Some interesting trends are emerging from the Northwest HR Best Practice survey we are conducting. For one, we are seeing organizations who take a proactive approach to workforce planning to increase employee retention and minimize long-term recruiting expenditures. We also found that companies who have a dynamic plan where employees contribute to multiple department efforts are reaping the benefits. Here is a snapshot of how to create a plan that maximizes your workforce:
- Review your business plan and identify the skill sets most critical to your company’s long-term success.
- Prioritize skill sets and create a “priority list A” that aligns with meeting all of your long-term business objectives and a more conservative “priority list B” that meets only those most critical.
- Identify any marketplace trends that might result in skill set availability shortfalls.
- Create at least two cross-training initiatives for 2010 based on critical skill sets. Here are a couple ideas:
- Identify skill experts and needed skill recipients in your organization. Have the recipient shadow the expert for a half day a month. Give the recipient some time to practice the learned skills between trainings. Fifteen minutes a day to practice one skill may be enough repetition for full comprehension. Be sure to give the expert a lot of recognition and include them in the planning process to diminish any fears of job threat.
- Send one high performing employee to an outside training seminar to acquire a needed skill. Task this employee with teaching a group of employees what they learned upon his or her return and provide time to practice.