6 Pitfalls to Workforce Planning: The Fifth and Sixth Pitfalls

The first four pitfalls have been covered. Now it’s time to share the last two, and most likely pitfalls of all …

Pitfall No. 5: Running Out of Steam; and

Pitfall lNo. 6: Planning for the Wrong Skill Sets

Regarding Pitfall No. 5: It should not escape the astute reader that sharing these last two “Pitfalls” has taken me more than three months to accomplish; this demonstrates just how important it is to implement one’s Workforce Plan once an organization has gone through the process of developing it! Time lost is energy lost! It also should be imminently clear that Workforce Planning requires time, attention to detail, commitment, and follow-through. An organization gains nothing by running out of steam at the 1-yard line; sunk planning costs can be a major expense to an organization.

Think of your Workforce Plan as a living organism, one that’s designed to start off taking baby steps. There’s no shame in beginning this way, with a small-scale Plan that’s intended to mature with time, taking into account the lessons learned along the way. At this point, we’re dealing with an effort that’s no different than implementing a good Business Plan.

To assure a timely and a noteworthy effort, one person should be assigned to implement and nurture your embryonic Workforce Plan. This responsibile person should regularly brief key stakeholders to facilitate evolution of your Plan. If these two actions are taken, the plan has a better chance of growing organically and maturing in a way that allows it to take on additional nuances. Its scope can expand over time, the Plan will have sufficient metrics to show ROI to the money-brokers, and in time larger budgets will be approved to recruit and further develop employees with the skill sets needed for future business and workforce changes.

Regarding Pitfall No. 6: Every organizational activity that’s implemented to improve business operations is figuratively (if not literally) considered a business process. Workforce Planning is no different. Afterall, the basis for Workforce Planning is the business strategy and the core workforce cababilities evolve from that strategy.

So it stands to reason that the person who drives development of an organization’s Workforce Plan should be an expert, someone who not only understands employee recruitment and development methods and practices but also possesses business acumen. This skill set can be difficult to find but it’s not unavailable! You just have to know what to look for … in a business consultant, an HR specialist, or perhaps from someone within your organization. The point is, workforce planning is not something you simply delegate because of an employee’s position in the company; it’s not a collateral duty to be arbitrarily assigned. You have to know what you need before you start, not only from your future workforce but from those who will help develop your plan.

[source: “Workforce Planning Pitfalls” a Whitepaper]

Related Articles:

6 Pitfalls to Workforce Planning – In the Beginning

#1: Expecting HR to Own Workforce Planning

#2: Missing the Big Picture

#3: Biting Off More Than Your Organization Can Chew

#4: Translating Plans into Business Lingo

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