3 Opportunities for HR to Drive Scenario Planning

Scenario planning can often be an essential part of the process used for strategic planning. Traditionally it comes under the umbrella of finance and business strategy. However, with the constant evolution seen in work, HR needs to have a more active role in scenario planning and focus majorly on planning a skill-based workforce. HR can use scenario thinking as an opportunity to influence the HR redesign, especially regarding practices and models. In addition, HR can also work alongside business leaders and create a people-inclusive scenario. To do so, HR needs to have a good understanding of what scenario planning is so that they can play an essential role throughout the process.

HR’s role in scenario planning

Traditionally HR has had limited involvement in the process of scenario analysis. Most HR teams would contribute to scenarios by only focusing on the kind of impact people-related themes would have. While this has been a valuable contribution, there are three opportunities where HR can contribute a little more to the scenario thinking process and, in turn, bring more organisational value. 

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Opportunity 1: Making sure planning of a skills-based workforce is included in the process

Mostly HR is only given the task of implementing scenarios that are prepared beforehand. However, HR can contribute to the design of the organisation and plan the workforce at the very beginning of the scenario planning process. 

The focus of their scenario planning should be:

  • Development of capability maps for every scenario 
  • Defining required skills with the use of a taxonomy that is skills-based
  • Exploration of potential strategies for development and talent so that the skills gaps are mitigated. 

Opportunity 2: Being able to identify as well as implement HR interventions

HR can use the process of scenario analysis to introduce new ways of thinking, so that service offering is valuable and relevant. While the principles would remain the same, HR can use evidence and data to form definite scenarios. This can be done by offering work models that include hybrid and remote modes of working or by applying performance rewards, total rewards and employer branding to increase the value of offering to employees. 

Opportunity 3: Introducing the concept of scenario planning for HR itself

This opportunity lets HR apply principles used for scenario planning to point out how the HR function can potentially look as per scenarios that have been designated. This strategy can allow HR to prepare responses that align with particular scenarios. This can also give HR a chance to evaluate what approach they need to build on.

When HR engages in the scenario planning process, they already have a good and deep understanding of what is needed to adapt to in the future. They can also help HR reconsider the current model. This can also bring workforce perspective into the scenario planning process and help prepare HR for the correct responses to each scenario. 

This kind of contribution can also elevate HR’s impact on the company and help introduce new practices and models. This is simply an exercise of future-proofing the function of HR in the organisation and preparing the company for multiple futures. 

Reference: How HR Can Drive Scenario Planning: 3 Opportunities | AIHR | Dieter Veldsman 

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