Jessica Toonkell Marquez researched and wrote an outstanding article in the latest Workforce Magazine titled "The Perfect Fit". (I wish I could link to the story but this publication does not put their articles online - ughhh!).
The cover story article features Cathy Benko, Vice Chairman and Chief Talent Officer for Deloitte LLP and her "Mass Career Customization (MCC)" program.
What is MCC? In the words of Cathy (who also wrote a book about MCC):
"Mass Career Customization is a wake up call to corporate America and a guide book for business leaders. Centered on the powerful insight that today's career is no longer a straight climb up the corporate ladder but rather an undulating journey of climbs, lateral moves, and planned descents, the book provides a refreshing answer to attracting talent and strengthening leadership pipelines while providing more varied and paced career journeys."Cathy Benko does not believe traditional flexible work arrangements are that effective - in terms of serving the needs of all employees in an organization. This belief inspired her to create the Mass Career Customization program which has been rolled out to 80 percent of Deloitte's US businesses.
I cannot do it justice in this blog post (and if you are in the HR space you really should subscribe to Workforce Magazine and get the article) but I will jot down some miscellaneous tidbits from the article about MCC:
David Rosenblum, a partner at Deloitte consulting, summed MCC up best:"
- Employees periodically fill out a profile detailing whether they want to stay on their current course, "dial up" by taking on more projects or more responsibilities (which is NOT necessarily a promotion), or dial down whereby they reduce their hours or travel.
- 12 months after MCC was implemented employee satisfaction with "career/life fit" at Deloitte increased 25 percent and retention of high performers improved.
- Dial-up requests outnumbered dial-down requests by a 3-to-2 ratio.
"[MCC] is a mechanism for forcing conversation around what people's objectives are and if we can figure out ways to accommodate people for periods of time so that they stay with the firm."Right on.
One person familiar with MCC was quoted in the article as saying "the average company isn't there yet and that most companies haven't gotten to the stage where they are good at offering flexible work arrangements."
Sadly, this is correct.
We've practiced a form of MCC at HRmarketer since our founding nearly ten years ago although we have no formal policy and we don't even have a name for it besides just common sense management.
But I know with 100% certainty it has made us a better organization.
To me, being flexible to employee's needs is not about cost savings or a workplace benefit so much as a business imperative if you want to recruit, retain and motivate key talent that you otherwise would not have access to.
But it requires a cultural change that for whatever reason many companies and managers are unable to deal with. It means mutual trust and respect between employee and company. It means the employer recognizes that people have lives and important responsibilities outside of the work they do for you - and that this is OK and does not mean they are less committed to the company. It means breaking away from the belief that employee's have to "be at work (face time)" or they cannot possibly be productive. It means that if an employee wants to reduce his/her hours they are not being lazy or less engaged.
Ultimately, it is about assembling a responsible and talented team of dedicated professionals committed to servicing the needs of the organization on a schedule and workload that meets the needs of both parties - and then getting out of their way so they can perform :-)
Admittedly, this type employer/employee partnership is not for every individual or company but what a terrific model Cathy Benko has developed with MCC. Kudos.
I wish her luck with spreading the word and getting companies to buy-in.
Labels: flexible work schedules, Mass Career Customization, MCC