Now What Do You Need?

Through our friend and fellow author, Sharon Armstrong, we were virtually introduced to a reporter, Bernie Linnartz, in Taos, NM. Bernie writes a business column for the Taos News. Since New Mexico is one of my favorite places on earth, I was excited to make the connection. We send a copy of The Big Book of HR to Bernie and he was hooked. He decided to use the book as the basis for a series of articles on managing human resources for his column. The following is his article that appeared on March 10, 2016 in the paper, entitled Workforce Planning.

Workforce planning is about thinking both short and long term. It is considering your current situation and how you want to create the future of your business and your life. Here are some areas to explore:

Be strategic, proactive and forward looking: To be strategic you need to know where you are going. Once you know where you are going you can be strategic and proactive. An easy trap to fall into is to be reactive to what is going on inside or outside your business or home. It is critical to know what you want in specific terms. Start by asking the deeper question of “what are your aspirations and dynamic urges?” This question will ensure that you are working beyond a quick, random and superficial level. Be specific with numbers, timeframes and who will be responsible for the desired end results. Avoid problem solving and focus on creating the exact future you want. Strategic thinking is about keeping your intention and attention on specific outcomes.

With whom are you working? Do you know the strengths and weaknesses of each team member? Are you aware of how each person sees their needs, interests and potential? How about meeting with them individually and/or as a team to share your and their insights? From “The Big Book of HR” by Mitchell and Gamlem, “…the best strategic plan will be ineffective without the right people in the right places with the right skills to carry it out – or as Jim Collins put it so well in “Good to Great”, ‘having the right people on the bus.’” And I would add, the right people in the right seats, for sure the driver. Get to know each other as persons and professionals.

Who else might we need to help out? As you gain greater clarity of what you need and want plus create a specific picture, plan and map of where you are going, identify any skills, resources and input that are missing. Create a list of needs regarding what is missing in your current situation. Stay away from “we can’t afford it.” Next week recruiting is our topic and we will identify low or no cost options.

Who will be our team in the future? In every business and family there are additions and subtractions to and from the team membership. This can be a situation of expansion, downsizing or succession. In any case, it is beneficial to be strategic and proactive. Preparing and planning, especially for succession, can create innovative approaches to handling difficult dynamics and create opportunities for maintaining and creating increased consistency and trust with other team members to include customers.

As we continue to explore areas of managing human resources find ways to become increasingly conscious at work and at home that everything that we think, say and do is an opportunity to build relationships rooted in care and support with the intention of building a better life and world for all people. (For additional HR Insights see “The Big Book of HR”)

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Managing people is the most challenging part of any leader's day. And that job certainly is not getting any easier. The Big Book of HR will provide any HR professional, manager, or business owner of any size organization the information they need to get the most from their talent. It is filled with information on everything from the most strategic HR-related issues to the smallest tactical detail of how to manage people.