As leaders and managers, you might have invested your time mostly in generating revenues and coming up with concrete marketing plans. But have you ever thought about what makes your organization tick? Yes, your employees (workforce as others would say). They are your tangible assets and any organization's backbone.
However, many organizations are not aware of the current workforce gaps, which can hinder business growth. And to correctly measure it, workforce planning is crucial for any organization. Not only does it define clear cut objectives, but it also works like a pivot, which drives the management to focus more on the workforce.
To begin with, let us first understand what workforce planning means.
What is Workforce Planning?
Workforce planning is the process of continuously analyzing, assessing the needs, and focusing on the organization's talent management. Such a plan helps an organization ensure that they have the right people with the right skills in their suitable jobs so that the strategic and long-term goals and objectives are met without any hiccups.
Now that we have a general idea of what workforce planning is, executing it is a task that requires patience. It comes with its challenges and below are some of them-
With the overall goals to achieve, workforce planning can pose a burden at times because it requires a good focus, and time management becomes difficult.
Detailing it with all the requirements might delay the launch of the program. It is because the organizational needs keep changing quite frequently and without any prior warning signs.
The widespread understanding of your workforce is a huge task, and with the rush to move forward, it poses an obstacle in our path to achieve proper workforce planning.
Getting on board and collaborating with everyone in the organization with the same vision of a successful program is a hard feat to achieve. Everyone has their ideas and visions to follow, which can become a barrier in the long run.
Facing challenges should not stop the idea of installing a proper workforce plan. It comes down to all the countermeasures you can think about and work your way around the problems.
5 Steps to building an effective Workforce Planning
To develop a good program, you need to start with concrete steps that will allow you to build foundations. Below are a few of the steps which you can work with.
1. Create a blueprint
For every program to become successful in the long run, it is necessary to lay out a strong foundation. The same thing goes for workforce planning as well. Outline your strategic goals and objectives which you want to achieve and prepare guidelines that everyone can follow. It might sound like a huge task, but once you put in place and align it with everyone's comfortable space becomes more manageable for everyone to follow up.
This will give you the much-needed headstart towards a successful installation of the program within the organization.
2. Analyzing the Gap
The workforce keeps on changing in terms of both quality and quantity. The onboarding and attrition of employees determine the quantity factor that an organization does periodically. The quality factor is determined by the capabilities and performance of the workforce. The turnover rate is based on these factors and how much they impact the organization.
Keeping these two factors in mind, there might come a time when the organization will face the need to close these gaps. Gaps might include a targeted replacement, transition over time, development without hindering performance, highlighting the need for resources, attrition, and much more. This is why there is a proper need to analyze the workforce gap systematically, increasing the program's effectiveness.
3. Keeping check of the demand
Technology has been evolving every once in a while, which has made life easier for us. Along with it, your workforce will also need to evolve to keep up with the changes, which is why there will be a constant need for the demand for updated tools and equipment. And to keep up the high performance of your workforce, it becomes essential that you do a routine check of all the needs and requirements.
Once you have done a regular check, categorize them accordingly from the critical needs to lenient needs. This will help you to strategize your future business plans and how meeting the demands will affect the overall morale of the workforce in the long term.
4. Implementing Solutions
A proper workforce planning will need a manager first to understand the problems that the employees are facing. The first step you can do is ask the relevant questions to pinpoint the cause of the problem. Once you get to the root cause, you can think of different solutions and discuss it out with the team and your higher-ups. Then comes the stage where you will need to assess a solution and work around it. It all then becomes a trial and error test.
Once you come up with the best solution you can resort to, implement it strategically, and patiently wait for the results. If it bears positive results, your work will be done without any hiccups; however, if there are any shortcomings, you will need to work more, which will likely make the system more efficient in the long run.
After you have come up with a strategy and implementation plan of the program, you will need to assess it for a certain amount of time. This is an essential step because it will point out the flaws of the program. All the solutions and analyses will also come under monitoring because you would want to know how well it is going for you.
Once you monitor the program for a certain amount of time, you will be able to analyze it from the data generated for the given time frame. This will lead to a data-driven decision to improve the program, which will minimize the program's failure with fewer chances of having any loopholes.
To know more, listen to our podcast on why you need workforce planning in 2021.
Summing it up
While it may sound easy to talk about it, implementing might come with hiccups. However, if you have a strategy and a team in the same boat, it becomes much easier to enable the program. Plan your actions wisely, look into the future, and work accordingly, do not rush yourselves, and you will do just fine. Give everyone a chance to adapt to the new system, and you will be able to see the positive impact in due time.