Workforce Planning: Integrating Priorities, Habits, and Systems for Enhanced Performance

In today's fast-paced work environment, it is crucial for leaders to understand how to effectively categorize work and behavior change to drive productivity and success. By examining the role of people managers through the lens of how our brains work, we can better understand how to categorize work and behavior change into three key areas: Priorities, Habits, and Systems. In this article, we will explore each of these areas and provide insights on their impact for workforce planning to maximize their team's performance

Workforce planning is a critical process that involves analyzing an organization's current workforce, identifying future workforce needs, and developing strategies to bridge the gap between the two. By integrating the concepts of Priorities, Habits, and Systems, people managers can enhance workforce planning and create a high-performing team that is aligned with the organization's goals.

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Priorities are the tasks and projects that are most important for achieving our goals. Our brains are wired to seek rewards, and by setting clear priorities, we can help our team members focus their efforts on tasks that will yield the greatest rewards.

In the context of workforce planning, priorities refer to the key skills, competencies, and roles that are essential for achieving the organization's objectives. People managers should identify these priorities to ensure that their workforce is equipped to meet current and future demands.

Tips for People Managers

  1. Assess the organization's strategic goals and identify the critical skills and roles required to achieve these goals. Communicate these to your team. For example, if the overall goal is to increase sales by 20% in the next quarter, make sure each team member understands their role in achieving this goal. Address any gaps to achieving the goal.
  2. Help your team members identify their individual priorities, and ensure they align with the team's overall goals. For instance, a sales representative's priority might be to focus on high-value clients, while a marketing team member's priority could be to create targeted promotional materials. Whenever possible, align a personal passion with a company purpose to energize your team member.
  3. Develop recruitment, training, and development strategies to ensure that the workforce is aligned with the organization's priorities. Regularly review and adjust priorities as needed and provide feedback to your team members on their progress. For example, if a new competitor emerges in the market, you may need to adjust your team's priorities to address this new challenge.

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Habits in Workforce Planning

Habits are the automatic behaviors that we perform without conscious thought. Our brains are wired to conserve energy, and habits allow us to perform tasks more efficiently. By cultivating positive habits, people managers can help their team members improve their performance and achieve their goals more effectively.

In workforce planning, people managers should identify the habits that contribute to the organization's success and develop strategies to promote these habits among employees.

Tips for People Managers

  1. Identify the habits that are crucial for the success of the organization, such as effective communication, collaboration, and problem-solving. Encourage your team members to develop these habits.  For example, a customer service team might benefit from developing habits such as active listening, empathetic communication, and timely follow-up with customers.
  2. Create training programs and workshops to help develop and/or strengthen these habits. Provide regular feedback and reinforcement to help your team members strengthen their habits. For instance, you could hold weekly check-ins to discuss progress and challenges in developing new habits and recognize team members who have made significant improvements.
  3. Establish a reward and recognition system that encourages employees to adopt and maintain these positive habits. Be patient and supportive, as changing habits can take time and effort. Encourage your team members to persevere and remind them of the long-term benefits of developing positive habits.

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Systems in Workforce Planning

Systems are the processes and structures that we put in place to support our work and behavior change. By creating effective systems, people managers can help their team members work more efficiently and consistently achieve their goals.

Effective systems and processes are crucial for successful workforce planning. People managers should develop systems that support the organization's priorities and habits, ensuring that the workforce is equipped to meet current and future challenges.

Tips for People Managers

  1. Develop systems that support your team's priorities and habits, such as project management tools, communication protocols, and progress tracking systems. Implement workforce planning tools and software that help track employee skills, competencies, and performance, allowing for better alignment with the organization's priorities. For example, you could implement a task management system like Trello or Asana to help your team members stay organized and focused on their priorities.
  2. Establish clear communication channels and protocols to facilitate the sharing of information and collaboration among employees. Encourage your team members to provide feedback on your systems and suggest improvements. This could involve creating an open forum for discussing system-related issues or conducting regular surveys to gather feedback.
  3. Continuously review and refine workforce planning systems to ensure they are meeting the organization's needs and driving desired outcomes.

Impact and Value

Understanding how our brains work can help people managers more effectively categorize work and behavior change into priorities, habits, and systems. By doing so, they can empower their team members to focus on the most important tasks, develop positive habits, and leverage effective systems to achieve their goals.

By integrating Priorities, Habits, and Systems into workforce planning, people managers can create a high-performing team that is aligned with the organization's goals. This approach not only enhances workforce planning but also fosters a more productive, efficient, and successful work environment.

By understanding the power of the brain and its influence on work performance, people managers can develop strategies that maximize the potential of their workforce and drive organizational success.

Wanna learn more about Workforce Planning, Readiness, Assessment and Implementation? Schedule a time to chat at Let's work together to elevate People Experience and People Operations through strategic People initiatives, coaching for effective leadership and proper planning for enhanced engagement.

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