been the impetus for many to reflect on their future and rethink their career journey. People are realizing the enormous opportunity before them to emerge with a fresh mindset that embraces change and allows them to chart a new, more fulfilling career.


Join Rob Roberts, SVP, Talent Development Consultant at LHH, and our guests Katie Kelley, author of "Career Courage: Discover Your Passion, Step Out of Your Comfort Zone, & Create the Success you Want" and Minji Lew, Manager of Learning and Development at Curology, for an inspirational conversation about the process of self-discovery, shedding fears and finding the courage to chart a bold new career path. We will discuss:


• Taking the first step toward change
• Breaking out of your comfort zone
• Mapping out your motivational game plan
• Minji's personal story of career courage


Genuine and caring customer service is the hallmark of a great company. The reasons are undeniable: happy customers lead to a strong brand and competitive advantage. The key to customer service excellence is to shape an employee experience that fosters collaboration, creativity, productivity and engagement. So how can a company create a culture where employees are obsessed with customer service?


Lisa Gamble, SVP, Global Delivery Operations for LHH has a conversation with Charu Jain, SVP, Merchandising and Innovation and Vikram Baskaran, VP, ITS at Alaska Airlines about how to build a strong customer service culture that taps into the full potential of your workforce. This session covers:  

• How technology is an enabler of exceptional customer service  
• Tools to empower employees to make decisions in real-time
• Reinforcing mindset that fosters going the extra mile


The global economic fallout from COVID-19 has resulted in unprecedented volatility, impacting every part of the labor market. While some sectors have been decimated resulting in millions of workers being displaced, some sectors are experiencing accelerated growth and job gains. At the same time many impacted workers aren't prepared for change and don't have the skills they need for future roles. 


Caroline Pfeiffer-Marinho, Executive Vice President of EMEA at LHH and Arne Hellmuth, Managing Director of Transformation Solutions at LHH Deutschland have a conversation about an innovative way to build a frictionless pathway between companies that need to shed workers with those companies that urgently need to hire.


In this conversation, Caroline and Arne discuss:

• Factors shaping labor market trends
• Matching supply and demand in labor markets
• Steps to creating a frictionless pathway
• Creating a sustainable future that puts people first


The quality and effectiveness of business communication, internal and external, has been faltering for years. The pandemic and other overlapping crises isolate us and make for a more anxious world. Empty or copycat language at work can affect business performance. How can leaders, organizations, and individuals restore meaning and impact to daily communication? 


Sharon Patterson, CHRO for LHH, leads an engaging conversation about reinvigorating honest, inspirational business communication. Guests Kevin Lane, a global business leader, CEO, and former McKinsey partner, and Tom Farmer, corporate language strategist, author, and former CNN producer, discuss:  


  • How we have methodically stripped meaning from our standard language
  • How hollow language impairs operational effectiveness
  • Reviving business language to respond to an era of crises
  • How leaders can transform communication strategy 
  • What individuals can do in their spheres to improve communication  

Companies face daunting obstacles on the path toward transformation, including the need to quickly and efficiently identify talent to fill an ever-widening skills and capabilities gap. Rapid change in a post-pandemic world and emerging technology will revolutionize nearly every job, eliminate some, and create new forms of work that we have yet to imagine. How can we survive and thrive in the face of such drastic change?


Join us for a panel discussion on how smart companies are writing a new talent strategy playbook. Hosted by Mary-Clare Race, Chief Innovation and Product Officer for LHH, we're talking with Deanna Mulligan, Board Chair of Guardian Life Insurance Company of America and author of Hire Purpose, Lisa Lewin, CEO of General Assembly, and Ranjit de Sousa, President of LHH. In this session our panel will talk about:


  • How a company's higher purpose drives long-term success   
  • The true cost of not investing in your employees' development  
  • Barriers to rebuilding your workforce 
  • Creating a playbook to close the skills gap


Mike Priddis, CEO of Faethm, a globally unique AI platform, and Ranjit de Sousa, President, LHH, discuss dynamic forces impacting businesses, such as AI, COVID-19 and Robotics, and how these forces are driving a big skill shift and reshaping the human experience at work. 

The jobs of the future demand new capabilities. Companies are under increasing pressure to quickly identify and nurture a 21st century workforce that can fill these new roles. Yet, while companies struggle to find skilled talent, within each organization exists untapped talent. How can companies help their people reinvent themselves and reach their full potential?

In this conversation, Mike and Ranjit discuss:

  • How seismic forces are changing the very nature of work
  • Ways COVID-19 is accelerating the transformation curve
  • Which roles are most vulnerable and which are most promising
  • What are the highest priority skillsets
  • Creating pathways for development that makes your people fit for future
  • Why organizations are committing to the growth and development of their people 


Companies have critical roles to fill and can’t wait any longer to recruit and hire talent. Traditional recruiting and hiring models are under pressure, forcing companies to think much differently about how they can be more inclusive, flexible and adaptable, venturing into new territory that offers unprecedented opportunity to tap into a pool of candidates teeming with talent. 


Robert Hosking, Senior Vice President, Managing Director—Search Practices for LHH Knightsbridge, and Jim Mitchell, President, LHH Canada, have a conversation on “Planning for the Future: Evolving Your Organization's Recruitment Strategy,” and share strategies that will help your company move forward with your recruiting and hiring process.

This session covers:

  • Current market hiring trends
  • Re-imagining the selection and interview process
  • Why succession planning can’t wait
  • Hiring the leaders of the future

As companies make the shift to virtual onboarding of new hires, they are learning that it takes more than a few tweaks to a standard approach to get it right. Companies across the globe are re-imagining outdated onboarding programs and re-mapping their entire process to ensure everything works in a virtual environment. A successful virtual onboarding program is the foundation for a positive employee experience—one where new hires not only have the tools to move forward successfully, but are empowered, informed and welcomed.
Jennifer Knibbs, National Director, People & Culture at Numeris, and Cara Danielson, SVP, Leadership Development Programs at LHH, discuss “Best Practices to Design a Successful Virtual Onboarding Program,” and share what a successful program looks like.
This session covers:

  • Why companies are re-imagining their onboarding experience
  • The role of onboarding in creating a positive candidate experience
  • How onboarding contributes to building a culture of community and connection
  • How Numeris built an award-winning virtual onboarding program 


Shanthi Flynn, Fortune 500 CHRO, keynote speaker, HR expert and leadership advisor and Caroline Pfeiffer, EVP for LHH, Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) discuss “Key Strategies for Leveraging Change to Enhance Your Career and Your Life." Caroline talks with Shanthi about her incredible career journey, the unique career advancement challenges she faced, how she made better choices, stayed true to her values and has lived her best life.


In this conversation, Shanthi and Caroline discuss:

• Self-empowerment and identifying “What is my next career move?”
• How broadening your experiences offers longer-term career growth
• Building your confidence and personal value proposition grows your reputation
• Being fearless and making bold personal and career choices


In response to crisis, companies are reimagining business models and retooling workforces as they prepare to move into recovery. But a strategy that relies solely on restructuring through layoffs and other cost cutting measures will leave your company unprepared to pivot quickly as the economy recovers. Imagine an alternative: a strategy that redirects existing talent to fill vacant jobs, a solution that would allow your company to avoid the enormous expense of severance and transition support and instead build an internal talent pipeline through upskilling and reskilling—all while retaining knowledge capital, building agility, fostering engagement, increasing competitive advantage, and realizing a significant cost savings. 


Paul Schofield, Head of Employee Relations for BAE Systems, and JC Townend, CEO for LHH UK & Ireland discuss how to make redeployment part of your company’s DNA. 

This session covers:

  • Why companies are rewriting their restructuring playbooks
  • Developing a redeployment “rulebook” that capitalizes on untapped potential
  • How companies can realize significant cost savings while still investing in your people
  • The BAE Systems Story and how they got ahead of the curve


How a company responds—or fail to responds—to emerging employee expectations will ultimately impact the health, performance and bottom line of an organization. During this discussion, Patrick Cournoyer, Chief Evangelist with Peakon, an employee success platform, shared analysis of 14 million survey comments that identified the latest trends in employee expectations emerging post COVID-19 as well as why the stakes are so high and the role companies should play in making employee well-being their top priority.


Genuine and caring customer service is the hallmark of a great company. The reasons are undeniable: happy customers lead to a strong brand and competitive advantage. The key to customer service excellence is to shape an employee experience that fosters collaboration, creativity, productivity and engagement. So how can a company create a culture where employees are obsessed with customer service?


Lisa Gamble, SVP, Global Delivery Operations for LHH has a conversation with Charu Jain, SVP, Merchandising and Innovation and Vikram Baskaran, VP, ITS at Alaska Airlines about how to build a strong customer service culture that taps into the full potential of your workforce. This session covers:  

• How technology is an enabler of exceptional customer service  
• Tools to empower employees to make decisions in real-time
• Reinforcing mindset that fosters going the extra mile


Christoph Niebel, EVP and Chief Sales Officer at LHH, spoke with global employee relations guru and former Head of Employee Relations & Engagement at IBM, Alan Wild, who spoke 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.

During the conversation, we highlighted leading employers who are thinking about talent in a new way, including:


  • How to solve short-term labor 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