Resource Management

Are you ready for a post COVID-19 flexible and scalable workforce? How to succeed in establishing a Resource Management function in the ever-flexible Post COVID-19 World Order

The future of work post COVID-19 will require changes in ways of working to allow for business continuity and flexible demands emphasizing the already growing trend in a flexible, scalable,andagile work force with project-based assignments and output-based contracts turning the tap on and off to balance resource demand and repurpose the workforce where and when needed.

In this post series you will read about:

  1. The key factors to succeed with post COVID-19 Resource Management and why organizations benefit greatly from implementing Resource Management
  2. How to actually get there; What aspects to consider, what tools to use, and how you should rethink your organization and delivery model

To successfully sustain an organization with an increasingly flexible workforce, you will benefit from establishing a Resource Management/staffing function which has many benefits such as providing companies with a competitive edge, widening their pool of talent, increasing productivity and utilization, as well as staff retention (to name a few).

Implementing good Resource Management requires a new and different way of thinking about workforce planning and triggers a considerable cultural impact to the organization.

Therefore, make sure you consider the following aspects before embarking on the journey towards better Resource Management and demand planning in an ever-flexible Post COVID-19 World Order.

The key driver to success 

When deciding to implement a Resource Management function, be ready to support the implementation efforts from top management throughout the journey providing the new Resource Management function with a strong enough mandate to succeed. The support always needs to be totally unwavering and continuous.

In fact, better delay setting up the Resource Management function to secure the necessary mandate than to rush getting the implementation on its way. The time will be well invested. Sounds simple, right? But lack of appropriate mandate is the key driver behind most implementation fails.

There will be bumps along the way – especially if communication efforts are not prioritized accordingly – so be prepared to support the new Resource Management function thoroughly along the way.

Don´t make the mistake of thinking it can float on its own once it´s born. The journey towards managing a flexible workforce via a fully operational Resource Management function will take months – not weeks.

Don’t beat around the bush. Go for the throat 

Make sure you are aligned on key messages to the organization around why and what is changing. Consider asking your key stakeholder groups in the organization how much detail, how often, and in what mode they want communications. This will help you strike the balance between over- or under communicating.

Establishing a function that mandates where and how people are sourced or staffed can seem worrying to many (career-driven) individuals as the personal impact on them is unknown in the early stage of the implementation. They need to know the steps on the road ahead, what this will mean to them, their roles, and career opportunities – and how this tie in with their individual performance reviews and talent management.

Therefore, be clear, honest, and direct and make sure your messages are tailored and on point without any unambiguous sub-messages distracting from the actual message. Check in occasionally, with your key stakeholder groups to make sure they understand the message as you intended it.

Why you also need to rethink your company culture and organization

Be aware of the cultural enabler Resource Management is and consider your company culture in that light. Assess and address potential roadblocks and obstacles prior to implementation.

As the top management, ask yourselves: Are you ready? If so, make sure the management team is aligned on e.g. utilization targets per career level and how they map to the company compensation model. Also, consider how a new Resource Management function aligns with the business strategy and current company culture.

  • UK research by Capability Jane reveals that 92 % of Millennials identify flexibility as a top priority when job hunting. How is your company considering flexible work patterns to increase productivity and attract millennial talent?
  • How much is flexibility and work-life balance a real priority or a pseudo promise?
  • Is there a retention strategy for people on paternity/maternity leave or long-term illness supported by concrete human resources initiatives?
  • How is Resource Management expected to be tied in with retention strategies, talent management, and succession planning?

In addition, consider the blueprint impact of transitioning to an organization with a flexible and scalable workforce. You will need to reflect on your strategies for facilitating growth and innovation and how your organization handles fresh business opportunities that require quick adjustments with non-linear growth where a slow, traditional recruitment process simply won´t cut it anymore.

Furthermore, you will need to dedicate time to assess how you sustain your organizational culture with a part of the workforce being scalable/flexible in an “outsourced in-house” company model. Finally, you want to make sure you remain compliant with regards to taxation legislation, cross-border mobility policies, and GDPR when working with output-based contracts.

These are some of the considerations you would benefit from making up-front to make the most out of implementing a Resource Management function ensuring your culture, organization, and Resource Management efforts are aligned and synergized.

About the author:

Naima Robenhagen Burgdorf
Managing Consultant
NorthHouse Partners
Phone +45 31 70 31 11

During the past 10+ years, she has helped digital agencies, consulting firms, pharma, healthcare, and public sector clients with business transformation, Resource Management, and workforce planning.

As a Resource Management specialist, she is well versed in developing and operating Resource Management functions helping her clients achieve a greater level of transparency and optimal demand planning enabling better recruitment decisions, improved talent and performance across the workforce resulting in higher fee rates and greater retention instantly impacting the bottom line.

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