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Addressing Your Future Staffing Needs in a Challenging Economy

Owen and his wife Karen owned a large drywall company, and they were in the midst of a big transition that many people face - passing the business on to their children.

A major business planning issue that concerned all four of them with the transition was - where should they take the company? And how could they determine what would take the company there?

Owen and Karen had started their business over 20 years before, and it had grown to a 25-employee company. For the past number of years their son and daughter had worked in the company in various roles, and they had big plans for the company.

While their children were quite familiar with its operations, they were unsure how to grow it.

How To “Create Your Future Organization”

Then they discovered the concept of how to “Create Your Future Organization” - which is part of our Structure of Success™ methodology. This enabled them to examine their company from the top down and forecast its future business growth needs.

This process provided them with a very good sense of what they needed to do in terms of the company’s systems and personnel to take the company to the next level.

You may be wrestling with the same issue - how do you forecast what systems and personnel you will need in the future to accomplish your Vision?

If so, please read on.

The Visible and Invisible Parts of Your Business

There are two parts to any business: the visible and invisible portions.

The invisible portions of your business are the things your customer and the public are not privy to, and don’t interact with. They include:

  1. The Vision for your company
  2. The Critical Success Factors you have identified
  3. Your overall Strategy
  4. The internal Metrics you will monitor
  5. What Quality Loops you will put in place
  6. Which Incentives you need to provide to your personnel

Conversely, there are eight elements of your company that comprise the portions of your organization that are visible to your customers or the outside world, namely:

  1. The effectiveness of your Leadership
  2. The results of your Marketing & Sales operation
  3. Your Production performance
  4. Payments, invoices, purchase orders, etc. from your Finance & Administration function
  5. How engaged is your Human Assets (your staff)
  6. Your use of Information Technology to improve experiences with your company
  7. Your operating procedures and Systems
  8. The functioning of your Personnel

The above eight elements are the ones your customers see, know about, and interact with. To them these areas are your “business.”

The Key – Your Systems and Personnel

Of these eight functions, your systems and personnel are the ones that must correctly interact with your customers for you to have a thriving business.

This is because your systems accomplish everything your business does, and your personnel execute these systems.

This is true for your company now, as well as the one you hope to have in the future.

The combination of your Systems and Personnel comprises your current and future “organization”.

Creating Your Future Organization

The challenge that Owen, Karen, and their children faced was how could they forecast what their future organization needed to look like to achieve their future Vision?


The above diagram identifies all the elements of a business. The Execution area includes your Systems and Personnel, and these form the core of your organization because, as was mentioned before, they are the ones your customers interact with.

To plan for the future of your business you need to determine the systems and personnel resources that will be required by your company in the future.

This is not a daunting task because you know your current systems and personnel resources; therefore, the task at hand is to create the roadmap to move your operations from where they are today to where you want them to be in the future.

Let us examine a very straightforward, two-step method for “Creating the Organization” to achieve your future Vision and related five-year goals.

Step # 1 – Create a 5-year Projected Organization Chart

First, review in detail your future Vision Statement and the goals and objectives included in your five-year Strategy.

Then create a well-defined personnel Organization Chart that reflects what your business would need to look like from a personnel standpoint in five years to achieve your goals.

For example, let’s say you have a business that has revenue of $2M a year and a goal of $10M in revenues per annum, five years from now. The company has determined that each salesperson is capable of selling $2M in revenue per year, therefore you will need five salespeople to achieve the five-year goal of $10M in revenue.

With five people needed in Marketing and Sales this means that you will require a Marketing and Sales Manager to oversee the Marketing and Sales area, and to support the increased sales staff you will require two sales assistants.

Similarly, each person in Production is capable of producing $500K in revenue, so you will need 20 people in production to hit $10M.

With 20 people in Production, you will need a Production Manager to oversee your Production area and will need to operate three shifts, therefore you will require three Production Supervisors. 

The above provides the information to create a projected Organization Chart for a Marketing and Sales department with five salespeople, two sales assistants, and a Marketing and Sales Manager.

Likewise, you need to create a projected Organization Chart for your Production area with 20 production staff, three Production Supervisors, and a Production Manager.

Thereafter, you would complete the same process for your Finance and Administration, Human Assets, and Information Technology areas.

Drafting Off Your Projected Organization Chart

Once this is done for a 5-year horizon, it is a fairly easy task to create projected personnel Organization Charts for one, two, three, and four years from now.

These additional charts can be used for planning purposes as you move forward. You want to print out these projected charts and keep them in a place where you can periodically review them for guidance and inspiration.

Next, in the future as the need for increased staffing arises, you can define the overall job responsibilities of each position. And as you hire the additional personnel you can update the overall job responsibilities into full Job Descriptions.

By doing the above, you will be alerted to issues, challenges, and decisions you may face with regards to your future Vision and 5-year goals.

Step # 2 – Systems For Your 5-year Vision

Using the detailed five-year personnel Organization Charts from above, the next step is at a general level, to create plans for the Systems you will need to have in place to achieve your five-year Vision.

For instance, the above Marketing and Sales area may need to implement a Sales Incentive program, a Goal Setting process, and a CRM system to support the additional sales activities.

This requires that you examine the current operational setup of your company and see what you need to change to get your business from where it is at today to where it needs to be to support your future Vision.

To accomplish this, with your current systems in mind, use the job responsibilities for each position to create the Systems you will require at each stage of your organization as is reflected in your projected Organization Charts.

When this is completed, you will have an accurate picture of what your business will look like in the future, and then you can work backwards to the present with the intention of changing your current organizational structure to move it toward your future Vision.

Once these steps are completed, when you are ready to actually hire the people who will be needed in the future, all you need to do is to review your current situation and update your Systems as needed.

Where To Start

Because a company’s systems and personnel form the core of a business, it is prudent to anticipate and plan for a company’s needs in these two key areas.

Start by examining the 5-year Vision you have for your business, the Strategy for achieving this Vision, and your related company goals.

Next create a projected personnel Organization Chart for achieving your Vision and goals.

Then utilize your forecasted Organization Chart to anticipate the systems you will need to support your personnel in their pursuit of your Vision and goals.

Part of this process includes defining job responsibilities for the predicted staffing levels so you will be able to quickly add personnel. These job descriptions also enable you to identify who among your current staff may be candidates for the new positions.

By taking these preparatory actions you will build an organization that will become the nucleus of how your business will operate in the future.

If you could use assistance with anticipating your company’s future personnel and system’s needs, please contact us using the information below so we can be a resource to you in this critical area.

Fountainhead Consulting Group, Inc. is an Innovation and Business Planning firm. During the past 21, years we have shown over 1,200 companies how to achieve their goals by using our unique, comprehensive, and systematic FastTrak Innovation Program™,Innovation Academy™, and Structure of Success™ methodologies. Using the components in these methodologies, each month we examine an aspect of how to transform your business or organization into a true 21st Century enterprise.

Office: (770) 642-4220

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.