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Chapter from: "Workforce of One: Revolutionizing Talent Management Through Customization"
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Published in: 2010

Abstract

When it comes to crafting HR practices that are highly relevant and tailored to individuals, organizations can choose one of four different approaches to what talent management experts Susan Cantrell and David Smith call the 'workforce of one'. But no matter which approach you choose, the goal is the same: work that is sculpted to fit lives instead of lives that are sculpted to fit work. The reward? Lower employee turnover, greater productivity, and improved profit margins. In this chapter, the authors explain employee-defined personalization, which places people management directly in the hands of those it's meant to serve. In this approach, born of the impetus of Web 2.0 and crowdsourcing, employees customize practices with regard to just about anything: schedules and timing of work, learning, recruitment and hiring, mentoring and coaching, performance feedback, even compensation. (It's important to note, however, that savvy organizations make careful decisions as to which practices to foster; they also continually monitor and support them.) As the next generation of workers increasingly expects to be able to define their own experiences-whether those experiences relate to their personal or their professional life-employee-defined personalization promises to be an area of game-changing innovation in talent management. This chapter is excerpted from ‘Workforce of One: Revolutionizing Talent Management Through Customization'.

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Abstract

When it comes to crafting HR practices that are highly relevant and tailored to individuals, organizations can choose one of four different approaches to what talent management experts Susan Cantrell and David Smith call the 'workforce of one'. But no matter which approach you choose, the goal is the same: work that is sculpted to fit lives instead of lives that are sculpted to fit work. The reward? Lower employee turnover, greater productivity, and improved profit margins. In this chapter, the authors explain employee-defined personalization, which places people management directly in the hands of those it's meant to serve. In this approach, born of the impetus of Web 2.0 and crowdsourcing, employees customize practices with regard to just about anything: schedules and timing of work, learning, recruitment and hiring, mentoring and coaching, performance feedback, even compensation. (It's important to note, however, that savvy organizations make careful decisions as to which practices to foster; they also continually monitor and support them.) As the next generation of workers increasingly expects to be able to define their own experiences-whether those experiences relate to their personal or their professional life-employee-defined personalization promises to be an area of game-changing innovation in talent management. This chapter is excerpted from ‘Workforce of One: Revolutionizing Talent Management Through Customization'.

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