Well known shipping company and i4cp Strategic Workforce Planning Exchange member FedEx Ground involves leaders from multiple business functions in its workforce planning efforts. Senior Workforce Planning Specialist Sugani Leman explains that the workforce planning team recently revitalized the approach, drafting new participants and clarifying roles and responsibilities. The result is a streamlined process to move workforce planning projects to completion.
Getting leaders involved
“Seven high-level, cross-functional officers (EVPs, SVPs, VPs and above) serve on the Workforce Planning Steering Committee,” Leman says. “The committee meets monthly to oversee and direct workforce planning projects.” To identify projects requiring committee approval, the workforce planning team designed a four-tiered decision rights process.
A process for planning decisions
Tier 4: Decisions are made by the company’s various business functions. Projects are internal to that business only, such as requisitions for open positions or job-title changes. “The workforce planning team reviews the proposed project to ensure it falls within budget and aligns with corporate strategies,” says Leman.
Tier 3: Decisions affect more substantive organizational change that falls within one or two business functions but that doesn’t have material cross-functional impact. “The VPs retain decision rights with the workforce planning team in an advisory capacity,” explains Leman. Example: a reorganization of a department that doesn’t affect departments outside that unit.
Tier 2: Decisions involve organizational changes that span multiple business functions—centralizing or decentralizing a business function, for example. Such projects, along with projects on which consensus cannot be reached in other tiers, go to the Workforce Planning Steering Committee.
Tier 1: Decisions “would apply to a change that would broadly impact the workforce, company policy or strategy,” Leman describes. Senior officer approval is required at this level.
When it comes to gauging effectiveness of the decision-making process, Leman says, formal measures of success are determined on the basis of individual projects and their associated goals.
This is an excerpt from i4cp's report, Winning at Workforce Planning: Turning High-Performance Strategies into Action, available exclusively to i4cp members.