Best Ways To Overcome Workforce Planning Challenges To Build A Resilient Business

According to the Microsoft 2021 Work Trend Index, 41% of the global workforce are considering resigning this year. This number is telling. It comes at a time when employees and teams have risen to the challenges of navigating business and work in a remote world, and where organizations have pivoted strategies overnight. For most organizations, therefore, workforce, also remains one of their largest expenses, making planning key to smooth functioning of operations. For businesses looking to grow, it is critical to be able to first identify these challenges

Common roadblocks to effective planning usually entail:

  1. Looking at only short-term goals with little to no collaboration when planning
  2. Not having enough tools and resources to implement planning efforts
  3. Lack of leadership support and communication
  4. Not hiring talent that meets business objectives
  5. Incorrect assessment of talent and skill gaps

Given the complexity of workforce planning and all that it entails, we’ve culled out some of the best practices for overcoming challenges and being better prepared

Find Ways To Gain Visibility Into The Workforce: The dynamic nature of workforce engagement with constantly changing roles and new talent getting hired, makes it ridden with challenges. Even if you would like to have everything in one place, it is likely that your HRMS system may not have all the data you need for analysis. In order to develop an effective workforce planning model, one needs to rely on financials and key indicators. One way of doing that for most HR practitioners is by being able to have a real-time view of their headcount KPIs. (See how NetSuite SuitePeople can fill this gap)

Make Workforce Planning A Continuous Process: Merely implementing a strategy you have designed is not enough, in order to ensure it is effective, it has to evolve. Most organizations tend to fail as they focus on strategizing on an annual basis, without frequently updating the plan. If there is one thing the pandemic has taught us, it is that preparedness for uncertainty, and quick decision making, is what has kept organizations afloat. Therefore, it’s highly beneficial to have hiring managers keep track of their teams and update finance with reports regularly. This way everyone is aligned and shares the same business goal.

Integrate corporate strategy into workforce planning: The need for a unified platform, where finance, HR, and other business units can share and source data, along with an integrated recruiting and hiring plan, is evident when you take into account the confusion caused by spreadsheets. Without any direct access to links to analyze workforce gaps, planning and keeping stakeholders updated becomes challenging. With integrated workforce planning, HR can plan their workforce in sync with other key business plans, like, corporate strategy, financials, operations, forecasts and departmental budgets. This not only helps with creating a robust plan in sync with corporate goals, but also helps department managers transition from short-term headcount planning to more strategic planning. For NetSuite users, the HR and finance team often start their process alongside HR teams. Integrated with budget, revenue forecasts and corporate financial plan, it helps finance determine where to go next, and how to plan better.

Scenario Planning: Changing with constantly evolving market conditions for future expansion, acquisition, or any other scenario that you might envisage is non-negotiable. This is where scenario planning becomes critical for HR and finance teams of the company, where requirements might range from understanding long-term implications of hiring, supporting remote workers, to outsourcing. Organizations that want to stay resilient, and are forward-thinking, ensure they develop workforce plans for multiple situations. This, in turn, helps department managers, finance, and HR, understand a range of possibilities like preparing for cost challenges and developing viable plans for the future. With NetSuite Planning and Budgeting for Workforce Planning, HR, payroll, and finance, are brought together in one unified solution, modelling headcount and related expenses, as well as providing reliable source of real-time information and workforce expenses. Other ways in which NetSuite helps business overcome workforce planning challenges are:

  • Improves collaboration on plans across HR, finance and operations. It connects data from HCM, GL and other sources into one central repository.
  • Reduces risk of errors by automatically importing personal rosters from NetSuite, such as employee job-type and compensation.
  • Calculates workforce-related expenses, including headcount, salary, fringe benefits and taxes.
  • Offers what-if labor analysis capabilities that include salary, bonus, raise, plus equity composition pool scenarios across business units.
  • Tracks total headcount and new hires across subsidiaries, departments, and other segments, allowing greater control around sensitive data and metrics.

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