Strategic Workforce Planning: How To Ensure Future Talent Fitness

Read time: 3 min

 

January 29, 2024

Summary:

It’s hard to adopt a strategic approach to workforce planning when it seems like technology is making everything we do seem outdated. However, there are some subtle skills that will never become old, and these should become the foundation for your future workforce plans and long-term success. So, let’s talk about those skills and what Assisto looks for in the people who will soon become vital members of your team.

What is Strategic Workforce Planning

Let’s start from the basics. 

Strategic workforce planning is the process of aligning an organization’s human resource management with its business strategy. This essentially means that every company should be able to predict their future workforce requirements and ensure the right people, with the right skills, are in the right place at the right time.

It’s a proactive method that focuses on long-term human resources planning to support the organization’s overall strategic direction. And the importance of this definition cannot be overstated.

Today, more than ever, you are expected to meet the challenges head-on. And with all the technological advancements, ever-shifting market dynamics, and evolving customer expectations, this can seem like a herculean task. If you don’t know how to go on about it, that is.

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The Problems With Workforce Planning

We can safely say that every guidebook on human psychology in the business environment made after 2012 can be thrown out the window. Simply put, the human psyche and behavior have changed so much that companies are forced to change the entire approach to their workers if they want a reliable, future-proof workforce.

So, let’s go over some of these challenges.

Technology is changing too fast:  The skills required today may be obsolete tomorrow. That’s why organizations must keep identifying and developing new skills.

Globalization is diversifying the workforce: Workers from radically different cultures work together for the first time, and it often causes cultural and societal friction.

Workforce demographics are changing: We now have a generation that does not remember the time before the internet. And they’re bringing in a mix of expectations and working styles that organizations need to accommodate.

We live in times of tectonic changes: Socially, economically, and politically, you name the problem, the world we live in has it. Under all these uncertainties, it’s hard to have a strategic vision for the future because of all the factors that could nullify it.

At the end of 2023, we don’t lack problems. And as we enter 2024, we have no guarantee that these challenges will cease. Judging by it, we can expect them to increase.


How To Approach Training Future Fitness

It’s obvious how hard it is to predict which skills will be needed in the future. But despite all these challenges, there is a way to create a workforce that will get your company through any challenge, even the ones we outlined above. 

To figure the right way, we had to take a step away from the corporate way of thinking and look at human nature. By that, we mean skills that have endured and remained desirable throughout all the big changes in history.

Because this isn’t the first technological evolution, and surely it’s not the last. And you can teach your workers’ specific talent development strategies to ensure you have a future-proof workforce.

Don’t let the corporate speak scare you away. You’ll find these skills natural and pretty self-explanatory. But they are the cornerstone of what we do and the primary reason Assisto workers remain the best workforce on the market.


Future-Proof Skills Assisto Instils In Workers

There are certain evergreen skills that have been useful since the dawn of time. It is our philosophy that with these skills honed and perfected, a person can go through any battle and challenge unharmed, thriving, and armed with an eternal appetite for more.

So let’s look at what skills are those:


Curiosity

We strive to create an environment where workers are encouraged to explore beyond their day-to-day responsibilities. And if we want to have forward-thinking people who can make spectacular breakthroughs, curiosity is an absolute must.

A great example of this business philosophy is Google’s 20% time policy. The fact that this policy allowed for the creation of Gmail and Google Maps stands as a testament to its efficacy. The idea behind it is simple: 

“It’s that you, or a team, or a company–anyone, really–should divide your time working, so that at least 20 percent is spent exploring or working on projects that show no promise of paying immediate dividends but that might reveal big opportunities down the road.”

To promote curiosity in your workplace, you must create access to diverse learning materials, encourage the sharing of ideas, take risks, and implement project-based learning strategies.


Emotional Intelligence

Long gone are the days when humans could do their work robotically. AI is more than capable of performing such tasks. But in the future, just like in the past, knowing how to navigate intrapersonal relationships will be the key to success.

Look at it this way – workers who have developed emotional intelligence perform better, earn more, are motivated more, and progress in their careers faster. And people with low emotional intelligence…

“…have poor listening skills, get into arguments or refuse to take accountability for any mistakes. They might also not be very aware of other people’s feelings. This kind of behavior can be incredibly disruptive for a team, breaking down trust and communication as well as impacting workplace morale.”

To help your team develop emotional intelligence, you can set up team-building activities where they can get to know each other and develop friendships outside work. You can also encourage open communication and provide opportunities where they can voice their concerns. But the most effective method is surely enrolling them in emotional intelligence training, mindfulness practices, and stress management courses.


Resilience

If you’re a business owner or a CEO, this probably comes as a no-brainer. But that doesn’t mean your workers will know how to build resilience the way you do. For that, they might need a small push in the right direction.

In a nutshell, resilience means being able to recover and adapt quickly from a traumatic event or stressor. Here’s what the science says about workers who know how to build up their resilience:

“Resilience is also associated with increased work engagement, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment. This is likely because people who are better able to bounce back from stress and adversity can apply those skills to the workplace.”

If you want your workers to follow you to hell and back (and survive the journey), be the leader they need and help them build resilience. Two major factors in this fight will be physical health care and stress management techniques. Help your workers on both of these fronts, and you will change their lives.


Drive

Another no-brainer if you’re a business owner, but it’s still an issue workers around the world struggle with. In the business world, drive is much more important than motivation. Motivation comes from the outside. Drive, however, comes from within. It’s like a hunger that never ends, that forces us to always strive for more and for the better:

“This internal drive produces personal satisfaction or a sense of fulfillment when achieving goals—ultimately attaching oneself to a greater purpose and generating lasting results.”

You want to make your company a part of this vision that points to a greater purpose and generates long-lasting results. We achieve this by helping our workers understand their why, by continuously setting reachable goals, and completing them one by one.


Intelligence

When we say intelligence here, we mean it in its rawest form: critical thinking and analytical skills. In this world, critical thinking is the rarest commodity. And contrary to what many think, it’s a skill that can be learned if you create the right environment. Help your workers develop their analytical skills, and you’ll be a force to be reckoned with.

While workers with high emotional intelligence will make sure your machine operates smoothly, they won’t be the ones who will lead your company forward. Those will be the people who score high in raw intelligence

“Those with high IQs are creative problem solvers who can think quickly and constructively in order to determine the best course of action – important attributes for senior management in a company. They are able to accurately weigh the advantages and disadvantages of complex situations and make nuanced decisions.”

And even though there is a genetic component to intelligence, critical thinking can be a skill that can be learned. We promote continuous learning and provide diverse learning resources to foster intellectual curiosity. Various training and development programs and real-world applications of those lessons, drastically enhance our workers’ problem-solving skills.

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Conclusion

Our journey through these various aspects of workforce development has shown that the key to future-proofing an organization lies not in predicting the exact changes the future holds, but in preparing for any change that might come. Assisto’s philosophy of fostering an environment that promotes continuous learning, emotional awareness, resilience, intrinsic motivation, and critical thinking is a fundamental skill that helps individuals (and companies) withstand any storm. And we all know that those abound in our world.

In essence, Assisto isn’t just preparing individuals for the jobs of tomorrow. We want to shape them into leaders, innovators, and thinkers who will define those jobs. It’s about creating a workforce that doesn’t just adapt to the future but actively shapes it.

And if you want such force on your side, we’re just one click away.

talent-management

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