Workplace planning in the wake of COVID-19

Workplace planning has long been defined as having the right people in the right position with the right capabilities at the right time, to help you grow and strengthen your company. But in the year of COVID-19, workplace planning for many is coming from the point of surviving not thriving.

While government support has been extended through Job Keeper, now is the time to start planning for necessary organisational change to save you operating from the point of urgency and panic, later.

To help you with your planning, here are five questions to get you thinking about your future workforce and considering if and when is the right time for restructure in your organisation.

1. How has your business changed as a result of the pandemic?

Take a long hard look at the way this year and the pandemic has impacted your business. What changes have you experienced in demand for your products or services? Do you have a loyal customer base that is still spending or have they tightened the purse strings? What might there spending pattern be over the next 12 months?

Is your product or service a need, want or luxury at the moment? Is there an opportunity to explore new markets or customer segments to recoup lost income or continue to grow?

2. What are your financial reports telling you?

What is your cashflow looking like? Is it viable for you to stay on your current financial trajectory? Are you relying considerably on government support to keep your doors open? Do you need to be in a position to rapidly reduce your regular expenses when that support is pulled to ensure your business survives?

Pandemic aside, what normal peaks and troughs impact your business and are these at play at the moment? Are you coming into a peak or trough and can you sustain the growth or loss through this period? Are you experiencing a short-term drop in business, or do you suspect it could be more medium to long-term? If the latter, can you sustain it by operating the way you are currently?

3. How busy are your staff at the moment?

Are your staff run off their feet, working steadily and productively, or having significant gaps in their schedule? Are they keeping busy with the tasks outlined in their position description, or have you had to resource them onto other projects or jobs because they don’t have enough to work on?

If you are finding that some staff have regular gaps in their schedules is now the time to consider turning some full-time roles into part-time roles ahead of the government support dropping? Is it worth redeploying staff permanently into areas that are of greater value to the company or a better fit for their skillset? Or is it time to decide whether the role in question is really needed anymore?

4. What knowledge and experience gaps do you have in your current workforce?

Look closely at your current workforce and what you need and want to achieve in the coming months and years. What skills and experience do you need from the members of your team? Are there roles that need to be merged, done away with or perhaps created? How does your organisational structure need to change to facilitate this?

5. How can you work smarter, faster and cheaper?

What changes can you make to improve efficiency without jeopardising quality or service? Are there innovations or technology systems that will enable you to do tasks or provide products and services cheaper, faster or smarter? How will this impact your current organisational structure, processes and current roles? Will an investment in innovation and technology result in savings through subsequent redundancies?

These questions can be difficult and confronting, but make no mistake, they need to be answered. While making tough decisions and having difficult conversations can be uncomfortable, they are a necessary part of business, particularly in the wake of unexpected health and economic crisis. How well you plan now will determine how well your business can perform later.

Need assistance with your workforce planning? Is it becoming clear that some roles will be redundant for your business to survive? Let us help. Call Turning Point Partners today on 1300 27 83 45.

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