Workforce Strategy: Future-Proofing Your Team

Today’s workplace is complex and chaotic, making it crucial to have a workforce strategy. It’s all about ensuring you have the right people in place to meet business objectives.

Never has it been more critical to create and optimise a good workforce. It’s one of the essential parts of a successful business strategy.

In this article, we’ll take a look at workforce strategy, including the stages that go into developing a workforce strategy.

 

What is Workforce Strategy Planning?

Workforce strategy planning is crucial to modern businesses, especially for the hybrid workplace. The leaders in the hybrid workplace must find better ways to meet business goals and improve their employees’ experience.

According to PWC , about 85% of a company’s costs can be related to its workforce. That’s a large chunk of the budget, making it necessary to ensure workforce development is more efficient. And with the issues that go with hybrid work, many businesses have started asking more questions than in the past:

  • Where should work be done?
  • How should work be done?
  • How should we support our workforce?
  • How do we increase collaboration when employees have varying hybrid schedules and/or work remotely?

Strategic workforce planning helps to answer these questions. The goal is to ensure the company has the right roles and job functions in its workforce, without redundancies. The strategy should also include a plan for upskilling current employees and determining what new roles the company may need in the future.

In addition, strategic workforce planning should also include analysing current facility management maintenance strategies to determine how well facility management professionals (FMs) support current initiatives.

Workforce planning is a bit like headcount planning +. It’s more than figuring out what people and roles are needed in the organisation. It’s also about determining whether employees have the right schedules, tools, and workplaces to be engaged and productive.

Another figure to consider—according to a Harvard Business Review survey, about 73% of CEOs report not being able to meet their business goals due to poor workforce planning. Think of what they could have accomplished by practising workforce strategic planning.

 

What’s the Difference Between a Workforce Strategy & Human Resource Strategy?

Actually, workforce strategy and human resource strategy are two separate issues. It’s true that human resources will be involved in workforce strategy, but the two duties are entirely different from one another.

Workforce strategy is determining what types of skills will be required from the workforce in the future and then determining the steps needed to ensure you meet these requirements.

HR professionals do play a role in this process; however, they will work with other decision-makers, including space planners, FMs, and leadership. This is why more businesses are encouraging collaboration between these departments in the workplace.

When it comes to human resources strategy, this is a long-term plan and approach that HR uses to ensure the people in the business are contributing to the long-term goals of the company. HR also works to foster a positive company culture. This may include additional strategies, such as performance management, talent management, reskilling, and more.

 

What are the Benefits of Effective Workforce Strategy Planning?

There are many benefits to effective workforce strategy planning, including the following:

  • Improved efficiencies
  • Better demographics
  • Enhanced cost management
  • Easier & streamlined talent acquisition & attraction
  • Better retention strategy
  • Skills gap reduction
  • Skills development
  • And many more

Each of these benefits results in competitive advantages for the businesses using this planning process. In addition, the right workforce strategy can also determine what metrics and workplace data a business should collect to measure progress and efficiency. The goal of using a workforce planning strategy is to take a proactive stance on managing the workforce rather than struggling to keep up and relying on reactions. Staying proactive keeps your company ahead of the competition.

Workforce challenges can drag down all levels of the company. When employees don’t have the right support, they’re not able to finish their tasks, and they don’t feel connected to the company and its culture.

 

Questions to Answer

Here are some questions to ask that must be answered to create a workforce strategy plan:

  • Would the employee experience be improved by offering flexible seating or maybe fully remote work?
  • Are there enough on-demand collaboration spaces in the office?
  • Is any new hybrid workplace technology creating an effective smart workplace, or just adding more noise?
  • What incentives would encourage more office use, helping to support top leadership in their efforts to drive culture?

These are a few of the questions that companies must answer; HR and FMs can help to answer these essential questions. Workforce strategy planning puts the focus on long-term concerns instead of short-term issues. This may include topics such as optimising workplace experience and improving the hybrid office for those who use it.

Developing an effective workforce strategy plan and informed decision-making can help companies meet their strategic business goals. They don’t have to sacrifice company culture or employee experience in this process.

 

What are the Stages of Workforce Strategy Planning?

Workforce strategy planning is a unique process that will vary for each company; however, most businesses will use the following stages to develop their plan.

 

1. Define Business Goals

The first step is to determine what your current and future objectives are in regard to your team. This step requires excellent communication and objectives from leaders. These should also be combined with advanced workplace analytics, which shows the current state of the workforce. In addition, doing this step makes it much easier to benchmark in the future.

 

2. Analyse the Current Workforce

The second step involves determining the current job roles within the organisation and who fills these roles. This evaluation includes analysing trends in the workforce and projecting how this will change over time.

Here are some questions to consider for this step:

  • Does your current workforce support your business goals?
  • Can or should they be rearranged to work better?
  • Will you have a challenging time filling upcoming positions, and if so, what can you do to boost recruitment efforts?

Many companies are developing flexible working and hybrid working to attract and retain workers. They’re finding this helpful in attracting younger generations to the workplace.

 

3. Analyse Demand

The third step is to analyse demand (also called demand analysis). This is about determining what your business will need from current and future employees. Decision makers will need to have information about workloads, skill sets, and the number of employees needed to fill these roles.

This step also involves determining future changes in technology, policies, regulations, and customer base that could affect workload demand, as well as whether these changes will impact workloads.

 

4. Identify Gaps

Once you have a good understanding of your current workforce and what’s needed in the future, it’s time to determine whether there are any skill or competency gaps that may impact your business goals. Gap analysis is not only about finding gaps. It’s also about prioritising the gaps that will need to be filled first.

 

5. Implement Solutions

Once you have completed the analysis, HR and other departments can begin working on filling in the workforce gaps. It’s essential to remember that training and upskilling may be more beneficial than hiring new employees.

When this step is complete, it’s recommended that you start small. Test new strategies before implementing them across the entire company.

 

6. Monitor Progress

The final step is to monitor the progress and effectiveness of your workplace strategy plan. You may find that the plan requires some adjustments over time. That’s only natural. It’s a good idea for HR and other leaders in the company to establish KPIs to continuously measure efficiency in the workplace.

 

Summing It Up

Having a workforce strategy plan in place puts your business ahead of the competition. It’s also an excellent way to ensure that your company effectively meets its business goals now and in the future!

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