Workforce Planning. The COVID-19 circumstance has brought the lens down to the here and now.  Harvest Director, Maree Herath explains.

Often Workforce Planning operates at three levels;

  • The Strategic (3-5 year timeframe)
  • Operational Workforce Planning (12 – 24 month timeframe) and
  • Tactical Workforce Planning (3-12 month window)

What does my organisation need to do today to respond to current market conditions? Amidst the pandemic that is COVID-19 our landscape is changing rapidly. Rules and restrictions are coming into play and they are changing daily.

For this reason, while organisations do not want to lose sight of the business strategy organisations need to urgently address their workforce to respond to and survive the crisis. Directors will benefit from considering the following:

  1. Sustainability

As a Director of your organisation you have a duty of care is to ensure your company does not trade while insolvent. With cataclysmic impacts to entire industries (such as Tourism, Travel, Hospitality and Retail) and the release of over 100,000 workers in the last weekend of March nationally in Australia this has shown that companies need to adapt and fast.

An organisation must be across its financials and potential government support packages and then scenario plan – including some worst case scenarios – and what that could mean.

  1. Interpreting Data and Analytics

Internal data includes an organisation’s income or profit and loss statements. The first point is to address revenue and what the likely impact the current environment could have on revenue – either organisation wide or within certain divisions.

Other data is the payroll data. What are the outgoings and what are the physical resources needed to address the new revenue model of the organisation?

External data. The external environment is changing rapidly. As such, organisations need to be across the following channels of response to the Corona Virus, the benefits that can be derived and the implications for the organisation.

Federal Resources –

Victorian Resources –

Geelong Resources –

City of Greater Geelong’s Corona Virus Support page

Emerging Developments

Geelong Business Support


Organisations must also extrapolate what the future “new normal” could look like.

Articles are only just coming to hand and include:

COVID – 19 What will Australia look like on the other side?”

Imagining Life after COVID-19″

The Economic Impact of COVID-19

When an organisation looks at workforce analytics, addressing current trends and insights and subsequently interprets these within the context of the organisation, this should lead to consideration of workforce options. This will include addressing the right workforce number to ensure sustainability today and into the future.

  1. Address the organisation’s stable divisions

Some organisations will be decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic meaning it will have to become a much-constrained version of itself (core staff numbers only) with the majority of its workers retrenched or stood down during the crisis.

For other organisations, some divisions may remain stable or buoyant despite the change in the landscape – consider online retail versus face-to-face.

Organisations should consider investing further resources into stable or buoyant divisions as these business units could grow with further impetus.

  1. What new or emerging products/services could be released?

With the world changing rapidly and society’s needs changing even more rapidly, organisations would benefit from addressing whether they can pivot to meet this new demand? As the COVID-19 crisis is short-term organisations should only address new service streams that can be generated and released in days/weeks. If the time taken to incubate a new product or service is too long, the economy may have moved by the time your product is released. Be very mindful of risk versus reward. If there is reward and the time to market is almost immediate, an organisation can consider what human resources to apply to this development.

  1. Take action

As a Director you need to make decisions. Gain the information, gain advice, weigh up the scenarios, use decision making tools and importantly ACT!!

Your duty is to ensure your organisation can, with your best endeavours, sustain itself.

Make the decision, make the necessary changes and move forward.


Where to from here? 

If you are interested in learning more, Harvest’s Workforce Management in Crisis Package is available for purchase for only $99.95.

The package includes:

  • 4 x recorded Webinars and transcripts covering: 

(i) Standing Down Workers

(ii) Letting Staff Go

(iii) Working from Home Essentials

(iv) Agile Workforce Planning

  • A Working From Home Guide, Policy Template, Safety Checklist and Employee Declaration Template 
  • A Workforce Planning Guide 
  • Additional resources and surprises!

This offer includes two hours of  expert consultation PLUS the resources to effectively manage the people side of your business amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

Available for purchase, only for $99.95.

Contact Harvest at to get your Workforce Management in Crisis Pack TODAY!

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