Case on Accenture Essay
1.Identify how some Accenture-type efforts have and have not occurred in your current and previous workplaces. Also, discuss why focusing on employee retention pays off for Accenture clients, and not just for Accenture itself.
It is imperative to analyze the different work backgrounds that some of our team members have experienced in order to find some similarities with Accenture. One team member is currently working in a small air conditioning business with less than 50 employees. According to U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA.gov), small businesses employ more than 50% of employees in the United States. The company does not have a formal HR department like many of the large organizations (23).
The duties of HR, like staffing, rewards, payroll, talent management, and employee retention/labor relations are done by upper management and designated secretaries. Similar to Accenture, the company has professional consultants and support staff. In addition, they have a mentoring program and orientation for new employees where they are shown the “way of the company”. This is similar to that of Accenture’s “new joiner orientation” program for new employees. In the “way of the company” they are shown responsibilities, procedures, and policies which are very helpful in developing a good relationship with the new employee.
In some part, this has worked with the first-year turnover retention levels at the company (170). The company has seen low turnover rates. There are even some employees that have worked there since the early 90’s. Most of the turnovers are employees leaving by choice or “voluntary turnover” (160).The unwritten psychological contract implies that the employer is a family type work environment with good management. The team member describes the people working there as nice and outgoing individuals that make coming to work a joy rather than a drag. They genuinely try to help each other without being bureaucratic.
In addition, management is there to support, guide, and demand results, but does it without being a complete pushover, much like Accenture. However, there are some drawbacks in working for a small business. He describes the limited opportunities for growth because of the limited “higher positions”. The managerial positions are held by long-term employees or family members of the president. Oppose to a large organization like Accenture would do with the incorporation of diverse and unbiased promotion methods.
Another team member has had a different experience in her workplace. Her work experience was with a French company that seems to have not respected the psychological contract on what employees expect. There were no career developments and job promotions were difficult to obtain. The employees saw that promotions were given to those “close” to the supervisor. Verbal objectives were encouraged by HR, but were never enforced. She says it was “very frustrating and difficult to work in an environment with no clear strategy or direction”. In this situation employees would have low employee engagement and commitment (138). This is a sharp contrast to Accenture with its extensive use of retention programs and career training.
With their 39% of Accenture open U.S. jobs filled by current employees. They have trained their managers and recruiters to satisfy their HR planning. As we have seen from these two examples there is a delicate balance between employee’s expectations and employers solutions to satisfy those needs. Without proper human resource planning, an organization will be unable to satisfy its goals and is destined to become a mediocre organization. With high turnover costs that will affect its current position and incapacitate its future growth. This leads to a second point on why Accenture employee retention pays off for Accenture clients, and not just Accenture.
Accenture’s retention programs have paid dividends for them by retaining talented employees in their ranks. In HR metrics, the cost of turnover is measured in numbers by following a seven step procedure (163). Imagine the cost of large turnovers in an organization with 244,000 employees.Valuable employees bring the expertise, knowledge, reputation, effort, motivation, and performance that cannot be easily replaced. Add to that, the aging workforce that are highly skilled and competent that are retiring. This creates a vacuum for talented employees that make retention programs even more important (150). Especially considering the specialized services Accenture provides in more than 40 industries. Accenture has taken note of this delicate relationship between employee and client retention. In an article, they mention some key point that leads us to believe how exactly their retention programs have paid off.
Customers want it all- Accenture are aware the challenge of retaining current customers. They cite that customers demand competitive pricing, value for money, and high quality service. They work with clients to establish best practices for assessing and developing individuals and teams. With social media and its internet forums, web logs, wikis, blogs, podcasts, videos, to name a few the power that the customer has is now even stronger (61). Accenture has embraced this and knows that the employees are the key to profiting in such environment. They say, “Few companies are winning the battle for customer share.
The secret of their success: combining a top-down, enterprise-wide retention strategy with sophisticated analytics”. Furthermore, Accenture identifies the error of losing jobs because of proper retention programs and poor management decisions. It claims that without proper strategic capability in human resource the company would lose a wealth of knowledge and experience (146). It adds, “Poorly informed cutbacks can weaken an organization in multiple ways…such reduction damage morale and goodwill of the company, and to the engagement and productivity of those workers who remain…can weaken the ability of organizations to perform at competitive levels”.
Accenture’s long-standing commitment to attracting, retaining and promoting women is critical to high performance and to the success of their company. Accenture knows how to mobilize the right people, skills, alliances and technologies to deliver innovation and results that create a high-performance business to their clients. In addition, having the right team is vital for Accenture. At Accenture, their view of inclusion and diversity goes beyond gender, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity and expression to create a work environment that welcomes all forms of differences. Each employee is a respected member of their team; they recognize and value individual similarities and differences. The workforce is a reflection of the clients they serve, the suppliers they do business with and the communities in which they operate.
2.Go to Accenture website, www.acenture.com, to research and gather job- and career- related information that might need to be adapted by other employers. As part of this research examine how Accenture markets itself and potential employees.
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Accenture prides itself as a business with “High Performance. Delivered.” That message says it all. Accenture partners with organizations to leverage the impact of maximizing talent and creating enterprise value. They bring together creative problem solvers and innovative thinkers from diverse backgrounds to deliver breakthrough, leading-edge solutions, and high performance to their clients. Diversity is a critical strength that they work hard to maintain and foster and it makes them a better company on every aspect.
Their global workforce gives clients access to a rich range of talent, representing different styles, perspectives and experiences. Accenture is committed to increasing performance and leadership effectiveness. Their goal is to increase the business value of their workforce by investing in the development of their employees and building the skills to shape a smarter and more efficient business to help their clients outperform their competitors. They align their HR process with corporate objectives to ensure that the company is well positioned for long term success.
Accenture wants to position itself as the employer of choice. They encourage their project teams to stay engaged and live out their core value together with the client teams. “Accenture’s mission is to become one of the world’s leading companies, bringing innovations to improve the way the world works and lives.” The following six core values are what guides their decision making. •Client Value Creation – Understand and meet client expectations 100% of the time. •One Global Network – Act to enhance the collective values of the global organization while sustaining local culture. •Integrity – Always act with openness and honesty.
•Stewardship – Think future oriented; act and invest to build a stronger firm for tomorrow. •Best People – Are highly competent and make a commitment to excellence, teamwork, and the success of their clients. •Respect for the Individual – Treat each person as we would like to be treated.”
Accenture management has created people support teams with HR representation and senior leadership sponsorship, tasked with organizing human capital and corporate initiatives. They know that these initiatives become an important attraction and retention vehicle. The goal is to make sure that project teams stay engaged and live out the core value together with the client teams.
The Accenture website promotes a unique range of services and a commitment to its employees. It has thousands of articles organized in their search engine that lends advices to businesses, managers, and career seekers. Accenture markets itself as a one-step journey for consulting services, technology, and outsourcing services for all of the important industries. It markets to the experienced, young, and military individuals in obtaining new talent. It is not satisfied by perspective employees coming to them but they look for them.
They use all of the popular social media outlets like Twitter and Linkedin in search for new talent by posting available positions. This is the new way of job posting as candidates are usually in these networks (200). Like many companies some of their 244,000 labor force is outsourced in order to serve some 120 countries worldwide. They have hundreds of positions and internships available here in the United States. With many of those available positions being entry-level or less than one year experience which makes it very attractive for new graduates. In a survey done in 2008 for new baccalaureate graduates, Accenture was the top recruiter.
In addition, Accenture offers flexible work arrangements including flex time, part-time, job sharing, telecommuting/home working-in more than 30 countries around the world. Flexible working arrangements are determined in each country to take into account local practice, culture and law. Fly-backs and client-site flexible work arrangements are also provided to help their professionals balance work and life when they are working away from their home location.
There was an interesting article by William D. Green the chairman and CEO of Accenture and Peter Cheese managing director. The article mentions some key points every organization should employ and important future changes in the ever changing globalized world.
•Changing world- they mention that firms are not only competing for new customers but also for new talent in what they call a “multi-polar world”. In it not sufficient for organizations to stay passive and wait for new talent to arrive at their door-step. They have to be involved in the grooming and development of that new talent. Some ways they will achieve this is by being participants with governments, educational establishments, and philanthropic institutions to raise the general level of education.
•Talent shortfall- They mention that even when there are job openings there are not enough people filling those specialized positions. The lack of science and engineering degrees has made companies look in other countries for this talent shortfall. This is why the popular immigration visas such as the H-1B allows certain foreigners with specialized degrees obtain the legal resident in the United States (98). With a high unemployment rate among young adults. They mention the poor return on investment in the country. The United States invest more in education than any other country. However, students here have among the lowest math scores within developed countries. They say, “Despite the urgency of the situation, the business community in general has yet to fully appreciate the role it must play in creating a workforce ready to support sustained high performance”.
•Access Affordability and Accountability- They mention these three key components the organizations can do to alleviate the problem through the cooperation’s of the government and education institutions. First, providing access to education opportunities in dysfunctional communities with limited access to education. Through philanthropy and foundations businesses and education institutions can provide communities with adult learning programs or community centers. A gloomy statistics is that about 70 percent of the workforce for 2020 is already out of school and college. The second point, deals with affordability that is closely related to access.
Each year tuition costs are increased at the various education institutions that make it harder for lower income students to attend college. Add to that the cut of grants available through the federal level and we get a model that will not work. According to them there should be more joint public-private funding. While ensuring the right kind of skills are produced which leads to the third point of accountability. Accountability seems to be the greatest challenge and harder to implement. They mention, “Education must reinvest itself in ways that other professions have already done to provide more value. But business must become involved in the content and quality of education…they are the primary end user.” Some work has been started already by the creation of the Business Roundtable where corporations are committed to advocating public policies. Some of their goals are bridging the talent gap with future job opportunities and strengthening math/science education programs.
•Inclusion and diversity-are fundamental to the culture and core values at Accenture. Fostering an innovative and collaborative work environment that helps employees be successful and enables Accenture to effectively compete in the global marketplace. Accenture is rich in diversity, acknowledges each individual’s strengths and promotes respect, personal achievement and is committed to women’s success. Accenture markets itself as an organization that values its employees as much as its clients. Their commitment to employees has rewarded the organization into one of the most profitable in their industry. They are aware of the changing dynamics and problems of the future employee demands. They are ready to find resolutions to these problems and are taking action today.