Four compass points should inform every initiative

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Unformatted text preview: havior, for example, would be relevant for senior and middle managers. In addition, corporate universities can communicate and also contribute to development of the company’s strategy, thereby reinforcing desired behaviors and culture as well as providing networking opportunities. T B C G • W F P M A A Strategic Workforce Plan to Build the Capabilities You Need W ill you have the capabilities you’ll need in your workforce in five or ten years? Huge gaps are developing in companies’ workforces, owing to both economic fluctuations and demographic shis. It takes years to train personnel in complex skills and to put in place other measures to address workforce capacity shortages or surpluses. Yet currently, only 9 percent of surveyed companies are analyzing their future workforce supply and demand under different growth scenarios—and a mere 6 percent have begun developing a retention, recruiting, and talent management strategy for the job functions at greatest risk of a labor shortage. Companies that systematically assess their workforce capacity risk and then put a strategic plan in place to manage that risk will gain a clear competitive advantage in the next decade. Very broadly, strategic workforce planning involves estimating the future supply of and demand for human capital and then figuring out how to close gaps. Such planning allows companies to think through their workforce alternatives to the high fixed cost of full-time employees. The supply, of course, is determined by the availability of employees. A quick analysis, drawing on easily available company data, can be used to identify locations and business units facing the most critical capacity losses that occur because of attrition, retirement, or other trends. For those locations and business units, a more granular analysis is necessary, with jobs categorized into relatively broad groups, narrower families within each group, and functions within each family.1 With such an analysis in place, businesses can determine whether they will face surpluses or, more likely, shortages C P A in key jobs. Since our last global survey, published in 2008, a small amount of progress has been made in understanding workforce supply: 15 percent of respondents now use a supply model to predict the availability of workers. (See Exhibit 9.) These models lack sophistication, however: less than half, for example, can simulate attrition or retirement rates at the job function level. Demand is more difficult to predict because it hinges on a company’s corporate strategy. Strategy determines the markets that a company expects to pursue and the products or services it expects to provide—and consequently the capabilities that will be needed. Furthermore, companies should anticipate and simulate several different demand scenarios, depending on how they anticipate that markets could develop. Only 9 percent of the surveyed companies model demand as well as supply. Most of their demand models, however, lack...
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