Strategic Workforce Planning


Succession planning can be defined as a process of identifying, training and developing people within an organisation so that they can fill key business positions in the company. In a world where people are shifting from one industry to industry, and specialised workforce agencies like Egon Zehnder being used to identify top position professionals, it might seem succession planning is redundant.

It cannot be over emphasised that a person like Mr. A.M. Naik who started his journey a junior manager would know about the company proceedings better than most people outside the organisation. Hence when such a person takes on the baton of the company, he can provide a fine balance between change and successful existing practices. Promoting talent is an art which organisations need to muster as providing a flexible yet reliable career path would not only increase in employee satisfaction but also profits. Employees focus more on self actualisation and self esteem rather than compensation only.

Labour demand forecasting is about finding the right number of people, with the right skills, at the right time .Growth of an organisation, keeping in sync with technological skills of the market scenario, attrition rates are the major factors to be kept in mind while doing labour demand forecasting. Absence of right employee can lead   to reduced productivity, performance and profitability. It is to be kept in mind that Human resource is an inimitable resource. It is the key differentiator in organisations and the key driver of business. Hence people without the right skills or inadequate people can lead to loss of competitive advantage. A case study of a gas plant which is a real life story elaborates the point of adequate number of people. Six operators are required for running of six machines. Unplanned leave plans or absenteeism of any one of these workers lead to more pressure on the others. Work fatigue hampers the productivity of the workers and they in their turn remain absent from job. This lack of manpower puts the total plant at risk; hence any manufacturing plant has to keep a note of this absenteeism before implementing workforce planning.

One of the key drivers of an economy is the manufacturing sector. The lack of industry ready skill among the youth of India has been a deterrent for the economic growth. Better industry-education interface has to be created to help in recruitment of industry ready people. Incentivising these employees by providing a definite career plan would enable innovation as well as productivity from them. Attracting, retaining and developing top talent in the market is of utmost importance for a Human resource manager.

It has to be a business strategy and all the employees in an organisation need to be included for the same. An example of talent management can be seen in TCS where if an employee gets bad rating, he is sent for training in the same profile in which he was working. This is known as Proactive Employee Engagement Program (PEEP).  A second chance is provided to employee to improve their skill set as per the required standards. A  proper skills inventory for employees enable managers across all functions to identify the right person for the right job at the right time  within the organisation. In larger organizations, talent management requires Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) that track the career paths of employees and manage available opportunities for talented employees. Organisations multi-skill with the intention of removing functional barriers and increasing the flexibility of an organisation. Employees can assume other tasks when there is absenteeism and  can be moved into other positions at peak operational time.

It can be concluded that a robust yet flexible workforce can only be made available to an organisation if  it is strategically designed to meet the global changing trends and in synergy with the objectives of the organisation.

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