Proper workforce shapes lucrative businesses. Taking care of employees, identifying their personal goals and aligning them with the expectations you have for your business is what constitutes success. Ever pondered on the fact why do so many businesses start, only to fail within a certain timeframe? Why many companies have abysmal employee levels?
Or, let’s dig to the core. Why, according to various statistics, only 25 to 30% of employees feel connected with their business? Or satisfied with their role as a part of the workforce?
The answer lies within bad workforce planning in businesses, spreading its effect on the whole infrastructure of a company. Glancing over that important factor will ensure your employees won’t:
Feel connected to what you do: your business objectives (short and long-term), overall mission, day-to-day operations.
Feel motivated as a part of the workforce because they don’t receive the appropriate acknowledgement of their efforts and overall performance. As a result, their skills deteriorate and decrease your output and competitive side.
Properly help maintain a beneficial team environment, with clear responsibilities for every employee and proper intercommunication between team members.
A failure in workforce planning in businesses, every of these factors can sink your company to the bottom. Let’s see how you can avoid stepping in a workforce planning quicksand.
Step 1: Gauging the environment
Workforce planning in businesses starts with taking a close look at events unfolding on both the macro level of the whole industry and the micro level of your company. Remember: your employees are the backbone of your business, but it is you, the owner, who should lead them. In order for them to know what can they actually do, you need to present them with some objectives. And objectives come after you have gauged the environment properly.
There are two types of environment that matter for proper workforce planning in businesses: external and internal.
The external environment is the macro level we spoke of. You’re looking at the big picture here. What are the current challenges, trends, shifts in your industry? What can you see at a local or national level, or at a global one? Depending on the type of your business, the external environment will be different. However, you absolutely need to present your workforce with a coherent, extensive rundown on what the external circumstances surrounding your business are.
The internal environment might be a bit easier for you to gauge, as you’re looking at the inside details of your business. You need a proper assessment of the goals of your company and the business planning you have set in motion. How does your vision tie to the specifics of the external environment? Can you tackle delivering services (or products) on par with the current market trends? In case of any open initiatives or sources (in your country or on a global scale) of funding for your business, which of these can you secure? How does your workforce capability fare if you give it a shot, do you risk overstretching your output potential?
After gauging the two separate types of environment in workforce planning in businesses, you need to place them next to each other. Analyze what “clicks” together, so you have a good basis for moving on to the next step of intelligent workforce planning. That would be…
Step 2: Assessing your actual workforce
Nailing down the true profile of your workforce is the single most important things in workforce planning for businesses. If you underestimate or overestimate your team’s skills and output, you’re putting your projects and clients at risk – and through that, your company too. Assessing the actual potential of your workforce stems from a thorough evaluation of the workforce you have now and the workforce you want to have in the future. The link between these two is what you actually want to achieve with your services or products.
Take a look at your current day workforce, every single team member in your company. What are their current skills? How do they complement each other? What challenges do they face – on an individual plane, or as a team? Is there a new competency that might help them and boost your performance among your competitors? Do they need additional trainings or certifications in order to reach that competency?
Then, make an attempt to branch out to the future. What is the profile of your future workforce? What services or products do you plan on dishing out – short-term or long-term? Any significant projects, initiatives or clients you look forward to landing? Think of the external enviroment here too: what is the future of your industry? What will the up-and-coming trends require of your employees? How should your workforce’s skills evolve to meet industry demands – will they devaluate with time and how can you escape that?
There’s a very important factor in workforce planning in businesses: forget about counting the number of your employees. Instead, start counting the valuable skills your team has – and what can you do to cultivate them to meet future market challenges.
Step 3: Closing it all
You have connected both external and internal environment; thrown the bridge between your workforce’s now and its future. In both of these steps, you have found gaps that need to be addressed. Then do so: address them. But do so in a calculated, methodical manner. Ensuring proper workforce planning in businesses means that after you have done your analysis, you prioritize the important things and come up with a plan.
This plan might shape up as being a nightmare, we guarantee that. You need to think of how your company fits in the future of the industry and how every single one of your employees does so too. Plan different scenarios. Theoretize and gauge what steps will take you to the maximum outcome in every single variation. Pinpoint your businesses aspirations and what would it take to turn them into reality. Work closely with your HR department and your team while doing so: you all are a part of the organism of your business.
Workforce planning in businesses comes features a lot of challenges. In a way, it’s very similar to tackling contemporary project management challenges – a topic we’ve covered before. We’re currently working hard on providing you with a Workforce Planning module to help you out on your way to nailing down these 3 steps of managing you workforce. Until then, you can check out Cronforce with a free trial and see the other ways we can improve the output of your team members – and empower your business along with that.
The Cronforce.com Team