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HR, Workforce Plan For a Post-Pandemic World

13th Sep 2021
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Workforce planning is seriously lagging behind digital transformation.

According to new research, 78% of organizations think they outperformed during COVID-19 with respect to their digital transformation efforts. In stark contrast, the same study finds that 32% of decision-makers acknowledge their companies have underperformed when it comes to workforce planning. Because of this, 78% of respondents believed the pandemic increased their need to focus on, and invest in, their people.

And putting people first is crucial. As the global economy begins to recover from the ravages of the coronavirus, HR teams will likely have to cope with a massive turnover trend. According to a recent survey, over half of working people plan to look for a new job in 2021.

Today’s HR leaders need to learn the art of creating a workforce plan that aligns with this rapidly changing reality. Below are the most common pitfalls to avoid when developing an HR strategy.

 

Mistake one: Putting profit KPIs ahead of people metrics

Every organization needs profits to survive. However, if KPIs such as revenues, expenses, labor costs, and ROI are the only priorities of a workforce plan, this can cause morale to plummet, which will, in the end, damage the bottom line. To this point, a Gallup study of companies with the highest levels of employee engagement found that they were 22% more profitable and 21% more productive than those with low levels of engagement.

That’s the reason why any HR strategy must include engagement-related metrics such as attrition, retention rates, employee feedback, and satisfaction levels.

 

Mistake two: Glitchy onboarding process

Once employees are hired, organizations often don’t have great onboarding processes to bring new joiners up to speed. There’s a clear connection between poor onboarding and turnover. Research has found that the lack of a structured onboarding plan can cost a company 100-300% of an employee’s total salary.

A workforce plan should thus include the implementation of an automated onboarding process that can more effectively streamline a new joiner’s experience. An HR team that uses platforms that cover every task and touchpoint at exactly the right time

will ensure that new hires have everything they need from day one.

 

Mistake three: Focusing on recruiting metrics at the expense of employee development

Recruitment KPIs, of course, need to be tracked. However, finding the best and brightest talents and bringing them into an organization is only one part of an effective HR workforce plan. A common mistake is to stop following people’s progress after they have joined an organization. This major oversight can lead employees to feel that their hard work and professional development are being ignored.

An HR strategy must track metrics related to an employee’s career lifecycle. These KPIs show that HR is prioritizing people’s professional growth and how this development connects with an organization’s wider business goals.

 

Mistake four: Planning too far ahead

Developing KPIs for an organization’s annual performance review is a major investment of HR’s time and energies. The thing is, it may not even be necessary. One study found that as many as 72% of companies still conduct yearly reviews even though 87% of both managers and employees find them ineffective. Another survey revealed that 41% of staffers would go so far as to change jobs to avoid this grueling process.

More and more HR departments are embracing the idea of a 360-degree performance appraisal. Such a system enables employees to receive confidential feedback from the people who work around them. This kind of HR approach can be useful in keeping people engaged and invested in their career development by empowering them to set goals and take an active part in the review experience.

 

Mistake five: Not turning data into actionable insights

In this digital transformation era, a workforce plan can be set up to measure basically any kind of data. But an HR strategy that affects positive change in an organization is one that can turn volumes of data into valuable insights. While every KPI is a metric, not every metric is a KPI.

To avoid the trap of data deluge, the trick is to use analytics to make data-driven HR decisions. This means incorporating an automated system that allows an HR team to quickly analyze organizational trends and generate easily customizable reports that reveal key people insights.

 

Future-proof your organization with the right workforce plan

Now more than ever, an HR department’s workforce plan is the best way to keep an organization agile during this period of unprecedented change. By putting a premium on the metrics that have proven to be the most effective, today’s HR leaders can take steps to successfully navigate an increasingly volatile job market. With a bit of strategizing at the outset, a workforce plan can be the building block on which a high-quality, productive, motivated team can be built.

 

 Adi Janowitz is VP of Customer Success at Hibob

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