Whether you are trying to start a business, or simply bring on new employees to revitalize your business, having a plan is a powerful way to ensure that your business thrives. While it may seem daunting to develop a plan that will ensure your company is bringing on the best employees, a well thought out plan will ensure that your business flourishes.
Some may be wondering exactly what it means to create a staffing process, however, realistically speaking it is far less overwhelming than it sounds. Typically speaking, a basic staffing plan is made specifically for an organization, or in some cases, for a specific department within the organization.
The plan will focus primarily on the needs of the agency or department, taking into consideration the various skill sets required for the organization to be successful, as well as the desired amount of staff required, the overall business needs, the timeframe for which the desired number of staff is needed, and the budget with which the organization is able to hire individuals to perform their jobs.
In most cases, when setting out to write a plan that effectively will meet the needs of the business, you will want to consider the types of positions that are needed in order for your company or business to be successful. There are a plethora of questions that should be asked when starting out that will help your company be successful in the long run.
What Should I Ask Before I Write My Staffing Strategy?
Before creating a laundry list of roles and expectations, it is important to ask a few vital questions that may help you understand better what your business needs. To begin with, you should look at the expectations of the company. In fact, according to the University of Vermont a staffing strategy should serve as a roadmap for the overall requirements of any business or organization. That being said, when you begin to develop your overall plan, you should carefully consider the expectations that need to be met.
How Do I Know What My Company Needs?
One of the most important questions you should be answering as you set out to write your staffing guidelines is the needs of your company or business. Angela Stringfellow advises that as you sit down to start developing your staffing roadmap, you consider the day to day operations of your company. For instance, you should consider your company’s overall purpose – how many people are you going to be serving, what are your hours of operations, and other basic operational needs.
For instance, if you are working in a call center environment, it may be beneficial to consider the product and overall call volume, as well as analyze data on the typical length of each call, how many calls require follow up calls moving forward, and other data from the daily operations of the call center. Statistics such as this are vital in successfully developing staff plans, and should be the foundation of the development of your overall plan.
Breaking Down The Roles
Once you have determined what your business may need on the daily, it is important to examine the types of roles you will need in order for your business to be successful. For instance, does your department need more managers? Do you need an accountant or a secretary to answer the phones? Once you have the basis of the company needs, it is important to break down the needs into specific roles, determining what roles within the company are needed to successfully operate.
At this stage, you should review what each role should be responsible for – once you know what needs to be taken care of, breaking down the responsibilities into separate roles allows you to understand what expectations are being fulfilled by who, and for how long.
So You Have The Roles and Responsibilities Lined Out…
But, now what? Once you have a clear picture of what your company needs as far as the expectations and roles, you feel as though you have a great start. And you definitely do! However, as Mai-Po Wan explains, understanding the roles and expectations is only the beginning.
Once you have an idea of what your people are going to do, it is important to consider the “ebb and flow” of your staff and your workplace. You should consider your current staffing levels – for instance, if you already have a staff of 12 people, but each member of your team feels exceptionally overwhelmed by their day to day tasks, it may be time to consider bringing on new teammates to lighten the load.
Moreover, you should consider the typical changes in staffing – examine how much work your employees are able to get done on a day to day basis, as well as who is able to cover staffing during which hours. This will give you an idea of the strategy you need to develop to ensure that your company is well staffed during all timeframes and hours of operation, optimizing the daily workflow.
When a clear picture of current staffing has been developed, you should also consider the average turnover rate and company growth. For instance, it may make the most sense to plan to hire new staff every month if turnover, or even absenteeism, has been especially high. Moving beyond this, you should also take a look at your company’s estimated growth.
For instance, if you are launching a new marketing campaign that is expected to bring in new customers, you may see an increase in sales within 3 to 5 weeks of the launch of the campaign. This may require you to have more staff on hand to assist next month than this month currently did. Understanding the projected growth of your company may be highly beneficial in ensuring that you are hiring individuals at an appropriate rate, while also being able to compensate for any turnover normally experienced.
Now, Consider Your People
Your people are the primary source of your business’s growth and are going to have the most significant impact on your staffing projection’s success. It’s important to examine the needs of your current staff, as well as be prepared to accommodate and prepare for the needs of future staff.
According to Tiffany Wright, one of the most important things you can consider is your staff and their needs. Often, there is a wide variety of situations and instances that may impact overall staffing, turnover, and absenteeism, and it is important to consider what may be keeping teammates from attending work.
What Does Impact Our Performance?
Some managers may feel as though they are at their wit’s ends, trying to figure out why, with the staff they currently have, they are not achieving the desired work output. This can be frustrating, especially when productivity goals and deadlines are not being met. However, in many cases, a simple analysis of the current workload of your employees, as well as a measure of current output can assist in your understanding.
Typically, overall productivity can be boosted with additional training, which may require additional resources. However, this is also important to consider – how often will your staff need training? What is the overall skillset required to complete this particular job? Evaluating the level of training your employees will need to maintain high levels of productivity is vital to the success of the staffing strategy.
The skill set of your employees will also help you understand the ease of hiring. For instance, if you need to employee 70 new agents by the end of the month, but the position you are hiring for requires at least a bachelors degree, as well as 5 years of relevant experience, it may be difficult to find the type of employees you need within such a short timeframe.
Considering these skills is important. For instance, a job that requires a less developed skill set but does require operational training may mean that your employees who are hired on will need to be in training for an extended period of time to successfully learn how to do their job. This is another important factor to consider, as the timeframe for successful productivity will impact your overall timeframe for goals and successful output.
How Much Training Is Too Much Training?
An important question to consider is the basis of training, and how long to keep employees in training. Some employers feel that on the job training is a more important aspect, however, you must consider the expectations and skills of the employees you are hiring in order to successfully understand this. It is important to evaluate here the expectations of your employees, new programs they may be learning, and new product information that may be essential to your employee’s success in the workplace.
How Does Training Impact My Staffing?
It may seem that training new employees would not be vital to consider when developing a staffing strategy, however, it can be one of the most important aspects. As N Nayab explains, understanding the knowledge gaps and training times in any environment is important. Training, as well as retraining, takes time away from overall productivity. Depending on your business and it’s staffing needs, it may be important to consider how often your employees will need to be trained, retrained, and the length of time these training sessions will take.
For instance, if you need to pull employees for training sessions for one hour each month, you will need to prepare to have staff available in place of staff who are partaking in training, which may cause your overall estimated number of staff needed to increase to accommodate for these pieces of training as they take place. Furthermore, the amount of time it takes to fully train an employee to be successful in their role will impact your overall productivity. This is due, both wholly and in part, to the fact that when they are first learning their role, they will not be performing at as high a productivity level as an employee who, potentially, has been with the company for quite some time.
Now, To Develop Your Plan
Once you understand the expectations of your employees and the intricacies of your staff and their productivity, as well as the necessary training periods and the amount of time that it will take your employees to reach their maximum productivity, you are ready to begin developing your staffing strategy. At this phase, there are multiple aspects to consider as well, and it is important that you take each aspect into account to ensure that you are developing a strategy that works for your company.
What Do I Consider When Building My Plan?
With all of the data and details and the in-depth understanding you developed during the previous stages, it can seem nearly impossible to know that you have enough data to start successfully developing a strategy for your company that will work. However, knowing the information you do most certainly has set you up to develop a plan for your company that will allow for staffing to meet your needs.
And What Do I Consider First?
Carter McNamara explains that in most cases, one of the most important things to initially consider in developing your staffing strategy is the overall business plan. Understand, using the data you previously gathered, what the expected company growth is – this gives you an idea of the workload you need to be able to prepare for.
Take into consideration the needs of the company at this point in time – consider whether your company needs to immediately hire new employees, or if you are going to be looking at hiring new employees within the next 60 to 90 days, or even within the next year. Understanding the expected business growth gives you an idea of when you will need to hire. Furthermore, this is a perfect time to reconsider the turnover rate when planning for bringing in new hires. Frequent turnover will lead to frequent rehiring, assuming the business stays the same size or continues to grow.
Understanding expected growth will allow you to plan for bringing in new employees at the right time.
Understand The Training Period
Next, you will want to understand how long it will take to train your employees, as well as when they should be expected to reach their peak productivity levels. Once you have considered how long it will take to have a fully trained employee, you will be able to successfully determine what work output you should have at any given time – allowing you to gain a thorough and clear picture of the workforce you will be working with at any given period.
Understanding your employee’s development during their training period allows you, as the employer, to determine when employees will need to be trained in order to meet expected growth and turnover expectations. For instance, if your current workforce may need to be retrained in order to be successful, you may find it wise to carry out this training before you bring on new hires. This is a vital step in understanding the workflow of your company, as it allows you to have the correct amount of properly trained staff while you develop new employees.
In some lines of business, it is also important to consider when your company may be understaffed. Certain businesses require a certain amount of individuals at any given time in order to meet business needs – such as the previous call center example. If your call volume is lower during the evening, you may require less staff during certain intervals – this gives you an idea of when you can successfully train new employees, as well as to help understand when you have the highest need for employees.
For more information on how best to generate schedules and understand the timing of bringing on employees, it may be beneficial to review this video which explains in detail the best ways to understand staffing needs and generate schedules for employees based on those needs.
Review The Long Term Needs
As advised by Scott Shpack, it is important to keep in mind what your company will need in the long run. This is where the previous information on the expected business growth is important – if you do not have a clear picture of how your business is going to grow and how many employees you will need to hire in the near future, your staffing strategy will fail.
Having a clear picture of the future needs of the company allows you to plan ahead – of course, as Shpack also advises, it may be important at later dates to revisit your plan and make changes as needed. However, in most cases, a well thought out and carefully structured plan should allow your company to grow and thrive. The most important aspects are understanding current business trends, as well as being able to successfully predict future business trends and plan accordingly.
Now I Know Who I Need To Hire and When, But How Do I Know It Will Work?
One of the biggest questions in any business strategy is whether it will be effective. It may seem as though it is impossible to accurately predict the future of your business, or accommodate for all employee needs. However, with the data previously gathered, you are ensuring you understand future trends and growth expectations for the business.
Moreover, it is important to note that your strategy can change – if you find that your original predictions are different, or your company has taken on a new project, you can use the basis of the plan to generate a new, updated plan. In most cases, the outline of your initial plan, as well as the information you originally gathered, will be highly beneficial in ensuring that your business continues to thrive.
Many experts suggest that the best way to ensure overall business growth and development is to be in tune with the needs of your business – especially the staffing needs. If you are able to see and understand the trends, as well as anticipate the predicted trends, you will be able to plan for the future growth of your business.
Once you’ve determined how your business is going to grow and what you are going to need to do to see to it that it is successful, the most important aspect will be maintaining your business – ensuring your plan is up to date and in line with business trends. With the data you originally gathered, you should have no problems in maintaining your business.
In essence, building a successful plan involves gathering data – understand who your employees are, what their needs are, and what their skillset already is. Once this foundation has been established, understand how long it will take to train new employees to do the job, as well as how long you will spend, on average, maintaining your current employee’s training. Consider aspects of time and scheduling, as well as the overall activity within the business.
With timeframes developed and an understanding of the skills needed, as well as the availability of potential employees and the readiness to work, you will have developed a strategy that ensures your business is well staffed, consistently, and prepared to develop and grow long term. As previously stated, should you feel that something within the organization has changed, you do have the ability to reevaluate by gathering data similar to what you gathered initially and reviewing your business needs.
Maintaining your business and being ready to grow and change as the business grows and changes are the most vital aspects of developing a successful plan. Any additional information helps ensure that all hired employees are maintaining a steady work schedule and are given the chance to grow and change with the company – reducing the overall turnover long term. While it may, initially, be a large time investment to develop a well thought out plan, once the correct conclusions have been come to, a plan like this has high chances of being successful in the long term – making your life infinitely easier.