Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Workforce planning: An important piece in building a successful organization

                                                                                  Dilep Misra 
                                                          Executive & Personal Coach

In present economic environment and Industrial scenario every organization need an effective workforce plan that will allow them to increase their productivity, Profitability and customer base, yet one that doesn’t threaten economic sustainability in the short term.

What Workforce planning is all about?

Workforce planning is strategic in nature and designed to forecast talent needs. Identify, recruit, develop, retain & redeploy key talent across the organization. The line managers are responsible for their respective workforce planning.

Workforce planning covers all forms of people working across the organization (includes full-time employees, part-timers, contractors, consultants, strategic partner labor, and outsourced labor).

Goals of Workforce Planning:

Workforce planning aims at achieving following organizational goals:
  1. Develop more engaged & motivated workforce
  2. Reduce labor costs without having negative impact on productivity & Profitability
  3. Identify and prepare leaders for future openings.
  4. Immediately fill up key vacant positions with right talent.
  5. Maintain a flexible contingent workforce.
  6. Proactively move talent internally to maximize the return on talent.
  7. Help in retention of key talent.
  8. Increase the overall productivity of the workforce.
  9. Forecasting the future need of key talent and availability of capable talent in the organization.
  10. Succession planning and leadership development.
  11. Forecast future talent hiring plans.
  12. Help developing an effective merger and acquisition integration.
  13. Help creating a performing Organization.
Workforce planning Model:

Workforce Analysis- Have a clear understanding of the organization’s business plan its strengths and weaknesses and factors responsible for current and future workforce demand and supply.
Forecast future needs- Determine future manpower needs based on the organizations business plan, likely vacant of key positions and assessment of manpower capability.

Analyse Gaps- Identify the current & future manpower gap with the help of workforce analysis and forecasting.

Develop Strategy- Draw strategy for designing specific plans that will enable developing and maintaining capable workforce in the organization.
Implement Strartegy- Execute specific plans & programs as per the workforce strategy. This will enable the organization in achieving its business goals.

Monitor and Evaluate- Monitor the implementation to evaluate effectiveness and impact of the workforce planning.
Workforce planning Actions:

The workforce plans are mostly developed for a short period (2-3 years) and then implemented gradually.

  • Identifying key positions, key individuals and key skill sets, that will have the most business impact during the next two years.
  • Focus on retention, redeployment, and development efforts based on the most impactful positions, business priority to fill the key position.
  • Develop capability of reducing headcount in the less priority positions
  • Plan to identify & develop right people (based on competency matrix) to take charge of the Key positions when needed
  • Keeping the cost effectiveness & Quality consistency in mind Plan to outsource or mechanise activities wherever possible.
  • Develop a proactive redeployment process and plan to move your top performers and highly skilled individuals out of less essential business units to units and jobs where they can have a greater impact.
  • Never allow your top performers to leave you even during the tough economic times. They are the people who can successfully steer your company to grow profitably even during the tough times.
  • For retaining your key talents first identify the “bad Managers” responsible for attrition. Identify things that excite and frustrate key talents. Draw an action plan for increasing their level of excitement, challenge, learning, and opportunity within the firm. This will help you to retain your key talents.
  • To address the leadership gap develop an effective Succession plan for your organization.
 Final Thoughts:

A well thought workforce planning strategy can help the organization in meeting its business goal. It will also help to create a motivating and performing environment in the organization.


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