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Strategic Workforce Planning to Assure a Sustainable Organization

Making the right workforce decisions for the best future positioning

Given the cautious economic environment and the ever-looming demographic challenges of mass retirements from regular employment, most organizations are starting to pay attention to aligning business strategy with the workforce needed to turn that strategy into reality, meet client needs, and drive operational and financial sustainability.  The future is influenced by many external factors – economic uncertainty, unique local business needs, competitive market forces, and social trends such as skill gaps, the aging workforce, mobile career aspirations of the new generations, and increasing demands for work/life balance.  It is also influenced by internal factors such as organization culture, work environment, compensation trends and career opportunities.

As an example, Canada is a country with declining natural population growth and a very large contingent of baby boomers leaving the workplace on schedule, taking with them critical knowledge.  Skilled talent pools will be increasingly diminished.  In the province of BC, projections for long-established organizations, particularly in the public sector, are that workforces will be 30% to 57% smaller within the next 10 years.  A frightening statistic when service demands will likely not be lessened and in some areas will increase.  In conjunction with transformation of work processes, planning the right workforce to deliver products and services will be essential to ongoing success.

Many organizations sense these significant challenges, but don’t have the strategic workforce planning framework to ensure their future workforce is the one they’ll need.  Uncertainty and volatility are the current buzz words.  The fluctuating economy and tightening availability of critical talent look set to continue.  The mobility of talent, the shortage of ready to hire skills, the increased use of flexible staff to manage the risks of changing business volumes, as well as the underlying demographic shift make meeting the current and future staffing needs a complex challenge. Managing workforce requirements – short and longer term – requires preparation, strategy and planning.

The risk inherent in poor planning is that the workforce is an organization’s human capital and, to use that well known cliché, one of its greatest assets.  In fact, in many service organizations it is their greatest asset.  A properly structured and planned workforce is fundamental to performance, competitive advantage and to creating long term value.  In economic downturns, poorly planned workforce cuts potentially jeopardize value and long term success.  The key is to target cost savings in the areas with the least risk, and invest in those which create the most value and meet long term strategy.  Investing in the right workforce to meet your strategic targets becomes an inherent part of your overall business plan.

We have the international experience, tools and methodologies that will allow your organization to best equip itself for a successful future.  Please contact us for further detail on how we can assist you in this critical area. info@rewerx.com


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