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David Miller

Right Management UK & Ireland

Managing Director

Read more about David Miller

Blog: Do you undertake workforce planning?


The economic outlook for the UK may still be flat lining but companies appear to be staying resilient and retaining staff, which is reassuring.

Our recent survey of 900 companies throughout the country reveals that 81 per cent will be making ‘no redundancies at all’ in the next six months and just 4 per cent anticipate significant employee cut backs.
Although positive, it does lead to questions such as how organisations are choosing to manage their talent and put in place plans for growth. It is likely given the last few years of economic difficulty that many organisations are already operating in a stretched capacity.
Yet interestingly, 41 per cent of the surveyed companies said that they ‘do not do workforce planning and have no workforce strategy’.
Whether they will be thinking about it or not, companies will be naturally using their people’s skills and knowledge in new ways.
Tackling the skills gap
So while it is concerning to see the majority surveyed stating they lacked a workforce strategy, in our experience many companies are having to be more open and agile in how they manage their talent, not just to function but to grow.
So either the results reflect reality and that organisations are doing little or no workforce planning or – and more likely to me – they are undertaking workforce planning but not recognising or articulating it as such.
We know that despite unemployment being high, the availability of people with the right skills is causing a problem – utility firms need engineers, manufacturers need technicians and across all sectors there is a digital skills gap.
Businesses will only succeed and grow in a very tough global environment if they align business and workforce strategies. Organisations need to know more than just the number of people they require, but also plan the capabilities they need to deliver.
Investment in people by retaining and developing talent will mean businesses keep their competitive edge. HR must absolutely be seen to be driving this alignment of business and workforce strategies.
If companies are just ‘doing’ the bare minimum of workforce planning, it is a real opportunity for HR to show how a workforce strategy can impact the success of the business.
David Miller is managing director of Right Management UK & Ireland, ManpowerGroup‘s talent and career management consultancy.

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One Response

  1. great post

    Workforce planning is something that most organisations should be looking into in order to preapre themselves for the long term future and make sure that corporate objectives can be met. However, they can be tricky to put together when aspects like cost and training must be considered and budgeted.


    Dave Evans, commercial director at accessplanit, specialist in learning management system and training management software

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David Miller

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