The Mexico-based Alfa Corporativo has a lot going on.
The Mexico-based Alfa Corporativo has a lot going on. The conglomerate has four business groups: Alpek (petrochemicals), Nemak (aluminum auto components), Sigma (refrigerated food) and Onexa (telecommunications). It runs production facilities in 16 countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia, and it markets products in more than 40 countries.
Recently, the company merged its four autonomous entities under one Softscape human capital management platform to facilitate succession planning efforts. Alfa Human Capital Projects Manager Veronica Elizondo Ortiz said she hopes the consolidation will not only elevate the company’s view of the HR function but also enable the seamless, effortless movement of talent around the organization.
“We have the unique opportunity to have different markets train our people to have transferable abilities,” she said. “The leaders of the conglomerate want to play chess with our human capital to their best advantage. For that, you need to be able to see your playing field. If you’re not able to see the good and bad parts of everyone in the company, it’s very hard to plan succession.”
Before implementing the new platform, Ortiz said Alfa lost a lot of management-level talent, and unable to find a growth opportunity within their current company, many employees left the organization.
Now, it’s far more common for employees to jump from one company to another, expanding their experience level and skill set via promotion without leaving the organization. Ultimately, this will provide Alfa with a cache of more skilled leaders at the top.
By the time the platform is rolled out in every company, which Ortiz said should happen by the end of next year, Alfa will be able to gather data to build company objectives for the new year, gain a clear, nine-box rating picture of the key players and what kind of development they need.
“We want to use that mining of information to create new training programs specifically for leadership or organizational skills,” Ortiz said. “We recognize that becoming a leader does not happen overnight — we’re used to someone going up the company ladder. You become your boss’ direct report and occupy his space, but we never ask ourselves if what we’re teaching the people behind us is the correct thing to do. It’s what we learned to do, but is it the correct way to lead? We’re not sure if that person has the right skills or ever knew how to lead an organization, or if that just got cascaded down.”