This site uses cookies to provide you with a more responsive and personalised service. By using this site you agree to our use of cookies. Please read our cookie notice for more information on the cookies we use and how to delete or block them.

Print page

Developing workforce talents and skills for evolving roles

Learning and development strategies

Recognising the potential of current employees should not be overlooked in the rush to recruit external talent to overcome skills shortages. There is value in training and retraining existing staff. The OECD found that an additional year of education on average can lead to an increase in long-run GDP per capita of 4-7%.

Businesses must support the personal growth and internal mobility of employees through clear learning and development strategies that target the specific skills and qualifications required for new and evolving roles. With each new challenge comes personal growth and rewarding experiences, both of which increase engagement.

Section 10 of Where is your next worker? examines:

  • Talent right under your nose
  • Develop clear learning and development strategies
  • Policy opening the way
  • Reflecting on the business opportunities
  • Case study: The career ladder is dead – meet the corporate lattice.
Recruiting Recruiting talent early to overcome the demographic gapGet full report

Reflections on the business opportunities

  • How are you measuring the productivity of your workers?
  • What are you doing to enhance your understanding and use of your people’s potential?
  • How are you identifying which of your staff have the appetite to re-skill?
  • How are you mapping your organisation’s lattice to understand the talent you may already have on hand?
  • What opportunities do you offer your people to move through the lattice to new roles?
  • What are you doing to understand the aspirations of existing staff and how to develop them to match your business’ needs?
  • How do you track your investment in developing your people’s education or skills? What return on investment is this giving your

The career ladder is dead – meet the corporate lattice

In their work, “The Corporate Lattice, A strategic response to the changing world of work”, Cathy Benko, Molly Anderson and Suzanne Vickberg provide a case study on the global lattice. They cite global law firm Orrick, Herrington, Sutcliffe LLP (“Orrick”) as a case study that illustrates how careers are today being built by way of a corporate lattice rather than in a linear fashion, traditionally known as the “corporate ladder”. Orrick realised that launching a new career model could help address two key issues: client dissatisfaction with the price-value ratios of legal service providers, and significant changes in the expectations of law school graduates who want flexible career options. The firm’s new model gave these graduates a variety of career options rather than a single, linear path to partnership.

“Advancement at the firm is now performance based rather than tenure-based, with specific core competency criteria used to guide decisions,” says Laura Saklad, chief lawyer development officer. “By aligning promotions and corresponding billing rate increases with the lawyer’s skill set and level of experience, client value and work delivery is better aligned since people attain various levels of proficiency at different rates.

A custom career track allows individuals to tailor their development based on their career interests and goals as well as their life needs. ”Compensation has also changed to enable the new approach. Rather than base bonuses on billable hours or firm profitability, bonuses are based on what matters most to clients – quality, efficiency and contribution.  All of these changes improve the value clients receive.”

“The model recognises that moving forward in one’s development is not limited to moving upward on the traditional career ladder. There are many ways of progressing one’s career and contributing meaningful value to the organisation.”

Productivity: Where is your next worker?


Enhancing workforce productivity to beat the skills crisis
The combination of Australia’s national productivity decline since the late 1990s and the looming skills shortage, means businesses need to consider new and better ways to get work done.


Succession planning required to retain future leaders
With the danger of losing key staff and future leaders, business needs to consider how to retain the best people, including those at the beginning and the end of their careers.


Engaging employees for greater productivity
The cost of disengagement for Australian businesses is more than $39 billion a year, so it makes sense that beating the skills shortage, and improving productivity, will come from greater engagement.



Talk to us

Where is your next worker?

Video [03:35]

Where is your next worker? addresses the positive actions business and government can take to maintain momentum in the face of a looming national skills shortage


Follow us


Talk to us