Karen Brennan-Holton is a partner at Accenture and a member of the Workforce Institute Advisory Board. She contributed an intriguing chapter to our recent book, Elements of Successful Organizations, based on the proposition that organizations can optimize performance by tailoring work assignments to the worker vs. expecting employees to conform to a fixed job description. At Accenture, they refer to this approach as a “workforce of one”.
According to Karen, this approach has been successfully applied in hourly environments as well as the salaried, laptop-carrying ranks. During our conversation last week, Karen remarked that “customization is coming out of the closet”. She went on to explain that in the past many organizations have customized work as an accommodation for a small number of high performing employees they want to retain, treating work customization as a one-off, not a matter of policy. She cites a growing number of examples, both hourly and salaried, of organizations using the “workforce of one” approach to develop, engage and retain employees and thereby drive better organizational results.
Listen to my conversation with Karen to learn more about workforce of one in action:
Workforce of One Discussion with Karen Brennan-Holton
Could this work in your organization?
I’m pleased to announce that Karen Brennan-Holton has joined us as a board member. Karen is a Senior Executive in Accenture’s HR and Talent Management Service Line. She has been with Accenture for 16 years and has spent the past eight years focused on Workforce Management and HR projects. Her primary clients are in the Utilities Industry but she supports all other industries. She is the Time and Labor Practice lead and manages sales and projects in this space. As the practice lead she helps develop assets that teams can use to jump-start projects and increase delivery quality. She is also the Co-lead for the Payroll and Time and Labor community of practice (COP) . The COP brings global practioners together on a regular basis to share assets, deliver training and share leading practices across Accenture. In addition to her client work, Karen is the North American Resources Inclusion and Diversity Lead, as well as the Program lead for the T&OP Women’s Executive Sponsorship program. This year Karen was one of 25 women invited to join the Accenture Management Consulting Women’s Business Board,. Karen has a BA/BS from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Florida State University.