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Next Practices from LinkedIn, Amtrak, and Flex

How is LinkedIn closing the gap on gender equality?
How is Amtrak revitalizing its leadership development efforts for the future?
And how does Flex manage the hiring of over 100,000 new employees each year?

Three case studies that provide insight into these questions are now available; each story is pulled from submissions from these organizations—all semi-finalists for i4cp's Next Practice Award.

While the full case studies are exclusive to i4cp member companies, summaries of each are available below. The winner of the Next Practice Award will be announced at the i4cp 2016 Conference: Next Practices Now, March 29 – April 1, 2016, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Look for more Next Practice Award semi-finalist stories, which will be published over the next eight weeks.

How Amtrak Refocused Its Leadership Development Efforts

AmtrakAt Amtrak, the role of supervisor is among the most important in the company. Amtrak leaders must be able to lead, manage, coach, and develop employees effectively and consistently across the enterprise. This need has been reinforced by findings from Amtrak’s internal Organizational Culture Diagnostic Instrument (OCDI) survey.

External organizational research reinforces the fact that effective supervisors are a key driver of employee performance and engagement—and the company recognizes this will be a critical part of achieving Amtrak’s Strategic Plan.

Amtrak Human Capital delivers more than 300 technical training courses for more than 22,000 employees in critical areas such as Customer Service, Safety and Security (and, of course, address federal and state regulations). But a consistent approach to leadership development tied to the skills leaders needed most to achieve the Amtrak Strategic Plan, and to address other challenges was lacking.

What strategy did Amtrak employ to better prepare its leaders to both meet the challenges of tomorrow and achieve Amtrak’s Strategic Plan? Clearly, the company needed to ensure that every leader in the company has the tools, resources, and information necessary to create a fully engaged workforce; develop strong, enduring relationships across the business; and meet new challenges with curiosity and collaboration.

Amtrak’s latest leadership development program, Amtrak Leadership Development Excellence (ALDE), was designed to do just that.

Read more about Amtrak's ALDE program (i4cp members only).

How Flex Adapted Its Workforce Design System to Hire 100,000 Employees Per Year

FlexAs a leading provider of sketch-to-scale™ solutions, Flex (formerly Flextronics) is challenged by its customers to design and manufacture products as quickly as possible and at the lowest possible cost. Due to rapidly changing demand, Singapore-based Flex hires over 100,000 new employees each year.

To help achieve greater efficiency and customer satisfaction, Flex needed a workforce design system that uses dynamic business inputs to estimate hiring needs. However, when looking at the available options on the market, nothing appeared to be capable of handling all of the inputs of a business Flex's size and complexity. Given the huge business implications of hiring too many people (or worse, not enough), the company set out to develop an automated system of its own.

Flex developed and implemented an end-to-end workforce design model using analytics and industrial engineering concepts. The first step involved identifying all of the data required to build a solution, including ERP (Baan) and HR Management System (Workday) data, among others. Industrial engineering then worked with global procurement & supply chain, HR, information technology and business analytics teams to build a solution to predict hiring needs.

Read more about Flex's workforce design approach (i4cp members only).

LinkedIn and Gender Equality

LinkedInSoon after taking on the CHRO role at LinkedIn, the world's largest professional network with more than 400 million members in 200 countries and territories around the globe, Pat Wadors diagnosed that the company was not focused on diversity and inclusion efforts.

Instead of boiling the ocean with a variety of initiatives, Wadors focused first on making a positive impact on gender balance in the workforce. Progress was achieved through a variety of efforts and initiatives that were built on a holistic framework across LinkedIn's employee life cycle—hire, develop, advance, engage, and retain women. These efforts were not approached as singular point solutions, but as a collected systematic approach that includes:

  • Creating recruitment strategies to attract women to senior leadership and technical roles, from enhancing outreach efforts towards new talent pools to ensuring an inclusive talent acquisition process. Through these efforts, 43% of all yearly hires have been women since 20__?
  • Providing an advancement architecture that empowers high potential women leaders to advance through sponsorship, coaching, and leadership development
  • Supporting the growth of technical women’s careers through workshops, mentorship events, and tech talks on gender issues
  • Fostering a positive culture of inclusion through a series of awareness and learning workshops for all managers and above
  • Embedding diversity and inclusion throughout our talent management processes, programs, and systems (i.e. talent acquisition, performance management, promotion, compensation, succession planning, learning & development, onboarding, talent reviews, workforce planning, etc.)

Read more about how LinkedIn is closing the gap on gender equality (i4cp members only).

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Erik Samdahl
Erik is the head of marketing at i4cp, and has nearly 20 years in the market research and human capital research industry.