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Workplace planning tips

All Action, No Plan? It’s time to get organised for SUCCESS!

A business’s workforce is one of its greatest assets and there is a business imperative to plan it properly. Establishing a Workforce Plan can be a bit overwhelming for managers and business owners, particularly if you haven’t attempted it before, but there is tremendous value in the process. It improves decision making, how the workforce is invested in and ultimately improves business effectiveness.

It’s about knowing your business and positioning your workforce to best deliver outcomes while managing workforce-related risks. Below we look at a few tips to set yourself up when it comes to managing your people, risks and funding position. This is by no means an extensive approach to a complex task, but a place to get the cogs turning.

Why do it?

Running a business without a plan is a bit like making a complex dessert without a recipe, it may turn out okay but it isn’t going to be outstanding and could well be a total flop. A Workforce Plan allows you to deliver the best possible outcomes by outlining your business and funding framework, workforce-related risks and desired outcomes clearly. Risks can occur in a range of forms and are influenced by geographic location, internal characteristics like culture and the nature of your business and competition.

Tips for getting your workforce planning underway

Assessing your future workforce demands

  • Focussing on now and the next one to four or more years:
  • What results does your business need to achieve?
  • What does your business require from its workforce in terms of numbers, capabilities and experience, to deliver its outcomes?
  • How will your income and/or funding change over the period (one year, over two years etc)
  • At what point in time does your workforce need to be based in particular locations to achieve your goals now and into the future (1-4+ years)?
  • At what points in time are parts of your workforce needed (for example, yearly, seasonally, peak times)
  • For optimal business delivery, what times of the year are parts of your workforce needed or can be scaled back? ie. Consider annual vs. seasonal and peak times.
  • What internal and external factors will impact on future workforce demand? Think about the competitive environments you operate in.
  • What are the likely business scenarios you could face that could have implications for workforce demand?

Gap filling

  • Can you close any gaps by utilising your employees differently via job redesign, restructure of teams, redeployment, promotion or the like?
  • Can you train existing staff to support changed skill requirements?
  • Can you build partnerships with others, collaborate or share resources?
  • Can you close gaps externally and how do you attract and recruit new people?
  • What is best practice in addressing these gaps?

There are quite a few more elements in forming a robust Workforce Plan than the above few prompters. For example, setting out what your business currently owns in terms of employee numbers and and employees’ complete set of capabilities. And having a forecast of workforce capacity and capability shortages based on current profiles  of age, tenure, separations, retirements are also of value in the process.

HRM Contracting & Consulting’s experienced HR specialists have assisted many local businesses in preparing or refining Workforce Plans which have made a big difference in day to day operations and achieving broader business goals.

Get your plan sorted. 

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