ups and downs of the economic cycles have had a tremendous impact on small
businesses. This may also have impacted
your workforce in positive and negative ways.
Being able to proactively hone in on talent within and outside your
company allows you to more efficiently forecast future needs.
have discussed workforce planning in previous newsletters but putting it in
motion and maintaining the plan is the most difficult piece to accomplish. There
is no standard format or formula that each company follows. It may contain only a succession plan or be a
full restructure of your company with a recruiting plan. Each of the elements of workforce planning-
recruiting, retention, redeployment, leadership and employee development are
easy to implement on their own but putting them together to have a "Workforce Plan"
can be a daunting task.
can agree that business can be very cyclical.
There are periods of growth and periods of recession; which tend to
occur every couple of years depending on the industry and economic
marketplace. Preparing an approach for
these different phases is a way to lessen the impact or prepare for abundance
when it comes to the talent in your company.
What impact can a Workforce Plan
have on your company?
surprises by having a rapid talent replacement strategy - the capability to rapidly define
vacant positions due to sudden or unavoidable turnover so your company doesn't
miss a beat.
preparation for business cycles -Smooth out your business cycles by having
processes in place that can ramp up or down your talent inventory to work
effectively during good and lean times. This can come in 3 ways:
delays - to
ensure the company can meet its goal by employing the right amount of people
the right skills-
having the brightest people for the job with the right skills efficiently
operating and an optimal level to meet your goals
Employee development-being able to ramp up quickly on
new projects because the company has trained and/or cross-trained its workforce
to meet new project needs
Early problem identification -If you have a way to identify a
shortfall or abundance of talent, it will be easier to minimize the potential
damage. Having a process in place to
"alert" manager of these issues can make things seem minor instead of turning
into a major crisis.
Prevention of costly issues -problems can be costly and
expensive to fix. The following
strategies are ideal:
Lower turnover rates - employees are continually being
groomed for new opportunities that fit in their career interests and
Lower labor costs -capability is developed to
rapidly reduce labor costs or the replacement of labor without the need for
large scale layoffs.
Managing headcount-trying to avoid the need for
layoffs ensures the company won't have a surplus of headcount
So you want to put the plan
To realize those impacts listed above, work
through the following plans and forecast to put these in place at your company.
for predicting upcoming changes in demand and the supply of talent. This is
broken down by:
a. Estimate increases or decreases
in company growth, output and revenue.
b. Estimate the change of talent
needs as a result of the growth.
c. Projections of future vacancies
d. Estimate of internal and
external availability of talent
Talent Action Plan - outlines what actions need to
take place by HR, Owners or Managers. The plan is designed to attract, retain,
redeploy and develop the talent that the company needs in order to meet the
future needs. The goals include who is responsible, the budget, timetable and
Integration Plan All stakeholders and managers
must be in agreement and have a responsibility to integrating the plan. Metrics
may need to be put in place to ensure that the follow through is taking
order to be successful, the plan needs to be fully implemented into the
company. The day to day operations of
the company can quickly overcome a well thought out plan when it comes to
executing it. This needs to become the
company's new way of thinking including how it's communicated, supported and
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