Who is going to work for you?
Smarter ways of working involves strategic integration of service improvements, better use of assets, sustainability, and employee engagement.
The flexible working portfolio is attractive to staff but has implications for human capital management and workforce planning, important strands of overall business planning. It is no longer appropriate to think about jobs only in terms of the traditional nine-to-five, 'HQ' - based stereotype. Planning should be geared to the flexible needs of the service users; balanced with the flexible needs of the potential workforce and delivered in flexible patterns.
The real 'baby boom' in the UK was between 1961 and 1971. In 2008, people born in that period would be aged between 37 and 47.
The population of Wales dips significantly for the age group 25 to 35.
Source: Stats Wales - Population Forecasts
Note - these figures, prepared by StatsWales, take account of the forecast movement (migration) of people.
But, people are living longer. The number of people in Wales aged 70 and over is forecast to grow by 40% between 2008 and 2023.
People may well be interested in working longer - creating a recruitment pool of experienced and flexible staff.
It is unlikely that many people in this cohort will seek high-demand, full time work, but retaining their knowledge and commitment could be an important ingredient in an enlightened workforce strategy.
There are already good examples of flexible retirement schemes, enabling internal staff to apply for lower-graded and reduced-hours roles, see http://www.tuc.org.uk/extras/flexibleretirementpolicyoct04.pdf for one example, where an individual can choose to retire any time between age 60 and 70, and where staff wishing to 'downsize' their role as they approach retirement, are able to do so.
Succession Planning will be affected by these trends - if the experienced incumbent is still within the organisation, they may be able to take on a mentoring role. Open discussions about individual's retirement plans to inform their own decision-making about the flexible options can also inform the planning around their successor.
Caring responsibilities are likely to feature more in the future, increasing demand for consideration of flexible working options. Many employers have anticipated this demand by opening the policies which were designed to fulfil statutory compliance, to any employee.
See: http://www.dti.gov.uk/employment/workandfamilies/flexible-working/index.html for guidance on the current statutory requirements.
The nature of work is moving away from the rigid job-set towards project-based portfolio employment which utilises the competences of individual employees in several concurrent project teams.
This trend makes it increasingly feasible to use more flexible options suited to the availability of part time/occasional staff, which could include the partially retired.
The NHS makes wide use of diverse patterns of employment. Over 80 per cent of the people it employs are female and over 40 per cent of the total work force works part time.
The smart organisation takes account of these changes in its workforce planning. It is no longer appropriate to think about jobs only in terms of the traditional nine-to-five, 'HQ' - based stereotype. Planning should be geared to the flexible needs of the service users; balanced with the flexible needs of the potential workforce and delivered in flexible patterns.