Bersin Awards WhatWorks’ 2013 Winners
Bersin & Associates
launches new awards
program to laud
their human resource
leaders for employing
talent initiatives in
bold new ways across
all spectrums of HR.
In organizations around the world, both large and small, you can find edicated, hard-working, passionate
professionals in HR and related
disciplines. These people play a critical
role in their organizations’ success.
Bersin & Associates (which became
Bersin by Deloitte after this was
written; see disclaimer below) knows
this, says David Mallon, the company’s
vice president of research.
“We know because we at Bersin
are honored and privileged to have
the opportunity to talk with many of
these people regularly,” he says. “And
let us tell you, there is some amazing
work being done out there. In fact,
we believe that one of our greatest
obligations is to trumpet as many of
these stories as we can, as far and as
wide as possible.”
With that goal in mind, Bersin
launched its first awards program,
Learning Leaders®, in 2006, through
which it celebrates innovation and
success taking place in the learning
“Over the years, just as we saw
organizations taking a more holistic
view of talent, we broadened the focus
of the Learning Leaders program
to encompass initiatives in such
areas as employee onboarding and
succession management,” Mallon
says. “Eventually, we realized that, to
continue calling the program ‘Learning
Leaders’ was no longer reflective of
the breadth of amazing stories being
brought to us.
TRANSFORMING HR To say we are in an era of HR transformation is an understatement. Wherever there is an HR organization, fundamental transformation is either
under way, about to begin or under serious consideration. HR is changing its processes,
policies, structures and—in many cases—its very reason for being. Why? What is the goal
of all this so-called transformation?
The answer is to resolve a disconnect, and a big one. The combined effects of forces
such as technology, demographic change, globalization and the ever-increasing pace
of change are making business agility the defining competitive differentiator of this
age. Core to that agility is the organization’s most important appreciating asset: talent.
Both the leaders in organizations and the professionals in the HR function can see the
big changes taking place in the workforce and workplace. Collectively, everyone sees
the writing on the wall. On paper, HR should be at the center of building business value
through talent. The problem is that, in most organizations, it is not strategic. It is often
viewed as the antithesis of agility. Its function is compliance and control, not speed and
HR as currently manifested in many organizations is in danger of irrelevancy. Business
leaders are forcing an essential reinvention of the function. They want their HR teams to
help drive the business forward, by empowering and enabling managers to operate more
effectively. They realize retention is a talent imperative.
The good news—as evidenced by the submitting companies in this category—is
that real change in HR is not just possible; it is happening. Common themes among this
category’s winners are: business-initiated change, whereby big changes in HR started at
the top; data-driven HR, whereby data is being used to predict issues and likely paths
to success; and courage to go big, whereby winners forced themselves to question
fundamental assumptions about HR’s purpose, strategies and structures.
A global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company
headquartered in Dublin, Republic of Ireland, with;more than;249,000 people serving
clients in more than 120 countries.
Accenture’s growth strategy includes expanding its range of services to clients. With more
people working on accounts worldwide, there’s a greater need for managing these client-facing
teams more efficiently and effectively. Internal research identified the requirement for a more
client-centric approach by HR operations to help account teams drive growth and employee
To address this, Accenture implemented a renewed program to align HR professionals
at the front of the business. Intended outcomes were to: expand deployment of HR talent
and strategic capability to include complex client teams and emerging business entities;
redesign the client-account HR delivery model and measures to ensure cost-effective, flexibly
focused service delivery; standardize the scope of service with a focus on business outcomes,
retention and engagement; and better align with other corporate functions.
As a result, Accenture’s Global Client Account HR Lead program expanded by 36 percent
in total revenue and more than 40 percent in the number of full-time employees supported.
The HR Lead team grew by 100 percent across 15 countries, including several emerging
markets. The firm established a greater partnership between these business areas and the HR
functional areas. One of its largest global client teams showed significant gains in retention
and progression, as well as the highest client satisfaction scores.
Ryan is a global tax services firm headquartered in Dallas that provides a range of state,
local, federal and international tax advisory services on a multi-jurisdictional basis for
many of the world’s Global 5000 companies.
Although Ryan has grown successfully since 1991, over time the firm began experiencing
high voluntary turnover rates, losing many talented employees and experiencing low
employee morale and satisfaction, as evidenced in exit interviews and employee surveys.
A large percentage of exiting employees indicated that lack of work/life balance was a key
Its solution, the myRyan workplace-flexibility program, measures employees on results
achieved, not hours worked. Employees are given complete freedom to choose where and
when they want to work on a day-to-day basis, provided goals are met and a manager approves.
Employees were equipped with tools, resources and support to stay connected.