Trudy Brunot reports:
"A strategic plan serves as a road map for an organization in terms of its vision, mission statement, core values, objectives and goals. It gives functional areas such as distribution, manufacturing, marketing, finance, operations, research and development[,] and human resources a framework for contributing to goal achievement...The planning process becomes smoother with preparation. During this preliminary 'plan-to-plan' stage, individuals who will be involved, the project’s time frame, information needed and sources for that information are identified. Odds for success increase by devoting time to ensure that no one (customers, investors and employees) and nothing has been overlooked. Small businesses may opt to base their HR plan on a set number of quarters or on a half-year basis depending on growth projections and whether they are in the start-up stage...The first step in writing a strategic human resource plan involves a thorough study of external factors affecting the business: economic conditions, political/legislative atmosphere, competitive climate, market conditions, industry outlook and trends in technology. This 'environmental scanning' identifies threats the organization faces and opportunities to exploit...The internal analysis centers on corporate culture, employee competencies and workforce composition by location in terms of workers with general knowledge versus specific skills, contract labor and what author and professor emeritus George W. Bohlander calls 'alliance/partners' — those whose skills do not relate directly to the organization’s strategy. Taking stock of the human capital currently employed provides a foundation for determining future staffing needs...Forecasting encompasses labor demand and supply predictions to indicate any surplus or shortage that the HR strategic plan must address. Demand estimates must consider the organization’s objectives, business unit goals, budgets and historic turnover, absenteeism, retirement and attrition rates. A small business likely will use the qualitative method to forecast demand when it has little or no historical data, rather than crunch statistics. The qualitative method takes advantage of management expertise, intuition and prior experience to assess future employment needs...Supply estimates are based on labor market characteristics such as unemployment rate, demographic trends, government regulations, education levels and worker mobility. Small businesses should consult local, state and government agencies as sources if national and international data is not relevant to their situation...The final step in writing a strategic human resources plan compares the current workforce inventory with the labor forecasts. Gaps related to skills, position types...and workforce size are addressed with action plans based on organizational structure, employee development, succession planning, outsourcing, recruitment and technology strategies."
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