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    Why Strategic Workforce Planning & Management s a Game-Changer For Organisations

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Why Strategic Workforce Planning & Management s a Game-Changer For Organisations

Originally Posted: Nasscom

In a volatile work environment when The Great Resignation is here and — very real, we need to rethink workforce planning and management and push the needle further. In order to tackle existing challenges, businesses need to think intelligently about the future of work and workplaces and implement strategic approaches. In this exclusive article, Ankit Rana — SVP and Head of Hi-Tech Solutions at Polestar Solutions breaks down the importance of workforce planning and management, challenges, and how we identify opportunities for growth.

Ever since the onset of the pandemic, the world of work has been in a constant state of flux: technical transformations, talent wars, the rise of remote work, and fierce competition. It goes without saying that organisational needs are no longer the same. It's now become important for business leaders to plan ahead by creating a collaborative work environment and manage its greatest asset — its people, their attrition/retention and productivity boost employee morale and engagement, all of which directly impact an organization’s top and bottom line and profitability.

Understanding Workforce Planning & Management

Given the current challenges in the IT and IT services industry, it is especially important for organisations to assess their workforce’s issues mapped against the needs of their greatest assets, determine actions to respond to business/ industry challenges and plan for the future. How is this possible, you ask?: Workforce planning and Management.

If an organisation can optimize workforce planning by analyzing, forecasting and planning the supply and demand of their organisation —such as what is lacking, and bolstering that lack with talent management initiatives such as identifying the right time to hire, attract, (and retain) the right people, can they move towards a sustainable work environment. But while organisations want to introduce positive change, workforce planning is riddled with challenges. Let’s dive in to understand some of the existing challenges.

Challenges with Workforce Planning & Management

There are a considerable number of factors involved that need to be considered when there is a need to manage the workforce. For example, currently, the costs associated with replacing a resource - hiring, training, and arranging for assets are skyrocketing. Organisations are facing a slew of other challenges as well which is resulting in them falling behind due to;

Lack of awareness: In many instances, companies lack awareness of their workforce gaps and needs which limits the execution of business strategy. A weak talent pipeline can shake an organisation to its very core. Additionally, lack of awareness of short-term and long-term workforce initiatives results in companies reacting to their current challenges/ scenarios instead of acting proactively.

Inability to make predictions: A lot of organisations also struggle with the ability to forecast future skill needs. In Black Swan events such as Covid-19, it becomes even more difficult to make predictions, and that’s exactly what we witnessed with a lot of IT companies.

Lack of tools and processes: It is important to have workforce management tools and processes that are available to the strategic human management team to access in order to make sense of the shortcomings and how to plan ahead. Right from planning to projections, identifying gaps and what kind of fixes will help address those gaps, data analytics, tools and reports go a long way in serving as a solid foundation. Planning for the Future with Strategic Workforce Planning

So, how can organisations move past the challenges of our times? The answer lies in incorporating a strategic workforce planning framework that provides a collaborative, connected, and data-driven approach to help organisations arrive at answers and enable decision-makers to get a bird’s eye view of key issues, needs, and opportunities.

Due to continuous changes in an organisations’ workforce and workload, it is important to effectively manage changes and deliver business goals. Eventually, this will have positive implications on business success and finances enabling organisations to plan better for ‘what-if’ scenarios.

For example, with strategic workforce planning, it becomes easy to do iterative scenario analysis and make relevant changes to top-line and bottom-line budgetary decisions. It also becomes easier for organizations to manage compensation for the workforce as well as track how they will be paid. When an organization introduces compensation modeling, they can arrive at planning decisions, monitor KPIs, control costs and predict future overheads — information that is not just useful to the human resources teams but also to the leadership team.

With strategic workforce planning, organisations can achieve the following, and a whole lot more;

  • use a data-driven approach as well as collaborative planning tools to analyze, forecast, and plan workforce strategies and connect them to overall business strategy
  • Introduce predictive planning models to receive actionable insights on granular workforce supply risks and create demand-based workforce scenario planning
  • Eliminate siloed planning approach and connect human capital management to the organization's strategic financial and operational objectives and goals
  • Take into consideration various scenarios and deliver forecasts that are timely and relevant

Optimizing the way an organisation manages their workforce and workplace strategies is key to laying a sustainable roadmap for a game-changing organisation.

About the author:

Ankit Rana — SVP and Head Hi-Tech Solutions at Polestar Solutions

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