Customer Service Skills Training

A skills programme by Tremendis Learning

Grasping the Big Picture

Grasping the Big Picture

Grasping the Big Picture

Strategic staffing begins with an effort to reassess your department's human resources needs in the context of your firm's business priorities. It's a mindset rather than a process. The idea is to begin thinking in terms of need rather than job, long term rather than short term, and big picture rather than immediate opening. This approach ties directly into the changing role of the HR professional from administrator to strategist, which I discuss in Chapter 1.? To succeed, you need to gain a firm understanding of your company's major goals and priorities.

Unless you head an extremely small organization, you can't adopt a strategic staffing approach all by yourself. Make it a priority to introduce the concept to other managers in your organization. You'll need their input to better understand company and departmental priorities - and they'll need your help in guiding them through the process and adopting this mindset as well.? Together, you'll need to identify everything that may affect the efficiency and profitability of your firm's operations - and not just in the short term, either.? To get you started, here are some of the key questions that you and other people in your company should answer before you make your next move:

  • What are your company's long-term strategic goals or those of departments seeking your assistance in hiring employees?|
  • What are the key competitive trends in your industry? (In other words, what factors have the greatest bearing on competitive success?)
  • What kind of culture currently exists in your company? And what kind of culture do you ultimately want to create? What are the values you want the company to stand for?
  • What knowledge, skill sets, and attributes (in general) are required to keep pace with those goals and, at the same time, remain true to your company values?
  • How does the current level of knowledge, skill sets, and attributes among your present employees match up with what will be necessary in the future?
  • How reasonable is it for you to expect that with the proper support and training, your current employees will be able to develop the skills they're going to need in order for your company to keep pace with the competition?
  • What combination of resources (rather than specific people) represents the best strategic approach to the staffing needs you face over the near-term and the long-term?

Strategic staffing is not just about hiring more employees. It involves making the best staffing choices available to address the core business needs you and other managers have identified. If a line manager you support is thinking of filling an existing position, encourage him to consider how his group's most critical needs have changed since the last time the job was open, rather than immediately searching for a candidate to fill the vacant position. Is a fulltime individual still required in this role? And should a potential replacement have the same skills and experience as her predecessor? Or does the position need to be re-filled at all and the duties handled in other ways?? Ask the hiring manager to analyze his work group's daily activities to better understand how current resources are allocated. Help him identify the frequency and timing of workload peaks and valleys and look for predictable patterns. Discuss the impact of shifts in company priorities and what eventual effect these are likely to have on the work group in question. This discussion allows you to spot any shortfalls in human resources for upcoming initiatives.

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