The talent challenge – the development curve in mature operations

accapr —  28 August 2013 — Leave a comment

By Anna Tumidajewicz, finance and accounting practice delivery manager, Infosys

Infosys delivers an innovative approach to talent management challenges. One of the key challenges that we successfully responded to was the transition from a shared service centre to a business process outsourcing enterprise for one of our key clients. In this project we had to shift our focus from the transactional processes provided for the client to offering higher-level finance and accounting services (such as audit, controlling, financial planning and analysis), as well as having increased our services portfolio, and streamlining and improving finance processes to offer higher quality solutions. It was an upward development curve opportunity for our employees, and for us, remains a requirement of a real blend of financial, management and business capability we need to deliver services of higher value. Outsourcing is a fast-moving, changing environment so on top of strong domain knowledge we need to develop project management, change management abilities as well as specialist skills, such as language competency, are also highly useful.

Solutions – the development curve in mature operations

The described challenge required from us strong and focused solutions that had already been part of the overall employee development approach. We find the following practices a successful way of staff development:

  1. Tailor learning processes to ensure their efficiency – We have established a dedicated leverage on F&A Centre of Excellence and global training programs to develop our specialist finance capability, but we recognised that it must be complemented by more targeted interventions at a personal level. We conducted extensively more than 150 training programmes based on the company’s strategic plans, as well as the needs of particular finance and accounting units and individuals. We also conduct an individual development needs analysis for our employees, which are a part of bi-annual employee evaluation. Our training function is enhanced by the pool of over 100 internal process and domain trainers separately developed as experts in particular areas. Additionally, we have created ‘The Practice Ambassadors Program’ giving access to coaching and mentoring, as well as more tailored development plans based on performance reviews. Ten per cent of our employees are covered by a higher education policy that relies on financial contribution to support their external educational activities. Our finance and accounting ‘high potentials’, leaders and managers are a part of the Leadership and Management Academy and our ‘Diamond Mind’ programme.
  2. Recognise the importance of experiential learning – In developing the required broader business and management capabilities, we have systematically established a secondment and rotation programme, supported by a formalised workforce planning strategy, which is connected up to personalised career paths, giving individuals a wider perspective on career and learning options.
  3. Proactively manage staff engagement in a change environment – We recognise the constantly changing environment in which we operate, so on-going engagement interventions are key; we use a wide range of development activities, reward and recognitions aspects, an open-door policy, as well as satisfaction surveys to gauge engagement. Crowdsourcing opportunities and staff workshops also allow us to continually receive employee input. The organisation is very focused on on-going employee social interaction through regular meetings, social events, diversity programmes, and corporate social responsibility activities. Engagement practices are reviewed on an annual basis and benchmarked.

This case study appeared in an ACCA report on Talent and capability in global finance functions. As part of ACCA’s qualitative research leading organisations shared their approaches.

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