The Corporate Lattice – For a Lifetime Career
By Beverly Willis and Lecia Corbisiero
The Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry is currently experiencing its most significant transformation since the industrial revolution. Bigger projects have led to bigger firms with hundreds, and even thousands, of employees. The challenges that come with the increased scale are many: how to remain efficient, how to maximize productivity & profit, and how to manage a growing workforce, to name a few. In addition, general workforce trends like the increased number of women, changing family structures, and technological advances also present the challenges of how to capitalize on their potential. Deloitte and Touche researchers Molly Anderson, Cathleen Benko and Anne Weisberg suggest a new way to tackle these issues in the form of Mass Career Customization (MCC) and the Lattice Approach, which not only allow for changing times and circumstances, but embrace them.
Inspired by the idea of mass product customization – the practice of customers being able to change a product’s appearance, features or content to their own specifications – and the theory that today’s career path is no longer a straight climb up the corporate ladder but rather an ‘undulating journey of climbs, lateral moves, and planned descents,’ MCC and Lattice apply these concepts to the workforce by providing a structure for organizations and their people to collaborate in building individualized career paths that take into account growth opportunities, development needs, and career-life fit over time. With tools like flexible work schedules, telecommuting, and allowances for varying degrees of engagement over the course of one’s career, MCC and the Lattice approach give workers the ability to remain active through various life circumstances that might otherwise cause them to leave the workforce altogether. MCC and Lattice are ‘whole-life’ approaches that take into account every factor that may affect an employee’s ability to work at different points in his or her life, not just a handful of traditional influences like childbirth and childcare. By providing a defined framework for individuals to adapt their work situations to the demands of the other aspects of their lives in a fluid way, you not only minimize the high costs of employee turnover, you actually enhance employee loyalty and productivity. This in turn maximizes efficiency and profitability for the company. MCC and Lattice are an integrated approach designed to promote a sustainable, life-long career.
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