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Business success through a team plan


12 November 2023

For many small and medium sized business owners and managers, the idea of workforce planning is a little intimidating, something that other larger businesses need to do but not us. Workforce planning doesn’t have to be corporate, complex or cold, the reality is quite different and is just as important for a smaller business as it is for a big business – possibly even more important!

In larger organisations, you can often “make do” and have someone else around who will be able to cover a role or task for a short period of time. You are likely to have more than one person with the same set of skills so you have back up but that’s not the SME life! In SMEs we all wear multiple hats and often there is only one person with the qualifications to do a role. In a SME it’s critical to have the right people with the right skills at the right time.


What is Workforce Planning?

Simply, workforce planning is ensuring you have the right people, with the right skills, to deliver your business plan or goals at the time that you need them. When you think about it, it’s a pretty simple process. You need to be able to understand what you have right now and what you will need in the future, and also, how to get it.

Your Current Position = your business + existing team of people

Your Future Position = your projection for your business this year + future skills required to achieve your business goals


You need a Plan

Hopefully, you have a business plan in place. It doesn’t need to be 100 pages long and full of complex diagrams and words that only you can decipher. What you need to a clear picture of what you want and what you need to deliver.

Most of us don’t deliver everything in our business alone, our businesses grown beyond us being able to be across everything so we employ a team to make the impossible, possible. This is your workforce plan at its simplest.


What is in a Workforce Plan?

Creating a Workforce Plan is the process of making sure you have the right combination of team and technology to achieve your objectives (your dreams). It should take into account some, or all, of the following:

Current and future workloads

  • An honest picture of what is really happening in your business
  • Is there too much work for the existing team or too little projected work
  • Be honest with your workload projections, otherwise you will end up with a team of stressed out and unhappy people. Or, a team of people mastering “Among Us” on your time because they have nothing better to do

Market and technology changes

  • Consider how imminent new technology might affect how your business operates
  • Are there new products or competitors in the marketplace?
  • How will you adjust your business to compensate against external factors that are beyond your control?

Team performance and skills

  • Consider your teams’ skill profile
  • Does their collective set of skills, qualifications, experience and length of service help your business?
  • Importantly, do their skills match what you need in your business?
  • Can you be successful with their current knowledge and skills?
  • Do your employees like working with you and how many employees leave your business in a year?
  • If your business typically has a high rate of employee attrition, you’ll need to plan for additional recruitment

Client expectations

  • Are your clients or their expectations changing?
  • What do you need to do to ensure the clients are satisfied with your work?


A Plan

Once you have mapped out the answers to these questions, you can start to plan:

  1. You are ensuring your business is always ahead of the competition?
  2. You are planning your business to employ the right number of skilled people to have your clients singing your praises?
  3. It might mean a focus on recruitment or training or a change to how you pay people, but it will make certain that the focus is where it needs to be instead of playing catch-up after something has gone wrong.


Where to Start?

Regardless of timing and what it is like for your business, workforce planning is a great opportunity to look with fresh eyes at what positions and skills are needed in your business for it to thrive.

If you would like help with your Workforce Plan call us on 1300 474 672, or send us an email and book a People Planning Session today. We have the expertise to help support you through this important process.

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