Skills for workforce planning and development projects

Skills for workforce planning and development projects

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Our organisation is undertaking workforce planning because in New South Wales, workforce planning is compulsory. We saw this as an opportunity to try to cover help give them a workforce plan but also cover the skilling element as well and also introduce them to e-learning where, in a lot of cases, they’re not so used to that kind of approach. So what we’re doing here is exposing those key people who are in HR leadership roles to their own e-learning experience if you like by doing the workforce plan and giving them an opportunity to test out what sort of things will and won’t work. So what we’re seeing in the way that they’re getting into the gap, identification and their workforce development strategy design is much more of an awareness about how e-learning can fit in there or how it could assist. We’re using GoToWebinar and in between we’re using the Moodle site, so we’ve got a whole range of tools and resources that are sitting on the Moodle site. And then when it comes to communication with people in between the online sessions, we’re also using LinkedIn. We’ve got a workforce planning tools group, and email and also phone and Skype so where they might need some one-on-one help, we’re connecting with them in the way that they prefer. We’ve also used an online self-assessment so that we can get a benchmark of the skills that people have and haven’t got and then we’re designing the online session if you like to fit in particular the common development gaps And with their strengths, we’re using e-portfolios and an e-assessment methodology and approach, and again mostly using Moodle to collect that evidence. In relation to the units of competency that we’ve selected, we’ve chosen two or three units one that’s workforce planning focused and one that’s more workforce development focused. Our learners are located in the Canberra region. Our learners come from a number of sectors in the private sector. They come from the hospitality, sports and fitness, banking, finance and real estate organisations. Each organisation has at least 30 members of staff and, as a whole, they represent our learners represent either HR practitioners at the manager, director or officer level so they’re all HR practitioners. We have some coaching strategies in place. We have a self assessment strategy and a supervisor strategy to make sure that they actually understand how to use the resources properly. And, in fact, we’ve built into the first phase of the project a rolling tutorial phase of the project where we’ll introduce in small segments how to use e-learn and e-learn strategies so that it’s not going to be a surprise when they come to use the e-learn platform itself. I should point out this is actually part of a blended medium so there will be classroom and face-to-face sessions. The South Australian Community Services and Health Industry Skills Board is undertaking workplace planning because the aged care industry is facing a lot of challenges when it comes to workforce planning. The aged cohort of employees in aged care is slightly higher than the national average so there’s a lot of structural issues that need to be addressed. We’re using a five-stage approach to workforce planning. The first stage is around looking at the organisational context. It’s all about looking at the external environment. The second stage is around developing a profile of the current workforce within the organisation. The third stage is around looking at what the future workforce profile needs to be and then the fourth stage is around getting into the data and working out what are the gaps within there that are the issues. And then finally, it’s about putting a workforce development plan together. The project everyone’s working on is to develop a workforce profile of their organisation. And that’s going to be the primary form of evidence for the units of competency that we’re going to be assessing against. We’re working really hard to make sure that our learners become organisational champions. The networks that we’re setting up across the industry means that they’ll be champions across the industry and, of course, by having national exposure via the LinkedIn groups, they also have the opportunity to sort of work on a national stage as well. E-learning as a set of tools allows our businesses and our organisations to provide training that’s just in time for each employee as to when they need it to perform the tasks that they need to perform, so we see e-learning as being able to breach geographical distances. We’re able to bring people together and also allow people training and access to skills when and where they need to and the way they like it. With our workforce planning for the Group Training Association, I think that the first thing is for our members to really understand the environment that they’re now working in. Developing some consistent tools and models that they can use and then applying that to the rest of their organisations and the rest of the industry. A lot of our members work regionally. Just about every young apprentice has a mobile phone or an iPad or all of that so that the way they actually want to access information, the way they learn is quite different to traditional apprentices 15/20 years ago so our members are now starting to just embrace that technology and look forward in terms of what that might mean for their business. For this program, we’re targeting CEOs, general managers and people at the senior management level within HR. Now we think it’s quite important for our industry to target champions at that upper level of management so then that can filter through the organisation. We’ve run other e-learning programs where we’ve targeted field officers and operational staff and that’s worked really well but I think it’s important now when we’re dealing with workforce development and workforce planning that we get some buy-in from the senior managers within these organisations and they can see the power of the e-learning tools that can be provided. Image is so important to our sector – the fashion sector – that when we get the final content and the e-learning tool all together it then goes off to the graphic people and it’s important about the images that are used, that the industry relates. They look current. They look modern. All of that’s important because our young designers sitting in those audiences are very quick and very sceptical and they pick up ‘image is everything’, and so we believe the tools need to reflect that. Social media. The reason we think that’s important is because a lot of social media is free. It’s low cost and, when you’ve got 86% of businesses in our sector are SMEs with an average business size of four employees, they don’t have a lot of money. They’re under resourced so we’re looking to those platforms – the wikis, social media, Google tools, cloud tools – teaching them and engaging with them on those platforms. We believe the future of our industry is in productivity and upskilling our workforce and the key to that, as identified in Roy Green’s report on management matters, is that SMEs, who are the predominant business units in our sector are lacking those people management skills. And so we think, putting effort into workforce planning at this level – and we’ve designed the tools around that – is a key to the future prosperity of our sector. Subtitles by the Amara.org community

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