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Strategic Workforce Management

A workforce strategy plays a central role in the successful execution of your organization’s strategy. Most companies and agencies don’t really have a workforce strategy. They have talent initiatives and broad expressions of “people are our most important asset,” but they usually miss the kind of focus that generates strategic impact.

Significant investment in leadership development programs or emphasis in becoming the employer of choice, often have the look and feel of strategic workforce initiatives. These may all be good business practices and often improve operational excellence, but they don’t necessarily contribute to strategic success, because there is no clear line between workforce success and strategic success. 

The Challenge: How many times have you heard the claim “people are the most important asset!” Yet at the first hint of approaching trouble, many organizations’ initial reaction is to impair the value of their labor force.

  • The training budget is often the first budget reduction casualty.
  • When times get tough, organizations abandon whatever pay-for-performance practices that are in place in favor of across-the-board budget cuts, hiring freezes which leads to salary increases no longer being differentiated on the basis of performance.
  • At the other extreme, there are a handful of organizations that due to civil service requirements, are ready to live, and if necessary, to die for the sake of putting people (or at least people with seniority) first. Unfortunately, though their intentions maybe noble, the inability of these organizations to adapt their strategies to changing conditions is inevitably harmful to both, the organization and its people. 

The Significance: In an era of global competition for both, talent and customer market share, organizations are searching for new, innovative ways to manage talent.

The Solution: By far the best approach is to devise a flexible workforce strategy that is linked to an organization’s strategic capabilities. Strategic Capabilities refers to a organizations’ ability to successfully employ competitive advantages that allow it to maintain and increase value over time. Building a competitive advantage requires the right workforce strategy and it doesn’t mean simply putting people first. It means putting a efficient and effective strategy first and developing a workforce that can successfully execute that strategy. 

Our Goal:

  • Simplify the process.
  • Identify areas in your organization's workforce to invest disproportionately in where you can expect disproportionate return in specific roles and specific people within those roles that will help create strategic success. 

Our Model: Our model guides your workforce strategy to the following outcomes,

  • Ensuring “A” players are in “A” positions.
  • Managing “B” and “C” positions effectively
  • Reallocating “C” players from “A” positions (replacing them with “A” players)
  • Ensuring “B” players in “A” positions improve their performance to become “A” players. 

Our approach to managing a strategic workforce strategy is practical; it's research based and above all, it will deliver results. We understand traditional Human Resource ("HR") roles requiring transactional efficiency, policy compliance, employee relations, and program management skills will continue to have value; but HR transformation means only one thing to us and that is HR functions, line managers, and some portion of an organization’s HR professionals will be jointly responsible for strategy execution. Measured in terms of potential impact on organization’s strategy, this is without doubt the most important HR role in the 21st century.

The Valued Added Solutions

  • Strategy execution will improve and with it, the likelihood of strategic success will improve.
  • Senior managers will follow strategic workforce issues as closely as they follow financial issues.
  • Mid-Level managers and HR professionals will be able to distinguish strategic workforce investment from the latest industry standards.
  • Workforce investment will be targeted where they create the highest return and will be reduced or eliminated where there is no return.
  • Mid-Level managers and HR professionals will not have to figure out how to implement vague HR campaigns such as “people are our most important asset”, but instead replacing them with a specific actionable strategic human capital plan.
  •  It will be clear when HR is providing administrative efficiency and when it is providing strategic workforce management.
  • HR contributions to your organization’s performance will be obvious and measurable.
  • Strategic contribution of the workforce will be obvious and measurable.
  • Justifications for budget increases can be satisfied.

Contact us for more information.

Is your organization "dollar" clear on how much its workforce contributes to its overall strategy and mission?