Workforce Strategy Plan

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Workforce Strategy Plan
The 12 deadly traps
Workforce Strategic Planning has become a ‘hot’ issue for many organisations as they seek to better manage their most vital intangible asset – their people. In this article, we summarize some of the key contemporary workforce challenges, and argue the business case as to why organizations should develop a workforce strategy, including the adverse implications in failing to do so. We clarify what is meant by the term ‘workforce strategic planning’, given that some misconceptions abound. Finally, we warn of 12 traps to be wary of in developing a workforce strategy.

We contend that many organizations are delusional about their workforce strategy claims. Whilst they may have bundles of HR
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You may be ‘locked’ into models and mindsets that are now either obsolete or of limited utility. You may be using yesterday’s models to solve today’s complexity! Alternatively, if you are starting out on the journey of developing a workforce strategy, it is suggested that you should be mindful of these traps.

What are Your Workforce Challenges?
Over the past two decades we have witnessed unprecedented change sweeping the workplaces of the western world. We now live in an age of chronic uncertainty where chaos abounds and where the pace of change continues to accelerate.

Some of the key challenges in managing today’s workforce include the following:
• The ‘demographic crunch’ of an aging workforce with a shortage of talent and an excess of labor;
• A more diversified and mobile workforce in terms of age, ethnicity and preferences;
• The growth of the contingent workforce (to minimize risk and maximize flexibility);
• The need for workforce reconfiguration with a changing skills mix (particularly with the interruption to traditional business models due to the
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Note. Our own research, based on surveying numerous significant Australian organizations with the Workforce Strategy Audit Survey (WSAS), confirms that many of these organizations are only at a rudimentary stage of developing a workforce strategy.

HR’s New Role
CEOs and HR Professionals are under increasing pressure to demonstrate to board members and shareholders how they are managing their most vital intangible asset. At the same time, HR is struggling to exert the required influence and gain a seat at the table. They have been a maligned service provider, but their most critical function now is to focus sharply on the interface and alignment between workforce and business strategies.
Consistent with an increased focus on managing risk, corporate governance and people, it is contended that developing a comprehensive workforce strategy should be an imperative for any organization.

What is a Workforce Strategy?
A workforce (or human capital) strategy is a form of asset management, the sum of actions taken to acquire, retain, develop, motivate, and deploy human capital in the service of an organization’s
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