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

Abstract

The 'workforce of one' model of people management - sculpting work to fit every employee instead of requiring employees to conform to a standard model of work - is a lofty goal. Yet talent management experts Susan Cantrell and David Smith have seen it achieved with remarkable results in many different companies. These companies are trail-blazers in a whole new concept of work: managing their workforces not as a single homogeneous entity, but rather with finely tuned, sophisticated attention to the differences among the people who invest their minds, hearts, and energy into their jobs, day after day, year after year. These trail-blazing companies are now reaping their rewards, in the form of greater employee motivation, loyalty, retention, and overall contribution to the organization. But the road to achieving these results is not easy. Managing a workforce of one requires organizations to navigate some tricky territory. In this chapter, the authors look at potential solutions to challenges in a range of areas, including fairness, privacy, control, alignment of individual needs with business strategy, change, and unity. The chapter concludes with an easy-to-read summarization of each challenge and its solution. This chapter is excerpted from ‘Workforce of One: Revolutionizing Talent Management Through Customization'.

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Abstract

The 'workforce of one' model of people management - sculpting work to fit every employee instead of requiring employees to conform to a standard model of work - is a lofty goal. Yet talent management experts Susan Cantrell and David Smith have seen it achieved with remarkable results in many different companies. These companies are trail-blazers in a whole new concept of work: managing their workforces not as a single homogeneous entity, but rather with finely tuned, sophisticated attention to the differences among the people who invest their minds, hearts, and energy into their jobs, day after day, year after year. These trail-blazing companies are now reaping their rewards, in the form of greater employee motivation, loyalty, retention, and overall contribution to the organization. But the road to achieving these results is not easy. Managing a workforce of one requires organizations to navigate some tricky territory. In this chapter, the authors look at potential solutions to challenges in a range of areas, including fairness, privacy, control, alignment of individual needs with business strategy, change, and unity. The chapter concludes with an easy-to-read summarization of each challenge and its solution. This chapter is excerpted from ‘Workforce of One: Revolutionizing Talent Management Through Customization'.

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