Last week’s post had us describing what workforce planning is and whether or not your company may want to consider putting a plan together.
This week’s post will discuss the steps to take when implementing your plan and also will touch on how you can decide if you really want to do one.
Step 1) We’ll assume you’ve decided to go ahead and put together a strategic workforce plan. If so, be sure to let everyone in your company know of your plans. Nothing can start the rumors buzzing around about “layoffs” and “firings” more quickly than a “workforce plan” being implemented that “know one” knew about.
Definitely send out an e-mail or company-wide memo about your plans. If possible, hold mini-workshops throughout the company where you can discuss the plan and why it’s good for your company and its employees. You’ll also be able to allay any fears your employees may have at this time.
Step 2) Create an accountability plan. Your workforce plan will not work unless all departments do their part. Consider having participation be a part of your employee annual review process during the implementation period. Also worth thinking of: offering a bonus incentive plan for those who do exceed expectations.
Step 3) Expect challenges. Expect pullback and retreat — many people in your organization will be scared of the changes, believing that jobs may be at risk. Stay positive yet listen — really listen — to concerns.
Step 4) Speaking of listening, welcome suggestions from your firm’s employees. Your company’s roster of talent is full of terrific ideas. Welcome their input. Take those you think are viable and which may improve either the plan or the implementation of it and use them.
Step 5) Understand that your plan has something akin to a “life of its own.” You’ll undoubtedly see the need to change and modify your plan as you go along. Be sure to meet regularly with the team you’ve put together to lead the plan’s implementation to brainstorm new ideas and to meet challenges that come up.
You may be really wondering if your company even needs a workforce plan. If so, consider this: workforce plans can cut your labour costs and increase productivity and flexibility.
Even if you think your “small” company is too small for a strategic workforce plan, putting such a plan together will mean you’ll have to think about your company’s future: the goals and the challenges it may face. Done correctly, you may look back on the creation and implementation of your workforce plan as the best thing you ever did for your business.
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