The Fortune CEO Initiative Recap with Dr. Frida Polli & Aneel Bhusri

Jordan Ingersoll
November 23, 2020

(From the Fortune Live Media’s Website): “From the group’s inception in December 2016, members of The FORTUNE CEO Initiative have shared practices and strategies to address important social, cultural and environmental issues. This year, harnessing the strong spirit of collaboration kindled in response to the COVID-19 crisis, the CEO Initiative leaders doubled down to craft recommendations for their peers on how corporate leaders should address these critical issues….Over the course of the past four months, more than 250 leaders participated in the work streams. Time and again, the conversations in every group circled back to several central themes—purposeful collaboration will be imperative on the path forward, elevating support for diversity and inclusion in the C-suite is imperative, and taking action on climate change is a responsibility no CEO or business leaders can ignore.”

As part of this event, Aneel Bhusri, Co-founder and Co-CEO of Workday, and Dr. Frida Polli, CEO of pymetrics, were featured in a working group discussion to share their recommendations for workforce redesign. Continue reading for their takeaways: 

Build a Resilient Workforce 

COVID-19 has enhanced the digital gap due to the accelerated pace at which businesses are transforming their technology. The crisis has also displaced millions of people out of work, exacerbating issues within the global workforce. 

Businesses have a responsibility to reinvest in displaced workers to help find new employment opportunities, in addition to measuring and credentialing their skills. Building a resilient workforce in the wake of COVID-19’s disruption is not only best for business, but is also the socially responsible thing to do. 

Create New Pathways

Companies need to rethink the way they hire talent and train their workforce to better connect displaced workers with new opportunities. To do so, the working group recommended several pathways. The first recommendation was to implement recruitment and promotion strategies that focus on metrics, such as test-based assessment on hard and soft skills, which create value across industries instead of traditional metrics, such as past experience and degrees. Their second recommendation is to design programs that aim to “train up” workers who may be shifting from one industry or role to another. Third, the working group expressed that companies should commit to implementing more on-the-job training and mentorships for all employees. The last recommendation for a new pathway for employees is to make re-skilling and redeployment a priority, specifically at the C-suite level, and utilize platforms that match employees to new opportunities. 

To view a clip from the live session, please click here!