Mass Career Customization: Innovative Employee Retention Program Scores High Marks at Deloitte

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In a 24 minute Total Picture Radio Podcast, Cathy Benko vice-chairman and managing principal of talent at Deloitte, reveals how Mass Career Customization is helping the company attract, retain, and engage its high-value professionals.

The workforce has changed, but the workplace has not.

According to Cathy Benko, Vice-Chairman, Managing Principal of Talent, at Deloitte, "The workforce has changed, but the workplace has not." This fact was the inspiration behind an initiative at Deloitte, lead by Cathy and her colleague, Anne Weisberg, to address the issue head-on.

Peter Clayton, producer/host of Total Picture Radio had the opportunity to meet Cathy at the Fortune Leadership Forum in New York, where she conducted a workshop on Mass Career Customization, and participated in a panel discussion titled "Where is Your Talent?" with executives from Herman Miller and Capital One, moderated by Geoff Colvin, Senior Editor at Large at Fortune.

Cathy and Anne Weisberg are the authors of Mass Career Customization: Aligning the Workplace with Today's Nontraditional Workforce, (that will be published by Harvard Business School Press this fall). The book is a detailed analysis of what was a pilot program (and is now a phased rollout) at Deloitte by the same title. This concept encompasses structure and a systematic approach that enables organizations to correlate employees' talents, career aspirations, and evolving life circumstances in ways that match up with the enterprise's marketplace strategies. Successful implementation results in increased employee job satisfaction and loyalty, lower costs, and greater productivity.

Employee engagement and retention is clearly a top-of-mind issue at all companies, as the war for talent spreads to more and more industries and occupations; fueling the concern for employee retention -- most companies have traditionally used 150 percent of salary as the cost of turnover. Some experts say that for knowledge-based companies, that figure can be as high as 500 percent. Ms. Benko readily admits, "Turnover is a huge cost at multiple levels -- attracting, training... One key reason for subscribing to a model like mass career customization is to improve retention on the employer side and so employees have a better model to fit life into work and work into life."

About Cathleen Benko
Cathy Benko, as Deloitte's first managing principal of talent, is responsible for driving the organization's commitment to attract, develop and advance a highly skilled and increasingly diverse workforce. In this role, Ms. Benko is leading a pioneering approach to employee engagement and career-life integration called Mass Career Customization, a signature initiative of Deloitte's Talent agenda. Previously, she had dual responsibilities for leading Deloitte Consulting's high technology industry sector and the organization's award winning Women's Initiative. Ms. Benko, also a member of Deloitte's executive committee and the Deloitte Foundation board, is well known for developing innovative business strategy frameworks. Along with Mass Career Customization, she is the author of Connecting the Dots: Aligning Projects and Objectives in Unpredictable Times, published by Harvard Business School Press, 2003. Ms. Benko earned her MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS degree from Ramapo College.

About Total Picture Radio:
Founded by Peter Clayton, an expert in corporate communications, event management employee motivation, film and video production, Total Picture Radio is a career empowerment service for knowledge workers. We are committed to sharing ideas and commentary from thought leaders in business, strategy, marketing, career management, media, and the Internet. Total Picture Radio podcasts actionable information for high-performance careerists - and business leaders creating talent-focused organizations. Our in-depth interviews include best-selling authors, senior executives, visionaries, leadership coaches, and entrepreneurs. Total Picture Radio is "The Voice of Career Leadership." Sponsorship opportunities are available for talent-centric companies.

About Deloitte:
Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, a Swiss Verein, its member firms, and their respective subsidiaries and affiliates. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu is an organization of member firms around the world devoted to excellence in providing professional services and advice, focused on client service through a global strategy executed locally in nearly 140 countries. With access to the deep intellectual capital of approximately 150,000 people worldwide, Deloitte delivers services in four professional areas -- audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services -- and serves more than 80 percent of the world's largest companies, as well as large national enterprises, public institutions, locally important clients, and successful, fast-growing global growth companies. Services are not provided by the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Verein, and, for regulatory and other reasons, certain member firms do not provide services in all four professional areas.

As a Swiss Verein (association), neither Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu nor any of its member firms has any liability for each other's acts or omissions. Each of the member firms is a separate and independent legal entity operating under the names "Deloitte," "Deloitte & Touche," "Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu," or other related names.

In the U.S., Deloitte & Touche USA LLP is the member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, and services are provided by the subsidiaries of Deloitte & Touche USA LLP (Deloitte & Touche LLP, Deloitte Consulting LLP, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP, Deloitte Tax LLP and their subsidiaries) and not by Deloitte & Touche USA LLP. The subsidiaries of the U.S. member firm are among the nation's leading professional services firms, providing audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services through nearly 30,000 people in more than 80 cities. Known as employers of choice for innovative human resources programs, they are dedicated to helping their clients and their people excel.

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PETER CLAYTON
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