With New Zealand’s growing economy, it is fair to say many businesses have listed steady, sustainable growth as a key goal in 2014. However, with our positive economy comes increased employee confidence and the need for businesses to look after their staff and HR strategy now more than ever.
Most companies acknowledge the importance of having a strong HR strategy, but in our fast paced world often our best of intentions are left as just that – intentions.
So, why not make it a goal to get your HR house in order before the end of 2014? With a bit of workforce planning in the right areas, your company will be in a stronger position to see out 2014 and prepare for the New Year.
Make the time to plan now
Everyone is busy right now and a significant portion of businesses have not got the internal capacity to run and manage project work that focuses on retention and engagement of staff. While the day to day work is of course crucial, that longer term vision is really important as well. Talent mapping and workforce planning is essential to secure a diverse, high performing, creative, adaptive and productive workforce that ultimately feeds the leadership pipeline.
Book out a day out to focus on your HR strategy, call in an HR consultant to assist and put a dedicated plan in place for the remainder of 2014 and beyond.
When you sit down with the end of the year in sight, also look two to five years ahead. Assess your business goals and ask yourself, do you have the right level of engagement to make those goals happen? Everyone has productivity goals, but if your engagement of your top talent doesn’t mirror your productivity ambitions, then you have got problems. Your senior management team and leaders must share a unified vision, while an employee who feels their voice is being heard, and that they are valued for their contribution to the business, is more likely to remain loyal to a company.
It is also important to be sure your current staffing levels can deliver on your growth targets. While your workforce might be managing the current workload, if you have the ambition to grow then you need to invest in additional staff as well. Further, if you are losing staff or have a retention problem, then you need to continually add to your workforce in order to ensure you can maintain momentum and nothing slips through the cracks.
Keep focus on your employer brand
As competition for talent grows, business leaders must to look at how they attract the best people while also retaining their stars. Employers should revisit their employee value proposition and communicate this at every opportunity. Do you offer the right training and development opportunities to allow people to up-skill and take on new projects? And do you let everyone know about opportunities to further their career?
Investing in developing the skills of your workforce, and positioning for the next stages of growth is crucial when employee mobility remains high. With the unemployment rate holding steady at six per cent for the last two quarters, as well as surging job creation, jobseeker confidence is continuing to grow. Three quarters of workers (75 per cent) are confident of finding comparable jobs within six months, while just four per cent say job loss is a significant fear.
When making your workforce resolutions – regardless of the time of the year – it is important to ensure these reflect your overall business plans and that they are integrated into the wider company strategy.
Making sure your organisation is an attractive and engaging place to work will be vital as we continue to witness a shortage of skilled staff, and businesses with the strongest HR strategies aligned to the overall business goals will have a significant advantage over the competition.
By Paul Robinson, New Zealand Director of Randstad NZ