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Approach to Workforce Planning

The University has chosen to adopt a proactive approach to workforce planning that aims to build capacity across its faculties and units, through the knowledge and skills of its employees and through processes that ensure client satisfaction and employee engagement.  Our approach is:

Proactive: 

  • Workforce Planning is a positive way in which we can tackle our important budgetary constraints without measures such as across-the-board budget cuts,  layoffs or a hiring freeze.  It gives power to our people to shape change in meaningful ways.
  • We are working together to anticipate changes, identify evolving needs and build on opportunities that can actually lead to more efficient processes as well as effective succession planning, career development and employee engagement.
  • We are investing in the development and tooling of our staff to enable units and faculties to have greater capacity to plan for and adapt to change through increased skills in areas such as process improvement, organizational effectiveness, skill gap analysis and change management (managing our own resistance and helping others work through theirs in the most meaningful ways possible).

Client-centered:

  • Make informed decisions:  How we make our decisions on replacing or modifying a vacant position, and subsequent redistribution or elimination of work aims to take into account the importance of the processes involved in service of our clients – whether they are students, employees or important others.
  • Seek the input of key stakeholders:  We encourage a consultative and informed approach to change that builds on the needs and reasonable expectations of those who count on us.  Their/your input is critical!
  • Ground decisions in concrete data:  We aim to ground our decisions in sound data and measures of performance and success – ensuring that we understand our environment, that our processes and activities are aligned with our main priorities, that we invest our energy in the right places and that we achieve the desired results.

Learning-centered:

  • Seek to understand:  We don’t have all the answers but we’ll do our best to understand and make informed decisions – consistently.  We need each other to do so.
  • Stay clear about what is important and adapt:  If change is to be a constant in higher education, we need to maintain a solid connection to our mission and to our core values (e.g. community, service, excellence) – while remaining adaptable in terms of structures, tools, skills and solutions.  Our environment evolves and expectations change.  So must we.  But we must protect what is essential.
  • Keep learning:  Maintaining a “learning-stance” is far more effective than one of defensiveness, blame (self or other) or disengagement.  In a rapidly changing world, we need to remain open and curious – without taking things personally.
  • Learn from each other:  People’s different perspectives and contributions are critical when we are taking a snapshot of where we are, where we’re going and what opportunities lay ahead – for the University at large, for our respective units and for ourselves.
  • Respect differences:  Fairness and consistency are critical.  That being said, each area has its own set of needs, concerns and priorities.  While certain principles apply to all, there is no “one size fits all” solution to change.  We stand to gain a great deal from sharing best practices and examining challenges – finding our common ground in terms of values, needs and opportunities. 
  • Be transparent:  To build and maintain the trust necessary to continue to learn and adapt together, we need to be transparent and open in our communications.  Employees need to understand the motives that drive the changes, the challenges we are facing and the opportunities at hand, individually and collectively.  Respect and trust are critical in making this possible – on a team, with our clients, across the University.
  • We need to be adaptable to the uniqueness of different faculties and units, while ensuring consistency and balance across the University.