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The consequences of not having a strategic workforce plan

Posted by David Ballinger on Sep 17, 2018 8:00:00 AM
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Strategic Workforce PlanningThere's a big difference between understanding what strategic workforce planning is and deciding that it's necessary for your company.

The concept of strategic workforce planning (SWP) didn't gain much attention until the 2000s, and career professionals have differing perceptions of and opinions on it. Some professionals find the idea of strategic workforce planning to be quite obvious while others view it as superfluous,

Whether you're leaning toward one of these extremes or you're living in no-man's-land and avoiding the idea altogether, it's time to take a closer look at strategic workforce planning and uncover the consequences of not implementing it at your company.

Structural disorder

Strategic workforce planning lays the groundwork for order at a company. With a foundation that's rooted in strategy and planning, a company is prepared to highs and lows however they may present themselves.

Without a plan, however, your company will struggle to achieve goals — or even set them in the first place. Companies that don't take strategic workforce planning seriously eventually crumble. For some organizations, the crumble is a fast fall as departments and processes spiral out of control; for others, it's a gradual decline as quality takes a backseat to profits; and for others it's an abrupt halt or apparent plateau before the drop. In the end, the result is the same  disorder.

Like one company put it, "Without proper planning, business strategy is just wishful thinking." And wishful thinking never did a company or its workforce any favors.

Financial downturns

Strategic workforce planning is uniquely beneficial for companies that frequently hire temporary or seasonal workers. Successfully maintaining a workforce that's constantly coming and going with projects and seasons requires strategic workforce planning. A company must be able to anticipate when they're going to hire new employees for upcoming projects or seasons and budget accordingly. 

It's not enough to simply forecast the busy season or foresee a big project, Leadership must have data that determines how many temp employees are required to get the necessary work done, how long temp roles are needed, and how much these hires will increase payroll.

Failure to financially plan for the ebb and flow of your workforce will result in serious financial losses.

Internal deterioration

Strategic workforce planning isn't just for a company's structural or financial stability, or even  for the CEO's peace of mind. It's also for the benefit of employees because without a strategic workforce plan, your workforce itself  the people who make up your company  will deteriorate.

Without SWP, a company is unable to establish KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). What do KPIs have to do with keeping your employees? A lot.

Employees benefit from KPIs because they serve as benchmarks to show employees what they should be doing in order to be successful in their position. Employees will also be able to experience a sense of achievement and satisfaction from observing the evidence of their successes. Ultimately, strategic workforce planning boosts morale, by engaging and empowering employees, while failure to implement SWP has the opposite effect.

Moving forward

If you haven't yet established a strategic workforce plan for your company, it's time to take that next step to move your company forward. OpSource offers Exclusive Managed Services to partner with companies like yours and assist HR managers in building and implementing a workforce plan that's strategic and effective. Contact us today to learn more!

Exclusive Managed Services from OpSource

Tags: Human Resources, Workforce Management