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Partner News: Turbulent times – workforce planning

In the last edition I wrote about emergency succession plans – the importance of having one – and the key elements to a good one. If only I had had a crystal ball I would have written more generally about emergency/crisis planning!

Emergency/crisis planning is now well and truly on everyone’s agenda with the Covid19 global pandemic, and highlights why good businesses and leaders take a very rigorous approach to risk management, scenario planning and crisis planning. 

Whilst not many NFP’s as part of their risk management framework would have considered the scenario of a global pandemic – it is more likely the scenario of a catastrophic hit to revenue would have been part of their considerations. That is typically why I have seen well led NFP’s (particularly professional associations) hold a minimum of six months income in reserve.

Whilst NFP’s are generally considered as being recession proof, they are still exposed to the same shocks as the private sector, so in addition to ensuring a strong balance sheet, well run NFPs also have diversified income streams, run lean and efficient operations, and are very focused on people and culture and their workforce planning.

So, in this time of significant uncertainty – how do you deal with the latter point and workforce and people planning? And did you have a plan before the Covid19 crisis?

We are currently seeing a mixture of responses in the NFP sector to the Covid19 global pandemic crisis. Most NFP’s have taken a considerable hit to their revenue lines, with many likely to have to dip into reserves to keep the organisation functioning and providing member services. Whilst we have not seen significant retrenchment, there’s certainly many that have reduced working hours and implemented temporary remuneration reductions.  

Your workforce plan will be a critical element of your strategy moving forward.

Key elements of a plan include – what is the size, shape, nature of your workforce required to implement your short- and long-term plans. What are the gaps from the current state (skills, number, location)? What structure will be the most effective and how is it different to the current state?

I am confident that the economy will bounce back and believe members and clients of NFP’s will need them more than ever – so having the right team in place, with the rights skills will be critical to ramping up the organisation’s activities in the ‘new world’.  So, who and what will you need? Now is the time to be doing the work to make sure you have the right team in place.

The Brown and Chase HR advisory team can help with workforce planning/structure reviews/remuneration benchmarking and talent reviews.

Please get in touch if we can help.

Noel Rowland, Partner, Brown & Chase.

Mobile 0414 278 279

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