Thank you to all who participated in #NZLEAD on Thursday night when we spoke about workforce planning. Workforce Planning is such a broad area that connects with many difference concepts. It’s hard to narrow the topic down to just four questions – but the conversation was great!
We started with a discussion about the changing nature of work – “Is the world of work really changing? How relevant are terms like ‘global connectivity’, ‘contingent workforce’, etc?
@blackbirdsthree kicked off the discussion with a recognition that the world has already changed, and we’re often playing catchup, a theme that was followed throughout the conversation.
@alisonhallnz, @matt_pontin, @tashtasticnz, and @zoemounsey added some key points:
1. The fast change in the technology world is challenging to keep up with. (@AlisonHallNZ’s tweet)
2. This change is changing entire business models to “just in time”, which affects our traditional approaches to the workforce. This is one of the reasons we’re seeing the rise of contingent workforces, as an attempt to increase workforce agility. (@matt_pontin’s tweet)
3. HR needs to continuously move to ensure we reap the benefits of the changes that are occurring, but it’s hard to keep up (@TashTasticNZ’s tweet, @zoemounsey’s tweet); and
4. In this world of rapid change, the “old ways” are no longer the most effective – we need to reinvent ourselves in order to stay relevant.
The dichotomy between global connectivity and ‘physical presence’ was one that generated a lot of conversation. @nzheadhunter pointed out that there is a conflict between remote and office work and that, as connected as we are, physical presence is still important to many.
@PaulJacobs4Real talked about the change from ‘company’ to ‘community’, and in fact this could be a topic in itself (pick up a copy of Makers by Chris Anderson for some excellent examples). Also, @PowerHour60 talked about globalisation as the “new normal”, even for small companies.
Contingent workers, their place in the culture of an organisation, and the extent of their engagement with their employers was a topic that generated a lot of discussion as well.
Question 2, was the extent to which connectivity has changed the world of work. Some concerns here raised about the effect on work/life balance…
…but also some discussion around ‘working from home’ and contracting being a return to the pre-industrial world of work:
There was a lot of conversation (and agreement) around question 3 and the need for tailored, rather than “one size fits all” approaches to connecting HR practices to the performance of employee, and a collective cringing at the term “best practice”…
…but also a recognition that HR is not always enabled to tailor their approaches by the organisation:
The final question for the night was around ‘strategic workforce planning’. There were some great remarks here – not all of them agreeing that workforce planning was delivering value, even if there was a recognition of the potential value:
Shane Granger (who I must thank for making the original suggestion that NZLEAD do the Workforce Planning topic) took things from a different angle (a 90 degree one):
…And Rashka offered a ray of hope, and some more definitions, approaches, and words of caution emerged:
Thanks again to @tashtasticNZ for running the discussion, and to both Tash and Amanda for inviting me to contribute. Finally, thankyou all for your insights – I’ve certainly taken away some things to think about, and I hope you have too.