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Why Workforce Planning is Critical During Mid-Year Reforecasting

March 10, 2020
Workforce Planning
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As your company planned its budget late last year, there was likely some focus on what roles and how many team members would be needed to complete the projects that would move the company forward. As the executive team looks ahead to mid-year re-forecasting, this is an ideal time to also review your workforce planning for the rest of the year. Were all of the projects that were planned for happening, and are they happening on time? Has the company found or trained the resources needed to complete critical projects and filled important roles? If not, what has changed and what is needed today?

Reviewing Goals, Performance, and Your Workforce

During mid-year reforecasting, companies have an opportunity to review and assess the goals set out at the end of the previous year and view how the company is performing against those goals. Have you missed the financial targets set out for the year? Is that because some projects haven’t made progress, because the market is responding differently than anticipated, or because products haven’t made it into customer’s hands as expected?If the organization is falling short against its anticipated performance for the year, it’s in the company’s best interest for human resources, business leaders, and the finance team to review the workforce plan. Is the reason that projects or products aren’t performing as expected because key roles haven’t been filled? Are there too many team members allocated to one area of the business and leaving others without the resources to get work done?Even if the organization is meeting every goal set out and spending is on track, mid-year is a good time to see if your workforce is ready and in place to meet the needs of the next two quarters.

Your Workforce Planning Process: Validating Need and Cost

Mid-year reforecasting is also a good time to review the workforce planning projections and assumptions that were made and realign those assumptions with finances. Validating the availability of funds for roles and training and the cost of required resources is a crucial element as the needs for the rest of the year become clearer.For instance, if a planned department expansion has been derailed because of market changes, there may no longer be a Q3 requirement for hiring a new director or a new group of analysts. If sales have outpaced projections, there may be a need to move up the timeline of adding additional salespeople to handle the additional load.There also may be a need to review the skills needed and the cost of those specialized skills. Taking the sales example above - if sales have accelerated but in a specific vertical, a less expensive, generalized sales team member may no longer fit the bill. Instead, the company may need to consider a more highly compensated expert in a particular market.These changes can throw a wrench in the budget if a company’s human resources department isn’t keeping a close eye on workforce planning and working closely with the finance team. As the office of finance analyzes where the business is compared to budget projections, these two groups can collaborate and shift workforce needs - training, hiring, promotions, and so forth - to keep the company on track to meet its overarching performance goals.Mid-year budget review and reforecasting is the opportune time to ensure the company is headed in the right direction and make course corrections as needed. Workforce planning is an important part of that review and recalculation. Working closely with finance, human resources can continue to deliver to the company the right team members, benefits, career planning and placement activities that address the evolving needs of your company.

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