In recent years many organisations have realised they need to find alternative ways of building a workforce that can deliver their business strategy, the old “hire and fire” methods of the past just don’t cut it anymore. So, they begin their foray into Strategic Workforce Planning.
Unfortunately, many of these programmes do not gain the traction required, and often start to falter before they can deliver the significant benefits that can be achieved.
These are the five most common mistakes made when initiating a SWP programme:
1. Lack of Leadership Support
SWP requires significant investment in time and resources, it is unlikely to be successful without strong senior leadership support. Business leaders need to be informed and committed to the programme, so they are confident to make tough decisions when required.
2. Failure to Engage Stakeholders
SWP is a collaborative effort that involves multiple stakeholders across the organisation. Engaging key stakeholders, such as HR, Finance, business leaders and IT ensures the specialist support is there when required and these teams recognise they are a part of the wider solution.
3. Focusing Too Narrowly
SWP is a broad-based approach that considers the organisation’s overall goals and objectives. Focusing too narrowly on specific departments or roles, or being too operational, leads to a short-term tactical view that doesn’t address the organisation’s overall long-term goals and objectives.
4. Over-reliance on data
Data is an essential component of SWP, but it cannot be the only factor to consider. Organisations that are too preoccupied with the data often lose sight of the human element of their workforce. It’s important to inform and include the employees along the way so that all angles can be considered, as well as garnering support as the programme gathers momentum.
5. Failure to Adapt
SWP is an ongoing process that requires continuous evaluation and adjustment. Organisations that fail to adapt their plans to changing circumstances often struggle to achieve their goals. Relevant measures should be included as part of the implementation plan, and reviews scheduled to accommodate shifts in industry or organisational trends.
If you’d like to understand more, or have other questions regarding SWP, please visit https://www.strictlyworkforceplanning.com/
About the Author
Dave Burrows has over 30 years’ experience devoted to the delivery of data, reporting and analytics including 17 years focused on delivering people analytics and strategic workforce planning (SWP) in both London and Sydney.
In London he honed his craft at Deloitte, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland, before relocating to Australia in 2012 to lead the workforce analytics team at Commonwealth Bank of Australia where he won two CEO awards for delivering innovative solutions in people analytics.
Dave has helped many global organisations take their first steps into SWP and was most recently Director of Workforce Planning at Pearson where he set up the SWP function, implemented a methodology underpinned by six playbooks and provided hands-on coaching to clients.