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Redeploying Your Workforce in Response to a Crisis

The redundancies that so often accompany organisational restructure can be highly disruptive. Damage is done to the morale of those left behind, highly trained and loyal workers are lost, and years of in-depth specialist knowledge walk out the door, at an incalculable cost to replace.

Redeployment is a preferable option, balanced with the use of contractors to provide specialist skills. Contractors act as a relief valve to reduce fixed costs and ensure you achieve critical business outcomes when facing diminishing customer activity and optimism.

Getting redeployment right for your organisation will require detailed analysis before you actually move anyone. We recommend adopting the below three fundamental characteristics to any redeployment strategy.

Fundamentals of redeployment

Things change quickly and frequently during a crisis. Continuously re-evaluate your organisation’s position at any point in time:

  • What services are essential and non-essential?
  • Are there new services required in response to the crisis?
  • The financial and human impact of any planned changes.

Communicate often and openly with workers during the process.

Consult with workers to ensure their buy-in and support of the changes you are asking of them.

How to execute your redeployment

Map required skills

Using the information from point #1 in the Fundamentals of Redeployment above, map the skills required in your new and increased demand (essential) areas. During this activity, consider re-engineering processes to enable leaner operations.

Identify immediately redeployable workers

Use a consistent framework that is structured, accurate and objective to identify the skills of workers in low demand (non-essential) areas. Cross-reference the results with the skills you require for your high demand areas. This will provide visibility of immediately redeployable workers (those with existing skills in your high demand areas), and those who will require retraining before being redeployed. The characteristics of an immediately redeployable worker are:

  • Existing skills that can be utilised in your high demand areas
  • Willingness to change
  • Demonstrate the right competencies
  • Appreciate the benefits of the redeployment opportunity

Create a training plan to address skill gaps

Looking at the skills of the workers who are not immediately redeployable, map the skill gaps between this group and the skills you require for your high demand areas. Create a training strategy to address the skill gaps. Start with the skills that are most closely linked, and will therefore be quickest to achieve. Redeploy existing staff to create and facilitate the training. Where skills are not easily trainable, engage specialist contractors to fill the gaps.

Move redeployable workers to high demand areas.

Considerations include:

  • Workers’ geographic location
  • Your organisation’s ability to have the work performed remotely
  • Whether performing the work will put the worker/s at risk
  • Changes to shifts or hours

Implement a continuous review cycle

Put regular reviews in place to evaluate the effectiveness of current staff deployment. Repeat steps 1-4 throughout the crisis management period.

We’d like to help you

Clicks’ Executive Leadership Group is highly experienced in workforce deployment across a diverse range of business environments. We are ready and willing to share any knowledge and insights to support our clients’ business continuity in these difficult times. If you could benefit from some advice, please reach out to your Clicks Account Manager or me in the first instance and we will connect you with the right expert.

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