4. Implement and monitor
An action plan will identify what needs to be done (for example, offering more flexible working hours for staff with families or caring duties), who needs to take charge of it (for example, the general manager), and when it needs to be done. There may be a need for additional resources, for example, training workers in using particular software or redeploying existing staff to accommodate greater flexibility in the workplace.
Template 5 (DOCX, 47KB) will allow you to develop a detailed workforce plan.
Template 6 (DOCX, 48KB) will allow you to capture your workforce action plans on one page.
To determine whether you are dealing successfully with workforce issues, it is useful to set quantitative goals (that is, goals expressed in numbers). For example, in your workforce gap analysis, you may have identified a critical job group with high turnover and discovered that staff have left (or are finding it difficult to stay) because their working hours interfere with family caring commitments. You may have developed a workforce initiative to offer flexible working arrangements to address this issue. A plan such as this to reduce workforce turnover can be evaluated by measuring turnover percentages.
Other useful ways to evaluate your initiatives include:
- Analysis of targets and actual results: This includes identifying reductions/increases in workforce turnover and the reasons for them, number of vacancies filled, people trained or labour costs reduced.
- One-on-one discussions: Checking in periodically with people in supervisory and frontline positions will give managers a first-hand report of how the business’ plans are progressing, and can help to identify where changes need to be made.
- Informal focus groups: This involves conducting informal group discussions regarding the business and its direction. This might be done as part of a regular staff meeting.
- Employee attitude surveys: Employee attitude surveys allow staff to give confidential feedback on the workplace and the way it functions. For example, questions may be formulated to find out how satisfied people are with their job, how their work/workplace might be improved, and how committed they are to staying with the business in the future. This can provide managers with a good indication of how to improve workplace structures or processes in order to retain the staff they have and to attract the staff they may need in the future.
Your workforce plan should be reviewed and updated every year as part of the business planning process. Changes in key staff and the intentions of staff need to be reflected in the workforce plan.
Your evaluation of workforce initiatives forms the basis for adjustments or the development of new initiatives. It may also be necessary to redesign the workforce plan in response to changes in the goals of the business or its operating environment. Like business and financial plans, the workforce plan should be a living document, and should be reviewed periodically to ensure it is being implemented and remains current and relevant.
It is important to remember that workforce planning does not need to be complicated, but it does require thought and engagement with your staff.