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In business we often conduct a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis is a framework used to evaluate a company’s competitive position and then to develop a strategic plan to address these areas. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. You can apply the same process to your workforce, which is extremely helpful when determining if you have the right employees to grow your business and stay competitive in your industry.
Begin the SWOT analysis by focusing on the strengths of your workforce. The first step in this process is to identify the key positions or critical positions in your company. These positions are those that have the most impact or significance on your core business. These positions can be executive, management or rank and file positions. Regardless of the level of position, they are the most critical for achieving your business goals. Once you have identified these critical positions, you can begin your evaluation on workforce strengths by asking these questions:
- Who are the strongest employees and what are their greatest skills and competencies?
- Do you have top tier talent working in the major functions of the company such as sales, customer service, finance, administration and technology?
- Which positions have a good placement of employees who are maximizing their strengths?
After reviewing the strengths in your workforce, you can conduct an analysis on your weaknesses. Here are some questions to help you assess your weaknesses.
- Who are your low performers and what are their weaknesses?
- Are any of these employees working in the wrong position and could be better suited in another position?
- What operations are impacted by not having high performing and talented employees?
- Is employee turnover a problem?
- Why are employees leaving your company?
- What are the business disruptions employee turnover is causing?
- Which company functions are lacking in top talent?
There are two primary goals for talent management. The first is to hire top talent and the second is to retain top talent. Therefore, it is essential to identify opportunities that relate to achieving these goals. Here are some considerations for the hiring process:
- Where can I market current and future positions in order to source top tier talent?
- How can I build a pipeline for future hires?
- Who can I contact to obtain referrals for potential job candidates?
- Where can I network (professional and business organizations) to obtain referrals for job candidates?
- What type of referral program can I develop for employees to refer job candidates?
In retaining employees, it is essential to be intentional in developing opportunities that engage employees. Here are some opportunities to increase employee engagement and retention:
- Conduct one-on-one meetings with employees to discuss their job satisfaction and provide constructive feedback.
- Develop a culture that invites employees to participate in special projects that stimulate innovation.
- Make time for fun, celebrations and humor in the workplace.
- Invest in training activities such as on-the-job training, classroom training and off-site training.
- Seek feedback from the employees on process improvement and business operations.
- Communicate at all levels within the organization. Information is a powerful tool for engaging employees and building an inclusive work environment.
- Ensure that your managers are supporting these initiatives and leading the charge.
The final process of your SWOT analysis is to review the threats related to your workforce. One of the most prominent threats is the threat of another organization hiring your top talent. Consider which competitors may be pursuing your employees. Another threat is losing employees because of a higher compensation package. New legislation that could affect your people budget can be a threat. Some examples are minimum wage changes and new sick and paid time off leaves. A major threat is the labor shortage. Currently the demand for employees is excelling the supply of job candidates. How will you overcome this threat and hire the employees you need?
Your workforce SWOT analysis is the first step to achieving a competitive edge by building a dynamic workforce. This process requires you take the time to analyze each of these areas and develop strategies to get ahead of them. As business owners we are faced with opportunities and threats on a regular basis but being proactive instead of reactive is imperative to staying competitive.
March 13, 2019 at 10:56AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs