Organizational Culture and Strategic Workforce Planning

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An organization’s cultural beliefs and values are likely to translate  assumptions of people into awareness on right or wrong and bad  or good in the business world.
--By Dr Rabindra Karna
Management by Objective (MBO) is these days widely held as a vital element of business success that closely interacts with operational excellence. Organizational culture is supposedly made of assumptions, values, ethics and beliefs that represent careful operating behaviour. An organization’s cultural beliefs and values are likely to translate assumptions of people into awareness on right or wrong and bad or good in the business world. Although there are numerous approaches for organizational culture and MBO and sufficient success stories exist, many failures are observed because of faulty executions.
While scanning the environment within the business and benchmarking with outside world, mainly in terms of competition, many factors inclusive of PEST (Political, Economic, Social and Technological) and demographic shifts need to be examined carefully. Or a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis should be done. Hence, workforce planning cannot be done in isolation; it rather needs to be incorporated in the institution’s business vision, mission, values, ethics and corporate goal. Market analysis supports organizational strategic planning process and ensures availability and placement of human resource as demanded by business expectations. Clearly defined future workforce needs and execution of desired changes to shape up the organization to enhance productivity and profitability respond to the demands of present and future tasks and ensure perfect delivery of the expectations of business strategies.
An integrated workforce during the strategic planning process ensures availability of precise accuracy in number, skills, placement, level, and most importantly, cost of people at work. Management scientists are unanimous about organizational cost structure and are in agreement that the direct people cost, on an average, becomes 40 per cent of the organisation’s total cost. As a result, any lacking or overlook of workforce planning will have a heavy impact on business success.
The most effective and efficient workforce planning begins with venture planning which in general is known as organizational plan that deals with the structure and associated activities compulsory for achieving business destiny. This plan establishes the present and future need of people and the skills/capabilities required to achieve the enterprise’s goal. This mainly works around selection and placement and career options. Another critical factor of workforce planning is performance management which deals with performance assessment, learning intervention and career advancement.
Recognizing an organization’s culture requires a meticulous measurement of many relics as these are delicate and frequently confusing. Many organizations deliberately use events methodology to generate awareness and reinforce the organization’s core values. A mission-directed management system can undoubtedly satisfy the business in total, the functions and also the personal needs. The corresponding relationship between individual strengths and areas for improvement becomes a long-term objective. Thus an adequate move around assigning employees’ physical and psychological possessions ensures effective and efficient contribution of people to the institution.
Workforce analysis provides qualitative and quantitative insights to the business that contributes to workforce planning for future success. Workforce and its alignment towards business direction guide business strategies. Workforce planning in real terms works as an eye opener to determine competitiveness in various sectors by analyzing and establishing job map at different levels of the enterprise. 
Organizational culture that focuses on the management routines essentially forms an organizational map to work by objective which guarantees the equity, modeling and benchmarking of employee compensation. 
Furthermore, organizational culture greatly contributes to deeply-embedded social norms and employee-employer bonding and instills the feeling of ownership among the employees. Institutions with a well-built culture have been found performing far better than those with feeble culture. It is the good business culture which leads to new initiatives and drives the organisation in its business direction with strong leadership. 
Human skills in an organization refer to the ability to work with people and create an atmosphere for eager teamwork to achieve the business goal. These skills also include the ability to see the ‘big picture’ in order to figure out the important fundamentals of success for self and for the enterprise. Generally, organizations carry out SWOT analysis and select the right tactical option by analyzing the environmental threats and opportunities and duly considering personal strengths and weaknesses on a wider scale of job and role fitness. 
 Workforce planning is the combination of many things and requires to be integrated with the business job map, position profile and job profile that are essential factors for achieving the aims of the firm. Here, corporate culture encourages employees to comprehend organizational measures and complete the task expected of them. A successful corporate culture, among other things, means efficient communication throughout the organization so that employees work together helping each other.
 Furthermore, while executing a workforce plan, it is valuable to consider integrating it with the institution’s human resource plan under close evaluation of organizational culture and mission. It is also crucial to keep an eye on individual career goals so that talent management remains efficient. 
In conclusion, it is important to have internal and external environment scanning done for a successful, efficient and effective workforce planning. Similarly, it is important to have clarity in corporate culture as it plays a vital role in business success. Thus, both  - supportive corporate culture and effective workforce planning - must go together for improved outcome and reward to all three parties involved – the business/enterprise, the employees and the customers/consumers.
Dr Karna is Executive Chairperson, MARK Business Solutions Pvt Ltd and Managing Director, Advance Cement. The article is based on various research reports and his own experiences as a management practitioner.

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