What’s strategic manpower planning?
Business and manpower don’t exist as separate entities. Both elements need to work together harmoniously to achieve business objectives that are aligned to the company’s vision and mission.
This is where human resource planning, also known as manpower planning, comes in. It helps to form a bridge between a company’s human resource management, and the overall strategic plans. Strategic manpower planning means you learn to identify current and future human resources needs. Doing so drives your company to achieve its full potential.
To do this, you’ll need to review your current manpower sources by forecasting the requirements needed in the future. Comparing it with current availability, you should then take steps to make sure that you have adequate supply of people, skills and experience to meet the demand.
In this article, we talk to Glint’s Director of People and Strategic Planning, Karen Lee. Read on to hear her take on the role of manpower strategy in 2021.
Interview with Karen, Director of People and Strategic Planning
In a nutshell, what is strategic manpower planning? What do your day to day operations look like; and when are the busy periods?
Strategic manpower planning is hiring so that team members meet the short-term operational needs, as well as fulfill long-term business growth. At Glints, we currently operate based on quarterly planning. However, we’re moving towards planning on an annual basis, followed by quarterly check-ins to refine the annual plan. Busy periods happen every quarter when we refine the annual plan. Year-end periods are also hectic, where we review the past and plan for the following year.
What do executives in your role generally find challenging related to this area of business management?
The most challenging aspect of this role is the number of considerations we have to take into account. We need to understand (a) the overall company goals, (b) each BU’s goals, and (c) each executive and their team members’ strengths and gaps. The ideal manpower plan should align to all of these 3 aspects.
How has the pandemic affect this process? In what areas is it now harder to carry out effective human resource planning?
Just like many other processes that have been affected by the pandemic, it can be difficult to understand the company/BU goals and executives’ needs when we’re not all sitting in the same room. Further, business models may be affected by the pandemic and may have to pivot and shift several times. So it can be challenging to keep the manpower plan aligned.
How might manpower planning be carried out remotely, if possible?
There is really no secret formula to strategic manpower planning. The real key is to communicate, align and re-align. Whether we do our work remotely or in the same space, executives must find a way to communicate effectively, often, and expect to align several times before arriving at the same end-point. The pandemic has made many companies as well as employees shift their mindset to find ways to operate remotely and still communicate effectively. Thus, Glints has seen an increase in interest in our cross-border recruitment, where we enable the hiring and operating of a remote workforce.
What tips would you give to human resource executives looking to manage their business in the coming year?
(a) do your homework on the current workforce strengths & gaps,
(b) plan at least a year out,
(c) check in every quarter to refine the plan.