90% of companies don’t have a Staff Demand Planning Plan. Here’s why it’s important for you

Efficient companies are an operational marvel. A cluster of independent-minded people, trained in different contexts, with diverging personal goals and deep-seated fears – yet united in the mission presented by a business.

The harmonious function of this body of individuals ensures that sales targets are being met, shareholders are getting their dividends, the government is happy with company adherence to industry code and the world is generally made better because the company’s product is always on the shelf.

But this immaculate state of affairs could fly down the tube very quickly – and often does – when one screw comes loose in the delicate compilation of levers that drive this operational contraption.

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Before a lot of things that immediately come to mind, the most potent danger to the smooth functioning of a workforce is a mismatch in business needs and the staffing situation.

Let’s take a quick stroll to Hygiene Company X (HCX for short). Every week, HCX sees a spike in store visits from Thursday through to Sunday. People love to buy their hygiene supplies on the weekend. However, the management at HCX never sees it fit to increase the staffing capacity on the peak days – leading to long queues, burnt-out store attendants, irritable customers and don’t forget “poor staff performance” that might lead the HR to suspend some staffers and fire some more.

“Poor staff performance” – in quotations because the staffers are not performing poorly but have only been stretched beyond their limit.

The scenario that has played out in the case of HCX (suffice to say, one of the more obvious and simplistic version of this) is the sad fallout of the lack of a manning plan.

A manning plan is an element of workforce planning that outlines procedures that aligns the business objectives with the talent capacity needed to achieve those objectives.

The manning process outlines the different phases of talent acquisition, deployment, and management. For how long the staff needs to train before he starts generating profit for the company. What quality of work the company should expect from a new talent after a certain timeline.

A manning plan is important because …

This is important to ensure the long-term success of your company (i.e: profitability).

Were HCX to have a proper manning process, they would have known to have a pipeline of contract employees that will check-in from Thursday through to Sunday and check out for the rest of the week. With this arrangement, odds are good that everyone will be happy.  The systematic unpleasantness of the store staff will be stemmed, the HR won’t have to fire anyone for “poor performance” and the fine people who have come to pick hygiene supplies will leave happier ready to give a good review on Twitter.

In most cases, the development, deployment, and impact of a manning plan are more nuanced unlike I have painted above.

Perhaps our hygiene company wants to start providing artisanal hygiene services for pets – a new service very different from their existing one which focuses on humans. Evidently, there is a new set of skillsets involved here. There are new objectives the business will set for customer satisfaction, work quality and profitability.

HCX would do well to outline a fresh list of talent to bring on board. Alternatively, HCX would create a process to build animal care capacity within its existing workforce and transition them into the new business.

In a universe where the alternative is being considered, who would take care of the work left behind by the workforce transitioned into the animal arm of the business?

A manning plan answers these questions. If no answers exist, the business will crash, burn and its flimsy ash will be lost in nothingness.

Businesses that last are scientific about how they bring on talent, when they bring on talent and when the talent begins to pull their own weight. Driven by a business plan, businesses should outline talent needs and set a plan in motion to recruit per their growth projections with allowance for training and immersion.

A manning plan illustrates a business with a vision.

Your business survival is riding on the right manning process. Don’t leave your business growth to wild guesses, untested assumptions and the mood in which you wake up. Draw up a manning plan that puts your business growth front, center and provides talent recommendations that sync with your goals. We can help. The African Talent Company works with top African brands to source and recruit executive talent. Call or send us an email;

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