The Impact of Strategic Workforce Planning

TechWolf's CHRO Round Table blog series (2/3)

Mikaël Wornoo

Mikaël Wornoo

02 Apr 2021

On the 17th of March 2021, TechWolf organised a first Round Table with five CHROs; Anik Stalmans (Cegeka), Jan Van Acoleyen (Proximus), Jan Heyvaert (AG Insurance), Maarten van Beek (ING) & Frank van den Brink (former ABN AMRO). Read about their thoughts on Strategic Workforce Planning in this three-piece blog series.

The  CHROs that participated in the virtual talk

A completed Strategic Workforce Planning confronts an organisation with choices: build, buy or borrow. "We need to evolve from a replacement model to a circular model," says Jan Van Acoleyen of Proximus. "To achieve greater circularity of your employees, you need to set up Strategic Workforce Planning. There are more possibilities than you think".

For HR this means, among other things, that learning & development is now recorded as an investment and no longer as a cost in the accounting balance sheet. "Objectify what learning brings, show that the shift in available skills is aligned with the strategic needs in order to convince your management", says Anik Stalmans, CHRO at Cegeka.

"We must give employees the opportunity to take the driver’s seat of their employability"

Jan Van Acoleyen

Over the top

She looks ahead at the employability of talent. When the skills of a position are not yet under threat, employees do not feel the need to retrain or reskill themselves. "The trick is to make them look for the next step just before they reach the top of their expertise."

This brings us to the individual responsibility of the employee. "We must give employees the opportunity to take the driver’s seat of their employability", states Jan Van Acoleyen. Maarten van Beek agrees: "ING is experimenting with moving away from job positions and introduced a mobility platform: a digital marketplace where you bring supply and demand together, on a voluntary basis. And what do we see? There are hundreds of people who want to go from job A to B."

“Strategic Workforce Planning leads to highly targeted learning interventions, with more relevant data points.”

Frank van den Brink

Learning is fun

"Help people overcome their fear of taking the next step," advises Jan Heyvaert of AG Insurance. The company introduced the 'fly & try' concept: an internship elsewhere in the organisation: not only observation but truly working together.

Cegeka launched the "CEO of your own career" programme. HR raises awareness for the initiative and facilitates the process. Anik Stalmans: "We bring people together to give them a taste of future-oriented positions, for example as a security engineer. We look for the right data points to make this process efficient."

Can you retrain all employees and deploy them elsewhere? "Mobility can only be organised optimally across companies and industries, because sometimes one company or industry shrinks too much. Next to that, make learning enjoyable so that people are motivated to take training courses." Frank van den Brink advocates a cross-industry and cross-company approach in SWP. "Look holistically and systemically at the skill mismatch. Strategic Workforce Planning leads to highly targeted learning interventions, with more relevant data points."

Find out more about the obstacles of efficient Strategic Workforce Planning in the last part of our CHRO Round Table blog series: The 5 Obstacles of Effective Strategic Workforce Planning or read the first part Giving Strategic Workforce Planning a Boost.

Mikaël Wornoo

Mikaël Wornoo

COO & Co-founder

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