Step Three – Develop Action Plan
In the prior step, the gap analysis identified areas where the organization may either have a workforce or skills shortage (gap) or over supply (surplus). In this step, the organization develops an action plan by prioritizing the most critical gaps and determining strategies and specific action items to address gaps. Strategies are broad categorical statements, whereas action items are specific approaches and steps that have measurable objectives. Action items should identify specific person(s) responsible for implementing the action items and when the item will be accomplished.
Examples of strategies to consider for addressing gaps include:
Strategy: Address surplus positions
Review the list of surplus positions available from the Gap Analysis. Review the skills associated with each of those surplus positions. Determine if positions can transition into the gaps to be filled. To do this, consider:
- Are these skills directly transferable to fill the gaps?
- Can any of gaps be filled by retraining surplus employees?
- Can surplus positions be easily reclassified to the positions needed?
Strategy: Use a variety of incentives/mechanisms to recruit new skills and retain needed employees. Action items associated with this strategy can include, for example:
- Develop a formal mentoring program for incumbents of targeted position groups.
- Institute voluntary rotational assignments.
- Use volunteers, where permitted, to attract community and employment interest.
- Partner with another component or agency to expand employee development.
- Expand outreach through job fairs, advertising, websites, employee referrals, etc.
- Expand use of work-life programs (e.g., alternative work schedules, flexi-place, part-time employment, child care facilities and subsidies).
Strategy: Implement Retention Strategies
If turnover is an issue, explore what high-performing employees want and need to stay with your organization and apply their capabilities to accomplishing your mission.
- Develop an infrastructure to provide constant feedback between these critical employees and their supervisors/managers.
- Develop a means of providing incentives and/or working conditions designed to retain high performing employees.
- Identify ways to make the workplace a rewarding environment that keeps employees engaged by using positive feedback, encouraging innovation, and recognizing work contributions. Look at employee survey results to find areas needing improvement, and develop strategies to make improvement.
Strategy: Partner with academic institutions with high minority enrollments In planning to fill expected gaps, organizations can establish memoranda of understanding with member institutions of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), the American Indian Higher Education Consortium and/or other organizations/institutions as a means to develop a minority pool of candidates.