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This is the first in a new Cisco Partner Talent blog series authored by Kaycee Tan, who is the marketing manager for Cisco Partner Talent. By working together, the aim of Cisco Partner Talent is to help partners attract, develop, and retain the right people with the right skills at the right time. .

Do you have talent gaps in your practice? Do you know what investments you need to make to fill them? How about some actionable steps to succeed?

Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP) addresses these challenges, helping to ensure our partners are able to link their talent strategy with their business strategy—and have the talent they need to achieve their business goals.

We encourage you to learn about the SWP “Eight Success Driver” lessons, and see how 3M, The Principal Financial Group, and Regence have successfully implemented  a more rigorous and business-based workforce planning process in support of better talent investment.

These lessons include:

Success Driver No. 1:  Find the Right Champion
Strategic Workforce Planning, or SWP, requires a few credible and influential champions to drive, support, and sustain a change in changing markets, for example. While a strong HR professional can be an effective champion in some organizations, experience has shown that a champion from the business side is critical.

Success Driver No. 2:  First, Believe … Then Execute and Evaluate
Organizations that implement SWP have a fundamental belief that a more strategic, rigorous, and data-based approach to workforce planning is critical to strategy execution and, ultimately, yielding of significant benefits.

Success Driver No. 3:  Segmentation is a Disciplined Art, Not an Exact Science
Figuring how to segment job roles isn’t the same as segmenting people. Instead, it’s important to look at talent and how to determine which roles are critical for driving your firm’s long-term competitive advantage.

Success Driver No. 4:  Sound Judgment Is Still Required
Think SWP is a cure-all? It’s actually a decision-support mechanism—not a decision-making expert system. That said, rely on workforce planning to uncover data, disconnects, trouble spots—also use it to zero in on potential opportunities and make better business planning decisions.

Success Driver No. 5:  Think Globally, Start Locally
Pilot your ideas first before implementing them broadly. This will help you gather info and make modifications. It’s like your “learning” stage.

Success Driver No. 6:  Integrate, Integrate, Integrate
SWP can’t stand alone. For success and long-term sustainability, it’s important to make sure you link it with other processes such as strategic planning, operations planning, and talent development.

Success Driver No. 7:  Human Resources Sets the Table
An organization’s leaders play a critical role in SWP. But that doesn’t mean HR isn’t just as important in supporting and facilitating any implementing and ongoing management. So be sure to engage across functions to drive business performance.

Success Driver No. 8:  Start with the End in Mind
What’s your goal? Will SWP generate what you want? Be sure to understand right from the start how it will improve your talent planning.

This is just a sneak-peek at the SWP process.

We invite you to learn how 3M’s line leaders and human resources make talent investment and business decisions that enable the organization to more effectively manage its talent portfolio based on business need.

In another case study, in just three months, initial pilots enable Regence to identify the roles that are critical to executing its strategy, locate any talent gaps in these roles, and outline the specific actions and investment needed to fill them.

While the success drivers described here illuminate practices that can improve the success of most initiatives, the most important step is taking action, going beyond conceptual talent planning discussions, and committing to SWP as a way of doing business.   

Get more insight. Download the complete article, “8 Success Driver for Strategic Workforce Planning.”

For additional FREE talent management resources for your entire employee lifecycle, visit Cisco Fit4Talent.

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