Workforce contingency plan – Three steps to create

Team meeting for contingency planning

A workforce contingency plan is not just about how to manage your business through pandemics or natural disasters, it also helps you to manage your way through common challenges such as limits on staff capacity and business continuity when you’re short of people.

There are several scenarios that can be planned for. What to do when staff are away on leave. If there are gaps between a staff members resignation and finding a replacement. Or a senior manager is away for an unplanned extended period. There is one thing we know, and that is the wheels of industry cannot stop, and that it’s unlikely you can distribute additional workload to others on your team without adding temporary support.

  1. The first thing to address is who can step up if a critical leadership gap exists? Know who in your team is capable, and make sure they are prepared in the event they are needed.
  2. Review your staffing schedules, who would be an alternate option to move laterally into someone else’s role.
  3. Next, identify where backup is most likely needed. As you move people around to cover for others, you’ll obviously create more gaps. Understand those gaps – what skillsets will still be required? Can they be temporarily filled by part-time workers?

Job roles can morph overtime. When preparing your workforce contingency plan, you’ll get a clearer picture on what changes have occurred and what short-term help you will need. It doesn’t matter if it’s a senior position or an administrative role; temp workers or contractors come in many guises.

When you know who is stepping up and who you need to cover for, you can implement your plan with speed and haste, working collaboratively with our temp agency to quickly fill the gaps. You bring us the problem and we’ll find the solution.

This article was originally published in Business North Harbour’s FYI magazine. 
Author: Lisa Hill, Managing Director

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