Workforce Planning: The Battle Room of HR

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The “Battle Room” referred here means - where team brainstorms for business approaches and way forward for growth and sustainability. In 2018, when companies are fighting for top talent; workforce planning is the battle room of HR. The workforce planning makes sure that human capital and talent management approach runs in sync with the business goals. Henceforth, it has topped the wish list of HR’s for years as they want to win this battle, but it has been consistently the most difficult tasks to achieve throughout.

Being an HR ask yourself few questions:

  • How is your business growing with respect to your competitors?
  • How frequently you keep a check at your headcount process?
  • Does your workforce fit to take on the challenges to accomplish short and long-term goals?
  • Does your workforce properly structured and composed to align with your business objectives?
  • Are you updated with the latest technologies, automated processes and other new inventions in the market?
  • Are your clients or customers happy with your deliverables?

70% of people must have answered “NO” which is quite discouraging for them being an HR.

“People help to execute- the strategy”. Workforce planning is a proactive approach which helps a recruiter to complete the business objective with

  • The Right People
  • At the Right Place
  • For The Right Time
  • At The Right Pay

Why planning matters?

Two critical advantages of workforce planning model for HR team and management:

  • Helps to review the organization's annual business plan and specified budget to deploy the workforce to deliver companies objective.
  • Provides the clear roadmap of succession planning by identifying and exploring with the real time data giving your business an edge in this competitive world.

5 simple steps to follow to plan workforce effectively

  • Strategic Planning and budgeting

What must we do exceptionally well to win? Gather all the information, prepare relevant data and analytics. Ask your agency to share their strategic plan. Ask your respective departments and teams to provide you their annual business plan and headcounts they will be requiring. Most planning is structured to be fit for 3-5 years’ window. A good practitioner knows there is never a fixed designed plan that needs to be executed. Iterations need to be done periodically as per the market instability, industry maturity, talent budget, technology adoption, business growth to remain on the right track.

This planning allows you to prepare budget projection leaving aside the guesswork. Budget is prepared keeping in mind the following points:

  • New hire count
  • Performance rating
  • Attrition rate
  • Retirement
  • Salary reviewand increments thereafter
  • Market trend

Make you plan and budget agile and iterative process.

  • Identify and analyze current workforce environment

Here comes the role of managers and mentors who needs to identify the skills that the current workforce lacks and how it can be bridged. Which are the positions we can do without to maximize the ROI and annual budget. How can we fill the critical skills gap by providing the additional training and programs to our existing talented workforce so that they can enhance in their role? Which roles are critical and can become bottleneck in the near future. Assess the roles and not the people in the roles. Do not forget to analyse the data with historical trends as well.

Map each position raised to your respective plan having job description that a team will be needing to accomplish the defined goals. Try to analyse the existing scenario and fit them by one department over another to retain them, if any. Also, identify where are we facing problems with attrition and how to control it.

All this analysis should be a living document as this is not a one-time activity and iterations should be done regularly.

  • Action Plan

After analyzing all the aspects, prepare an action plan. Discuss the allotted budget and headcounts with the recruiters and managers. Show them the annual business plan and strategies that have been finalized. Take ‘what’s their say’ on the plan and iterate it.

Invest in real-time reporting software which will help in tracking the employee’s productivity more accurately on regular basis. This may help in identifying the various issues that develops in an organization. Also, it will help to know the problems which do not even exist in reality but creating havoc among employees.

Inspire the department heads and managers making them understand the impact of their role. Managers should be equipped with tools and trainings allowing them to lead their team as they are the influencer, make them feel pride and honoured.

  • Talent Acquisition

List down the Job Titles with their JD’s (Job Description).  Announce the openings and spread over the social media. Purchase a good recruitment software to make hiring process transparent and easier. Conduct group discussions, one-on-one interviews, salary discussion smoothly. Getting an ideal candidate is quite difficult, try to hire a reliable and challenge-facing candidate.

  • Monitor and Evaluate the Plan

Monitor the action plan implemented with respect to its effectiveness, determine the metrics (actual result vs desired) result. Know where we are lacking behind, are we on right track and any adjustments required. Evaluate the implementation with strengths and weaknesses, re-prioritise and restructure the executed plan wherever necessary for a better company future.

Wrapping it up…

21st-century business strategies and tactics are unpredictable. To have a receptive workforce, the method that supports this workforce planning needs to be flexible in itself. It is required to support everyday operative planning, but also has the agile competence to do rapid scenario planning in key circumstances and definite contexts.

The aim is not to create the plan and stick to it, but to make strategies continuously so you can adapt rapidly when change does happen or when the prospect of a specific development occurring becomes great.

What’s going on in your Battle Room? Workforce planning is the most planned, strategic and continuous employee management activity to take place within an association.

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