Can Deconstructing Jobs into Tasks Help Redeploy Workers Impacted by Layoffs? | Brian Heger

Workforce Planning

Many HR teams are working to shift their organizations to skills-based talent practices—where practices (e.g., workforce planning, hiring, etc.) are based primarily on skills rather than just jobs. However, research by Deloitte shows that fewer than one in five organizations have successfully adopted skills-based talent practices to a significant extent. 

To make meaningful progress in skills-based talent practices, practitioners must experiment with different approaches and use cases that have the potential to unlock business and stakeholder value.  One use case is using skills as the basis for redeploying internal workers (e.g., those impacted by layoffs)— to other areas of the business where there is work demand. Redeployment decisions can be based on the extent to which an employee’s skills align with what’s required to perform the work effectively. And while an obvious choice for redeployment is to consider these impacted employees for open JOBS, another option is to consider these workers for WORKS TASKS that are disaggregated from jobs—an approach discussed by thought leaders such as 1) Ravin Jesuthasan and John Boudreau, 2) Sue Cantrell and Michael Griffiths, et al., and 3) Dave Ulrich.

This one-page editable worksheet can be used to help jumpstart an organization’s thinking on this topic. It provides a space to list roles under consideration, the types of meaningful tasks that make up those roles, the skills required to carry out those tasks, and employees who likely have the skills to perform those tasks effectively. While this simple worksheet has limitations due to it not being scalable, it could be a basic first step towards building the capability of task-based work planning and skills-based talent practices.  

Need to stay updated on the organizations that have announced job cuts and layoffs since the start of 2023?  Here is a tracker to help you stay informed.