In a recent article with TechRound, I talked about workforce planning and the importance of having a clear understanding of its implications to your financial forecasts and overall financial health. Especially during today’s uncertain economy with all of the unknowns and potential changes that may need to be made to your company’s largest and most important asset.
Are you equipped to respond to all the challenges that COVID-19 has presented – such as shelter in place orders and moving your entire workforce to 100% remote for an extended period of time. Are you prepared to do this and does your infrastructure allow you to efficiently make that transition?
As an example that I mentioned in the article, early on we still had some of our employees who were using workstations versus laptops and we had to evaluate what the expense of new laptops looked like so these employees could work remotely. We also had to factor in if the expense was the same across other departments – for example, were the hardware costs for a sales rep. making outbound calls the same as a principal software engineer? These are the sorts of questions that proper workforce planning should answer so you can see the impact on your financial forecasts.
From a higher level, you’ll also need to rethink your overall strategy – can you continue with the workforce plan you presented to the Board just a few months ago, or do you need to pivot? The latter is most likely the case.
What This Means for the CFO
So, what does all this mean for the CFO? CFOs are in the unique position of being able to look across the enterprise to understand and plan for the broad financial and operational impacts of workforce transformation.
As a CFO, I understand the needs of the departments in my organization, down to the individual level as well as the implications of any changes to our overall operational strategy – looking out not just this month, but over the next couple of quarters into our two-year and three-year growth plan.
With that said, though, right now nobody – not even the CFO – has an answer to the impacts of COVID-19 and the transition to 100% remote workforces. Is it temporary and if so, for how long? Or will our team stay remote into the better part of next year? By asking these questions and running various scenarios, the CFO acts as a strategic lens to the financial plan for the company and the Board.
Workforce Planning: Keeping It All Straight
One thing we do know, however, is that there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to workforce planning during a time like this. To help, there are several factors to consider when you’re looking at all these moving pieces:
- Emerging technologies
- Alternative workforce models
- Your workforce by department
- Budgeting at the individual level
Taking a look at these factors and fully understanding their implications to your financial forecasts – as well as applying my best practices that I also outlined in the article – will give you the confidence and clarity in your workforce plan and overall health of your organization.
Read the full article on TechRound.com.
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