Plan for growth needs a workforce to match

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With the world of work rapidly evolving, enterprises need to adapt to the changing circumstances.

Forward-thinking organisations will focus their attention on a long-term strategy, understanding the workforce impacts, and developing a diverse workforce.

Let’s take a look at the essentials of workforce planning and development to see why you might need a plan for growth.

Minimise growing pains

Major changes will occur across organisations, industry sectors, regions and countries – increasing export, expanding nationally, implementing technologies and innovating product development.

The food industry for example, is adjusting to the need for consumer transparency.  People want to know where their food comes from and the process from farm to table.  Growth opportunities for food enterprises could include restructuring their distribution channels, highlighting the sources of their ingredients and expanding into more sustainable products.

As with any business growth, your workforce needs to grow with it.

Align your workforce with your business goals

Your talent and organisational goals should run parallel – and a workforce plan can help you achieve this.  Effective forecasting, analysis and preparation for implementing changes can help attract, inspire and retain talent.

The increasing transition to a knowledge economy means that training and development is more important than it’s ever been.  Companies need to maximise the value they leverage from training and development – designing HR initiatives that focus on developing the workforce of the future.

And, it should go beyond meeting current needs.

Address gaps between current and future workforce needs

Integrated strategies are required to meet gaps between current and future workforce needs.

For an aging workforce, businesses can reskill through training, mentoring and tutoring with specific learning programs, industry training release schemes, tertiary studies, coaching and mentoring.

For new jobs, this means identifying talent capable of driving change and assigning them to roles to find new sources of growth.

This includes:

  • New branding strategies to meet changing jobs
  • Innovative recruitment efforts in areas of shortage
  • Improved online profile that reflects values

Increasing labour demands and market saturation or shortages means our greatest opportunity is in making the best use of the skills and resources of our workforce.

It’s a challenge, however, the key is to know how to maximise this value.

It all leads back to a workforce plan

A workforce plan will identify critical job roles and capabilities, skills shortage occupations, globally advantaged occupations – as well as a supply and demand gap analysis, recruitment and retention strategies.

Implementation relies on identifying the preferred future workforce scenario, critical jobs and skills, gaps right here right now, as well as into the future, and designing effective workforce development strategies.

If you’d like to chat about making the most of your workforce, now and into the future, please contact Wendy Perry via

PS. For Australian based businesses you may be interested in finding out more on the Industry Skills Fund.

February 2016


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