We are currently seeing a rapid change to the Australian workforce and economy with ongoing environmental and social impacts seeing businesses having to change and adapt more quickly than ever before, technology advancements replacing human labour, increasing customer expectations, legislative and regulatory changes, demographic shifts and shortages of skilled and qualified workers. These immense changes raise many organisational and human resources challenges now and for the future.
People form the foundation of any business and its more important than ever before to have an agile, diverse workforce that can respond accordingly and still deliver on customer expectations.
How can you assess and develop your workforce now and for the future?
Strategic workforce planning will help you put a system in place to proactively align the long-term goals of your business with your future workforce needs. It will ensure you have the right people, in the right roles and identify opportunities to further develop your team’s skills and behaviours or recruit if required to deliver core customer outcomes.
A strategic workforce plan will be slightly different depending on the type of business, industry and what is expected of the workforce to meet that business’s particular goals. The core requirements of a workforce plan remain the same; to assess and develop your people capabilities to be adaptive to change and meet the future needs of your business.
Why is workforce planning so important?
To be prepared for the future you need to assess and understand what might be required from your greatest asset – your people. Creating a workforce plan and putting it into action can positively impact your business in more ways than one.
— Improves employee engagement – if your people see a plan for their future, they will be motivated to achieve success in their roles and will form a deeper commitment to the business.
— Provides an understanding of any skill gaps and builds a pipeline of what talent you may need to acquire to reach your future goals.
— Continuously reviewing your current and future business needs, will help you stay ahead of changes to your industry, technology, legislation and regulations and identify any compliance related issues.
— Allows a more diverse and gender balanced workforce which has seen to provide greater innovation.
— Making more efficient and informed decisions based on metrics and success measures a workforce plan provides.
A workforce plan is crucial in these times of uncertainty and rapid change. It takes time but is a valuable process that can be the difference between competing businesses and being able to adapt quickly to the changing environment.