The future of resource management and the Great Resignation
This post is authored by Stephen Beck, FinancialForce Vice President of Global Professional Services. Stephen’s mission is to help customers rapidly implement SaaS solutions so they start realizing business value swiftly and have a great experience throughout the process. Steve has a strong track record of success as a Customer Experience executive at companies such as: Oracle, VMware, RSA, and Unisys where he has led teams in Professional Services, Customer Success, Support, and Product Development and Management.
It’s being called “The Great Resignation” — the post-pandemic trend of individuals reassessing their careers (indeed, their lives) and leaving their jobs, in many cases with nowhere specifically to go. For employers worldwide, this trend is shining a massive spotlight on the need for employee retention.
Of course, retaining employees has always been a hot topic for services firms. But to solve for it amid The Great Resignation, enterprises need to take a fresh look at how they manage their resources…and how to keep them.
Balance process with people and improve resource utilization
Let’s start here: Resources are people. Sometimes that can get lost on companies that focus too intently on process optimization. Sure, improving utilization is an important, profit-enhancing goal. But when process purity comes at the expense of workforce satisfaction, engagement, and development — especially at a time when the talent pool has the power to walk with their feet — then your initiative has created undue collateral damage in the form of expensive disruption and replacement costs.
The watchword is equilibrium — balancing process with people. That means accounting for your employees’ career goals and desires. It means viewing open assignments and resource demands in the context of each other, rather than in a vacuum. It means identifying risks for potential burnout and making the necessary adjustments. And it means remembering that your company’s most precious resources walk out the door at the end of each workday … possibly for the last time.
Empower Resource Managers and increase employee retention
So, how do you increase employee retention? One way is with better tools to optimize workforce deployment. The right set of software tools can provide the ability to optimize deployments across multiple open assignments, forging past the limitations of one-on-one assignments to include soft booking and “what if” scenarios. That software can also help Resource Managers see and know everything about their employees, including skills, previous work experience, goals (career development), and motivation.
Better resource management isn’t a top-down exercise. Employees need to play an active role in the process. A successful initiative is one that matches individuals with their skill sets and professional goals. To that end, encourage employees to identify their strengths and aspirations, and flag the upcoming assignments that most interest them. Then match assignments with employee profiles accordingly.
One way to facilitate this process: Deploy project resource management software that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) — for example, prompts based on previous assignments — to streamline the process of identifying each employee’s most leverageable skills (and, to take workforce development a step further, upgrading those skills).
Future-proofing resource management
The Great Resignation represents a major shift in the labor market. The pendulum has swung to the employee side. Service-based organizations would do well to view the trend as a wake-up call or lose talent to the companies that do.
Now is the time to modernize your approach to resource management. The outcome, a more engaged and motivated workforce, will not only drive improved levels of customer success but also help you retain and develop high-value talent.
Learn about FinancialForce’s Advanced Resource Management solution, a customer-centric approach to optimizing project staffing and providing an innovative experience for employees.