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A Happy Workforce Is a Productive Workforce

Posted by Rick Yvanovich on May 30, 2012 3:18:00 PM

describe the imageAs we enter July, many companies are getting into the full swing of preparing for their next fiscal year, which means budgets and forecasts; new initiatives, promotions, and product launches; and hopefully, effective workforce planning to ensure that all of those efforts are successful.

Eliminating poor work relationships through effective workforce planning will help your organization succeed! Workforce planning strategies don’t just focus on having the right numbers of employees in each role, but they also help managers and employees learn how to handle diverse dynamics and empower them to learn from each other as well as use their differences to propel the team to success.

In today’s workforce, teams are often made up of a diverse group of people with a variety of characteristics. When team members are faced with differences such as age, gender, culture, sexual orientation, and religion, team leaders may find it difficult to get them to work as a cohesive unit.

Workforce planning helps you understand the differences among employees and how to use those differences to bring the workforce together so that they can be effective as a whole.

Most businesses continue to run lean following the global financial crisis. This staffing situation has overshadowed what began before the downturn – changing workforce demographics driven by the retirement of Baby Boomers. Over the next few years, most organizations will begin to experience a talent crisis that will affect the way businesses are run. It will affect employee/manager relationships, succession opportunities, approaches toward employee development, philosophies toward retirement, and the fundamental way work together. Workforce planning is important because it addresses all of these issues before they become a problem.

Workforce planning helps you understand the capabilities and roles of everyone throughout your workforce by giving insight into the core characteristics of each employee, regardless of their culture, age, or gender.

You might think that with so many people still searching for full-time work, that any fears of a talent crisis would now be moot. However, companies who are hiring aren’t just taking warm bodies, nor are they willing to train workers who are unskilled in their business. So the talent crisis forecasted before the downturn hasn’t been remedied by large pool of laid-off and displaced workers. Perhaps the most successful companies will be those who figure out a way to take advantage of that talent pool.

As the talent shortage nears, it’s increasingly important to create a business culture that is welcoming and engaging for talented individuals from all backgrounds and all levels of experience.

Managers must find new ways to create the capacity for innovation by encouraging collaboration, sharing knowledge, and working together to create new ideas. Effective workforce planning will help you do just that. Workforce compatibility measures critical workplace compatibility information between a manager (executive, director, supervisor, team leader) and their employees. Organizations use it to improve the relationships of every member of the workforce.

The better a manager understands an employee, the more effective they can be. Effective workforce planning tools combine insight into the unique working characteristics that can impact the employee/manager relationship, along with actionable information on how the employee and manager can work together. Those tools also aid in the understanding of differences in working styles between managers and employees and provide specific guidance on how the manager and employee interact in order to:

      • Increase productivity
      • Improve communications between manager and employee
      • Identify and avoid potential management conflicts
      • Resolve ineffective working relationships

Did you know that one of the most common sources of poor work ethic is the relationship between a manager and an employee? And good workers are more likely to leave a company because of their boss, not because of pay. A manager can significantly impact workforce development and employee performance. Whether the impact is positive or negative is often the direct result of their understanding of each other's work habits and style.

Managers who are "out of touch" with their employees often cause low productivity, dwindling morale and high employee turnover, while employees who feel a connection to their manager are often highly productive and engaged in their work. Having a greater understanding of the dynamics of their work relationship will help both parties appreciate where their perspectives are similar and where they differ. This mutual understanding will result in a more productive and positive working relationship.

So don’t just base your next fiscal year’s headcount on the projects and products you plan to tackle. Invest in effective workforce planning tools to not only hire the right numbers of people in the right roles, but also to maintain healthy relationships between your managers and their employees.

Edited by: Jeff Meyers

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Topics: Workplace Management, Leadership Skill Improvement

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    Rick Yvanovich
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    With the Profiles International South East Asia Blog, it is our mission to help organizational leaders and HR professionals improve their performance and workforce productivity. 

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