Management Today - Workforce scenario planning around Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As an authority on workforce planning and management, we are being regularly asked by the media to provide insight and advice around adapting shift patterns, rotas and rosters in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

A top-level guide to scenario planning’ published by leading business title Management Today features comments from Working Time Solutions’ Director Robert Crossman.

It explores how businesses can scenario plan for crises such as Coronavirus (COVID-19), with Robert focusing on employee engagement as one of the four key points to consider.

You can access the article here (registration required) and below are more workforce planning and management tips that we recommend you consider around scenario planning in shift working environments:

  1. Regularly analyse and model labour demand. Drill down on the key elements of your demand to understand the impact Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having and how this might evolve over time. Scenarios can be modelled and simulated in advance to create purpose-built  resourcing models which maintain capacity whilst factoring in new restrictions and processes. Create a bank of solutions which can be quickly implemented in response to changing dynamics without significant disruption, additional cost or risk to employees. 
  2. Maintain an organisation-wide view of employee availability to ensure scenario planning is shaped by real-time data around variables such as hours worked, absence or holiday allowance. Map role and skills interdependencies to ensure the right mix of employees are available in line with demand. Continually analyse this data to inform decision making and identify potential risks such as capacity shortfalls, compliance breaches and employee well-being issues. 
  3. Keep an open mind as there are many ways to respond to workforce planning and management scenarios. Consider alternative team structures, extended operating windows, reserve/banked hours, rostered holidays and how to transition into and out of interim arrangements. Identify what options are ruled in or out by existing employment contracts and ensure employee well-being remains a principle focus. 
  4. Engage your workforce and factor their preferences into your plans. Ensure the challenge, rationale, nature and impact of any potential changes is effectively communicated. Co-designing solutions with employees at the scenario planning phase can yield creative, effective and popular solutions and avoids undermining trust. 

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