The CIPD has said ‘Whilst the triggering of Article 50 does not of itself bring about immediate changes, businesses can position themselves to respond with more agility by, amongst other things, laying the groundwork for future workforce planning now’.*
With the CIPD reporting that possibly 27% of EU nationals are considering leaving their organisations or the UK in 2017, that groundwork is essential.**
They identify three areas of actions
Risk analysis - use workforce planning tools, techniques and analytics to identify where your workforce may be affected.
Recruitment proposition - your organisation needs to be as appealing as possible. Get social media savvy and make sure your company is the one to work for.
Brexit management capability – without knowing which legislative changes are on the horizon an internal Brexit taskforce can manage transition and take the initiative in identifying areas of change.
For some organisations the principles of Strategic Working Planning (SWP) or Succession Planning are an unknown quantity. SWP is really about gathering intelligence, identifying and analysing what an organisation is going to need in terms of size, type, experience, knowledge, skills and quality of its workforce in order to achieve its objectives, usually covering a 3-5 year forecast period.
The formality of your succession plan depends on the size of your organisation. For small to medium sized companies you could simply use an organisation chart to detail past jobs, skills/strengths, qualifications and abilities. This should be used as a changeable planning tool for career development as opposed to just a record. By working backwards from the key roles your business needs to support, you can target the abilities and skills that are needed. The idea is to bridge the gap between ‘potential’ employees you’re looking to develop and the roles you’re hoping they will move into.
Some companies construct their succession planning policies around initial recruitment drives as well as appraisals and training programmes, this helps to employ people based on personality traits and natural skills that will be of benefit in the future. Generally these companies will always look to promote internally before looking outside of their organisation.
In larger businesses it makes excellent business sense to have small feeder groups that could move into key leadership positions within the organisation. There will always be a certain amount of growth that you can estimate, e.g. retirement and turnover. Looking at your company’s objectives and goals will help you make an educated guess as to where your organisation may possibly create new roles through growth.
The principles of SWP have not changed however with Brexit looming it has perhaps become an essential tool particularly for SME businesses who are looking to grow in the next few years and may find themselves with a depleted pool of candidates.