“Those who devise better methods of utilising manpower, tools, machinery, materials, and facilities are making a real contribution toward our national security. Today, these ideas are a form of insurance for our national security; tomorrow, this same progressive thinking is insurance for our individual security – it is, in effect, job insurance.” – Robert R. Shannon
Thanks to the development of technology over the past few decades, business productivity has increased dramatically. More and more organisations are utilising technology to improve their bottom line while taking their business to the next level of competition in the global market. While technology could help organisations achieve their business goals more effectively, a study by ABAHE revealed that the tendency to rely on technology should be balanced with manpower resources. Any further improvements, as cited in the study, will depend on a very great extent upon improved manpower utilisation. Management is also urged to show greater respect for the role of manpower in their profitable industry.
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What is manpower and manpower planning?
The exact definition by Business dictionary showed that manpower is a total labour of a nation, including both men and women. In addition, if there are more people than available jobs, it is called manpower surplus; if available people are fewer than jobs, it is called manpower deficit.
Meanwhile, manpower planning, which is also called as human resources planning, is the process of estimating the optimum number of people required for completing a project, task, or a goal within time.
The constructive idea is that manpower is the available resources, while manpower planning is how HR utilise these resources.
Then, what is the importance of manpower planning for a business?
As the global market continues to be more competitive, companies need to smartly adjust their strategy to not only become automation savvy but also to get the best talents that could adapt to the digital transformation. Ahalya Thulaseedharan, an HR specialist at Secret Spell Creative Space, cited that to get quality employees for the right job at the right time, manpower planning should not be avoided. Leaders should begin to implement a serious manpower planning, said Thulaseedharan, because it will really improve production and efficiency of an organisation. Besides, manpower planning will ease future recruiting strategy as manpower planning requires forecasting needs as well as forecasting about absenteeism and labour turnover. The quality of the workforce will also improve as having quality employees means producing quality work.
Further importance of manpower planning lies in its efficient utilisation. For example, planning, organising, directing, and controlling which become important strategies in recruitment and are based upon a manpower strategy. Thusly, by utilising manpower planning in the right way, leaders can improve staffing strategy which is the key to all managerial functions. More, manpower planning will boost motivation, relation between candidates-company and candidates-job in which it will result in higher productivity.
How to utilise manpower planning?
As mentioned earlier, manpower should be used in the right way so it can be the best weapon in your staffing strategy. Therefore, adapted from management study guide, here are steps to better your manpower planning.
#1 You should analyse current manpower inventory
Current manpower inventory will help decide the future manpower planning. Therefore, you should know the status of your current manpower by following these notes, including the type of your organisation, a number of departments, number and quantity of the departments, and employees work in each unit.
#2 You should make the future manpower forecasts
Planning of your future program should be developed once you have the data of what factors affect the future manpower. Accordingly, these steps are adapted to better your techniques, including expert forecast, trend analysis, workload analysis, workforce analysis, and other methods such as budgeting or manpower needs analysis.
#3 You should develop employment programmes
Employment programme can be developed once you compare your inventory data and future data forecast. The employment programme should include recruitment, selection procedures, and placement plans.
#4 You should design training programmes
Lastly, designing program is meant to improve skills, capabilities, and knowledge of your current and new workers. And to make it the best program you have, a training program should be based upon the extent of improvement in technology and advancement to take place.
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