Every year in our newsletter we publish new year's resolutions for workforce planners, and encourage you to pick at least three for this year.  The ten resolutions to choose from are:

  1. I resolve to take achievable, pragmatic steps toward workforce planning. Workforce Planning is a journey which you must travel one step at a time, rather than attempt to implement a fully fledged approach on day one. You might start by introducing environment scanning, creating the right people metrics, or even building a forecast of your "no change future state". Whatever you choose, take the step, and then you can take the next one.
  2. I resolve to look outward and forward, not just inward and backward. Many workforce planning and analysis efforts focus on what has happened in the past inside our organization. Looking at external factors and looking into the future is becoming more important. Ensure that your workforce planning and executive reporting includes these vital aspects.
  3. I resolve to learn Strategic Workforce Planning techniques. Adding skills such as scenario planning, forecasting, and gap analysis to your current skill set might be the most important step you can take in preparing your organization for the future.
  4. I resolve to treat the talent market as a market, and apply marketing techniques to it. The talent market is becoming increasingly challenging, and we need to start competing in it just as we do in the markets for customers and capital - that way we will be competing to win!
  5. I resolve to be willing to forecast the future. Forecasting the future is an inexact art, but many disciplines, including finance and marketing, do so - with varying degrees of accuracy, but almost always with value gained in the process. Remember, all our knowledge is about the past, but all our decisions are about the future.
  6. I resolve to filter data and convert it to information and insight. While a lot of data can be interesting, very little of it is normally useful. Data becomes information when it is positioned in context, and is insightful when it relates to your organization and the executive can easily understand and interpret it to take action.
  7. I resolve to make Workforce Planning a priority in my organization. Can you imagine hearing "it's not a priority" for business planning? With the economy providing brand new challenges and changes, failure to workforce plan could prevent you from achieving your business plans, and the return on investment in workforce planning is usually compelling - make a real business case for your executive!
  8. I resolve to stop letting today's issues make me stop planning for tomorrow. Think of Workforce Planning as the ounce of prevention you need to prevent the pounds of cure you are spending putting out the fires of these burning issues. Look to the future and phase out this fire fighting!
  9. I resolve to share my experiences with other workforce planners.
  10. I resolve to say "why?" and "what if?" at least three times a week!

Ironically, one of my resolutions was to blog more regularly...and this is my first post for the month of January.  So MY workforce planning resolutions are starting in February, then - what's happening with you and resolutions?