Strategic “HR-ing” — Digital Workforce Transformation and Automation
Strategy, one of the most used word, yet misunderstood for methodology. Strategy is not an ordinary way of achieving a goal, its an intentional and advance plan to win! Strategy originally was a military term. How then do we apply it to workforce transformation? Its quite simple. Strategic Workforce Transformation is a process of developing and deploying the right people in the right place at the right time with the right skill using the right cost to execute a business strategy and an organizational goal. For a sound execution of strategic workforce transformation digitally, you need some certain skills to enhance your process. You need to be Business Intelligent(Business Acumen), Technically Savvy (IT Skilled), be a critical thinker and a sound data analyst (be able to use and interpret data properly).
Having all of these, you still need to be a process-oriented person because Strategic Workforce Transformation and Automation is a process which involves the following but not limited to: — Business Strategy Alignment — Roles Segmentation — Digital Environmental Scanning — Current State Analysis — Scenario Planning — Gap Analysis — Action Planning using the right tools — Automated Monitoring and Reporting. Be rest assured that every of these processes or stages of Transformation involves some handful of technical know-hows to be able to execute correctly and achieve the desired result. Strategic Workforce Automation is not an HR or Consulting responsibility alone, however, not all HR Personnel can execute Strategic Workforce Transformation correctly, hence, its what everyone including the C-Suite should look out to imbibe.
Let’s now look into the processes very briefly and in a well rounded manner: 1st-Business Strategy Alignment: What does it mean and entails? There are several types of business strategy i’ll just mention a few example; Product Innovation, Operational Excellence, Customer Intimacy etc. This is simply building a focus in practical phrases highlighting the goals in details the steps and direction with which an organization aims to achieve. This business strategy must be SMART and align with the company’s values.
2nd-Roles Segmentation: This is the process of identifying the strategic roles, supporting roles and the core roles. This is done by segmenting the roles which is most crucial to achieving the the business strategy and organization’s goal. Having looked at the roles critical to executing the business strategy. You ask what competencies are required to perform these jobs looking at your pool. All roles are important but not all roles are equal as they don’t contribute equal value to the business outcome. For example, an IT Company looking to release a more friendly technologies to its users would have their Product Designers and Software engineers as the the strategic role. Also, for a Logistics Business looking to improve its customer’s intimacy their courier would be their strategic role. Ensuring these delivery guys are well trained, technically and psychologically transformed to fully achieve their strategy. 3rd- Digital Environmental Scanning: This is an intentional analysis of both internal and external demanded strategic talents using the right tools like PESTEL, SWOT and other important quantitative and qualitative analysis. Quantitative Analysis like trend analysis in your company and industry at large, forecasting using predictive analysis, survey analysis, BIA(business impact analysis). Qualitative Analysis like assessment centers, focus groups discussions, storytelling etc.
4th- Current State Analysis: This is to analyze the current state of the workforce in alignment to the new business strategy determining the capacity and capability currently existing in the identified strategic roles and to establish a point of comparison for gap analysis. This analysis will help you gain access to and understanding of people data by looking into demographics, profile data, trends data, turnover rate, retention rate, diversity percentages, competencies analysis etc. This helps you gain further insights by examining the talent segments that makes up a role.
5th Scenario Planning: People say we cannot predict the future. Actually, we can see a large part of the future. We can have a preview of how things will unfold by looking at our thoughts, actions, and dominant beliefs. See this Albert Einstein quote — “How we act today determines how life unfolds tomorrow.Your imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” Scenario Planning provides a structured way to imagine how your organization’s strategy might play out in the future. It helps you get in front of future talent needs. Always consider several factors during scenario planning strategically such as, technological factors, demographics, politics and policies, social factors, financial factors etc.
6th- Gap Analysis: I suggest you start by asking this important question “Who and what do we need to build for the organization’s future?” Gap analysis examines the difference between current and future states. It identifies critical areas where you need greater capacity or capability. Not all gaps must be closed. Prioritize according to your organization’s strategy. You can as well observe the following gaps: workforce skills, supply and demand, location strategy, retention difficulty, hiring strategy etc.
7th- Action Planning: One essential element to Action Planning is to create clear objectives (rather than vague ones). In this case, we’ve identified the gaps and gearing up to aligning workforce to the organisation’s strategy to yield positive business outcomes. The execution of the plan is done by the business team but the planning belongs to the strategic workforce planning team.
8th- Monitoring and Reporting using the right technology:
Generate your reports to monitor your team’s status with one click! There are loads of software technologies to choose from such as ProjectManager, Cascade, etc which would help generate a list of the data you need, including your Project Status, Tasks, Time sheet, Workload etc to help you monitor, control and report any problem in execution. It is said that projects never go according to what we have planned. Hence, one must be ready to make any amendments as needed. Stay on a look-out for exceptions like risks, issues and change requests. Open issues will have to be resolved so that roadblocks can be removed, and a risk mitigation plan will have to be developed. To mitigate challenges you may need to have an idea of how to re-plan the project. The following steps will help you do so: (1) Keep the important project documents updated, which includes the project charter. (2) Share the new plan with your stake holders. (3) As per the demand, re-assign the work. Communicate with the team members regarding the new assignments and send automated reminders to them. (4) As required, make changes on the project site with the updates reports and dashboards.
Finally, you have to develop an effective communications strategy to successfully manage and communicate this change. At the beginning of any initiative it is imperative to set the expectation that there will be regular communication that is credible and comprehensive. Often there is a tendency for people to wait to send any type of communication until all of the information is known and available. This is a mistake! It’s much more important to cycle your communication and repeat the same message often than to wait until all the information is complete and perfect. Do Not Over-Rely on Email I cannot stress this point enough. Generally speaking, the average business person gets more than 50 emails a day. So, why then, does anyone think an email is going to have enough of an impact to change someone’s behavior? So use a variety of communications means like Small Group Sessions, One-on-One Meetings, Focus Groups, Team Meetings, Hot Lines, Video Conferences. Communication Must Include a Feedback Loop
Every communication that goes out must have a way for information and feedback to come back in. In other words, communications must be “cyclical” and “iterative.” Evaluate your communications to ensure they are achieving your goals. Test the effectiveness of your communications for both content and process.