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Workforce Planning for SMEs

The truth is that if I slip into using “Corporate Talk” of workforce planning with some of my clients, they break into a cold sweat and think I’m about to make managing a team really hard. The reality is very different. Workforce Planning doesn’t have to be hard.

It is just as important in a smaller business as in a big business – possibly even more important. In a big business, you always have someone to cover a role and more than one person with the skills, but in an SME life isn’t always like that. So before your heart starts to pound and you feel queasy, let me explain what I mean by Workforce Planning.

In simple terms, it means ensuring you have the right people, with the right skills in your business to deliver your business plan or goals.

Most of us don’t deliver everything in our business ourselves, we employ a team to make it possible. Workforce Planning is about making sure you have the right combination of team and technology to achieve your goals and should take into account some or all of the following things:

Current and Future Workloads
An honest picture of what is happening in your business is essential to a workforce plan.

Market & Technology Changes
Is there new technology change that will fundamentally affect how your business operates? Are there new products or competitors that you will need to adjust your business to compensate for?

Team Performance & Skills
Who are your employees (age, salary, skills) and what do you need in your business? Do you have what you need to be successful? Do your employees like working with you and how many employees leave your business in a year

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

Once we have the answers to these questions we can start planning so your business is always ahead of the competition, with the right number of skilled people to have your clients singing your praises. This process will make sure that the focus is where it needs to be instead of playing catch-up after something has gone wrong.

The start of a new year can be a strange time in an SME. For some, it is the busiest time of year and for others, it is slow as we wait for people to make decisions in the post- Christmas lull. Regardless of what it is like for your business, it 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 to Workforce Plan for your business call us now, or send us an email. We would love to support you through this important process.

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