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Workforce Planning - Part 3 - Capability and Expertise

2018-06-11 Workplan Banner - part 3

The start of winter heralds a time of reflection and planning.  Businesses are setting budgets, reviewing the year that has been and considering what is ahead.  Your employees will be doing the same, especially if performance reviews and pay reviews are on the cards from June.

When it comes to your people, your employees, you need a workforce plan or HR Plan.  It doesn’t matter whether you have 3 staff or 20 staff, you need a plan that incorporates these four key aspects. 

  1. Business Change
  2. Employee Performance
  3. Capability and Expertise
  4. Salary/Wages Budgets

We will touch on each of these as part of our 5 part Workforce Planning blog series.  Read it and reflect, and use to develop your Workforce Plan. 

If it all sounds too hard and you need help developing your plan, please get in touch.  We will spend time with you to not only develop your plan but also help you bring it life.  Contact us on 021 069 1913 or advice.info@stapletonconsult.com

Part Three – Capability and Expertise

Do you know your people and the expertise they bring to their work?  Do you have long standing employees who seem to know everything but don’t share it?  Do you know what jobs have the most influence on business performance?

Undertaking a skill and capability gap analysis of your team, the business and potential candidate pool is an invaluable exercise.  It is a process of collating and mapping what skills are available, what skills are the most influential when it comes to performance and what is required to deliver the work now and in the future.  When you have completed the gap analysis, you will quickly become aware of your risks and strengths.  Your people are your most valuable asset.  Do you have a risk management plan or emergency response sorted?

Your workforce plan is your risk management plan.  It will outline what makes up your workforce and how you will use this to prepare and respond to change so that business performance does not suffer.

Small businesses can fall victim to losing people who hold all the knowledge, without a Plan B.  Filling these key roles can be difficult and in some cases you may have to employ two people to replace one.  One person holding all the knowledge brings risk. Your gap analysis will identify the skills gaps and strengths, and the associated risks.  Your workforce plan will address how and when you go about mitigating these risks, strengths to leverage off and what the cost-benefits are.

Examples that benefit from the gap analysis and consideration in the workforce plan –Anticipating an employee to retire or be away from work for an extended period?  Or Introducing a new IT system?

To minimise the knowledge you may lose, you decide to implement a succession plan and employ an assistant to share the work and soak up as much knowledge as possible in preparation for taking over the work; or you may consider taking the time to change the processes or systems so the knowledge gets shared amongst many rather than one.  Both options enables the team to adapt and cope with minimal impact on performance.  Nothing worse than an employee being in hospital and having to do work or take calls because they are the only one who have the knowledge.

Otherwise, when implementing a new IT system, employing permanent IT staff is simply not affordable for most small businesses and good IT people are hard to find.  Additionally, the skills required are specialised and the work will fluctuate. Not appropriate for a permanent employee. You instead look at engaging consultants or contractors to deliver the project.

Many industries and professions are experiencing skills shortages.  It takes time to find the right person for the job.  You need to know who your experts, high performers and key influencers are, what they know and do that makes them valuable and do their job effectively.  You also need to know where you are going to find their replacement, or how they are going to share their knowledge so the risks of losing that knowledge and expertise is mitigated.

Do you have a plan B for your key people?  Not sure where to start when it comes to doing a skills analysis?  Not sure what skills or expertise some of your people bring to the job or the other skills they have but don’t use? 

We can do a skills gap analysis for you.  We are your employment specialists.  HR, Payroll, H&S and Recruitment is our thing.  Give us a call to arrange a free initial 30 minute meeting to start analysing your workforce capability and skills.  Contact us on 021 069 1913 or advice.info@stapletonconsult.com