October 2009 Newsletter

How many people does it take to run your organization?

Of course you'd like to answer: Only those we need to get the job done right.

In any organization, the number of people required to get the job done right - depends on having the right people in the right places.

If we do, we are efficient. If we don't, our organizations struggle for as long as we are willing to put up with the inefficiencies or for however long it takes us to fail, whichever comes first.

No one wants to fail, of course, but leaders don't always understand how not to fail—especially when it comes to employees. We hire someone who is intelligent, motivated and able to do many different things. Then, without considering our decision as thoroughly as we should, we put the person in a job that is completely unsuited to him.

With what result? He fails to do the job efficiently or doesn't do it at all. He quits in frustration. Or we let him go.

We need not operate this way.

Successful leaders plan with their workforce in mind. Then they combine that strategic workforce plan with well-chosen tools so they can set their company on course and keep it there.

So, how is your organization doing at this? If you're not meeting your goals or the process is dragging on, how long can you afford to operate like this?

Tips: Nine Steps to a Strategic Workforce Plan

When managing their talent portfolio, many executives make decisions based on how many people the company can afford rather than the type of talent the business strategy requires now and over time.

These decisions separate talent according to function or level rather than focus on what specific segments most enable their business strategy. Furthermore, they are costly decisions; they hurt a company's profitability and growth.

So, how should you make decisions about the type of talent and number of workers you need to run your business? Here's a checklist you can use to develop a strategic workforce plan:

1) Determine where you want your business to go. Begin by drafting a meaningful business plan. You should pinpoint where you want to grow, what you want to maintain but make more profitable, and what you need to eliminate. You also need to plan how far and how fast to move. Knowing your strategy helps you create a plan and maintain focus.

2) Identify what initiatives are critical to addressing these goals. To create initiatives, establidh planning teams for each unit. These tea,s also can help with the implementation process later.

3) Identify future talent needs. Determine what capabilities and corresponding types of talent are most/least important to make these initiatives successful. Ask yourself: What jobs should I phase out, keep or create? What roles are most important to fill in the next year? What employee groups are most critical to our organization? In other words, which groups can help me accomplish our strategy?

4) Assess your current talent pool. Who fits? Who doesn't fit? Who is capable of changing jobs? Answering these questions will help you plan, but beware of being swayed too much by personality. Rather, focus on ability. Here are three questions that will help, if you answer them honestly:
 • How well does this worker fit the new job?
 • Does he have the skills to perform?
 • Overall, how long does talent stay at our company?

5) Understand the labor market. You must know and evaluate economic forecasts, demographic trends, regulatory changes, and where - and why - talent is moving. Knowing this will help you realistically plan how long it will take to fill jobs and how much you will pay for talent.

6) Develop a workforce plan. Completing steps three and four will clarify your talent needs. Now decide how you will approach these needs. By hiring? By retaining and retraining? Focus on the four Bs: Build your talent. Bounce those who don't fit into new jobs. Buy new talent by recruiting it. Borrow labor on a temporary or contract basis. You may find you won't have to use all four tactics. Employing a few might work just fine.

7) Make your workforce plan part of your business plan.

8) Communicate your plan. Share the plan basis and all elements of your plan with your employees. That way they'll understand its value. Additionally make clear its tie to your organization's business plan.

9) Implement your plan. Employees, including busy managers, don't automatically embrace change. Your plan could well fail, unless your organization is ready to accept it. By implementing and following through on your plan - and with top-management support - you'll demonstrate your commitment to all your employees.

Your Solution Toolbox: Profile XT™ Helps You Select and Develop Employees

Measuring What Matters
It’s common sense that employees who fit their jobs well will exhibit a higher level of job satisfaction than those who do not. They come to work more often, change jobs less frequently and perform superbly overall. They achieve success with what comes naturally to them.

How can you ensure that your employees work where they belong in your organization?
That's a great question. The answer? Profile International's assessment tools particularly the Profile XT™.

Quite likely you are familiar with the analogy I use when I talk about the ProfileXT™. This analogy asks you to think of attempting to put a square peg in a round hole.

To make a square shape fit in a round slot you must shave the corners. If the peg is more curved then square, you will need to shave off less to make it fit. And, if the peg is already round, it fits perfectly in the hole with no shaving or honing needed.

Managers using assessment tools correctly already know the shape of the holes they need to fill. They only need a peg to fit it well. ProfileXT™ helps them find the right peg. It measures job-related qualities that make people productive such as thinking and reasoning style, behavioral traits, and occupational interests.

HR Consulting
For many organizations, the next step is to seek professional assistance to find out how to:
  • Understand your workers' strengths, weaknesses and interests
  • Match people to job demands
  • Increase employee performance throughout your organization
Let’s Talk! We offer a no obligation consultation to informally assess your current policies, procedures, and practices. This may help determine what’s missing in your current programs to meet the above recommendations. 
Call 952-322-3330 or send an email to mgorski@mgassessments.com.

Finally check out MG assessments on the Web at www.mgassessments.com, and for timely HR information, See my blog: Updated regularly, it focuses on the hottest HR issues.

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