If this year has taught us anything, it is that change is an inevitable part of our lives, and in order to thrive and survive, businesses need to be readily flexible to adapt.
The COVID Pandemic may have forced us to re-structure the way that we work but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s important that during this slower period, we take the opportunity to be proactive; take the time to both reflect and re-evaluate where your business stands and what direction you want to steer it towards.
So how do we go about doing this?
The key is workforce planning.
Workforce planning allows businesses to build their capabilities in a way that makes them responsive to change. It’s a process of routinely assessing and re-assessing your strategic goals in the context of current external and internal risk and opportunity factors, while also providing a clear picture of what capabilities you need to perform and thrive. By looking at the intersection between both your business strategy and your people strategy, you will find that you will be able to realign your company to sustainably manage the demand and supply levels of labour, even during a crisis.
But why should we focus on workforce planning now?
The benefits of workforce planning are undeniable and plentiful. By focusing on understanding the capabilities you have, rather than the jobs themselves, you are able to see how those skills can be translated into other areas. It allows you to align and maximize the impact of talent management and identify the areas of development that are worth investing in.
On top of this, workforce planning builds agility and responsiveness. It makes you more adaptive to fast paced innovation and technological changes, government policies and other external forces. Particularly in a crisis like this pandemic, businesses need to respond to more than just the health aspects. Technology has the ability to allow us to work smarter rather than harder if we let it. Businesses have already seen the benefits of workplace flexibility and outsourcing as a result of COVID.
Strategic workforce planning should be a part of your HR operating rhythm. It’s one of the few tools that gives you the ability to plan for a sustainable future, while maintaining your current operations. If you integrate your action plans into all other business, people and financial planning processes, you will have a robust foundation that allows your business to withstand any crisis.
A-HA’s top tips to turning a crisis into a catalyst for positive change:
- Think Reinvention
- Start with capabilities (not jobs)
- Approach with a growth mindset
- Build new capabilities + team behaviours
A-HA are experts at partnering with businesses to create a robust workforce plan. Do you need help with your workforce planning? Get in touch!