Company Workforce Planning: How to Stay Ahead of Your Growth

Companies must thrive in order to stay competitive, and to do so means hiring the very best talent. Those that work in human resources may not be surprised to find that the industry has become more about talent strategy than ever before. HR professionals are often challenged to quickly fill a vacancy to meet the demand of new or expanding projects or clients. This short-term solution of a quick hire may solve a headcount issue, but serve the company negatively in the long-run.

To get – and stay – ahead of company workforce planning, we’re sharing how to develop an employee growth strategy, tackle strategic workforce planning and how to keep one step ahead of your competitor.

What does Talent Strategy Really Mean?
Hiring a new employee requires many different pieces to work in tandem for the hire to be the correct one and integrate smoothly within an organization. For companies to succeed, recruiting and retaining top talent is vital, and a thoughtful plan ensures the selection is spot-on. Without a forward-thinking plan and set of goals, companies are simply hiring to fill a gap and not to achieve their vision.

Strategic Workforce Planning
If you took a poll of CEOs and HR leaders asking them to define the term “workforce planning,” rarely would you receive the same answer. While what it looks like may vary, at its core, strategic workforce planning requires you to think ahead and focus on what your company’s future will look like. The overall goal of developing and implementing this type of plan is to ensure that you have enough talent within the company with the right skills to achieve your business goals.

Plan for the Unpredictable
No one knows what the future of any business will look like, but it’s wise to have a proactive plan rather than a reactive one when it comes to talent. This effort is not a one-time project but a plan that you will work continuously on during the lifetime of your business. Company goals and objectives will shift along the way, and your strategic workforce plan will too.

What is Your Employment Brand?
Keeping your best people is no easy task. The demands of the workforce are changing as employees want to be a part of something bigger than their jobs. Employees are seeking to maximize their worth through monetary promotions or ways to grow with personal development opportunities and appreciate companies that give back to the community. A balance of both the employee experience and pride in the brand itself is needed in order to become that company that rises above. Identifying your brand and what it stands for will carry over to how and who you hire.

Rethink Your Organization Chart
Reflect on your current organization chart. Where can you effectively create new or combine current roles? Look for areas within your company’s structure that allow you to transform your current hierarchical design to one that might run more efficient. You may need to combine departments or even eliminate some workgroups to provide a more employee-focused ecosystem.

Stop Focusing on Headcount
When reviewing the employees in your company, are you focused on headcount or talent growth? Having an organizational shift from the former way of conducting hiring practices to this newer method is no easy task. Strategic workforce planning guides you to make strategic decisions based on capabilities and skills rather than the physical number of employees. For this change in operations to be a success, buy-in from leadership is essential to drive the goals-oriented way of thinking.

Tracking Progress
Advancing technology helps business owners track, report and analyze employee performances with ease to ensure current employees are on point. Predictive analytics can also be a helpful tool as they incorporate different techniques like data mining, statistics, and artificial intelligence to analyze an organization’s current data to predict the future so you can stay one step ahead.

Office Flexibility
The typical day of 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. is a thing of the past. Instead, younger employees want more flexible work options that allow them to meet their personal needs. For some, the opportunity to work remotely is important, while others need a more robust paid time off policy. Plan how your organization will adapt to the requests from the future workforce.

Next Steps
Through this planning process, you will know the make-up of your talent pool, their skill set and what skill sets your company lacks. Make your model adaptable rather than a stark change to your company’s current work environment. Once you are comfortable with this new way of thinking, you’re ready to take action and implement your strategy to predict and stay ahead of the future growth of your company and ultimately achieve your business goals with the right team in place.

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