It’s becoming more and more challenging in this digital age to move with the times, be it in response to rapidly evolving technologies, market trends, or customer requirements. Pool management is a ‘tool’ that can help! But what is pool management exactly? And how do you implement it successfully?
So, what is pool management?
Pool management involves being able to mold or shape your workforce so it’s easier for your employees to respond to new market trends and ever-changing customer demands.
A characteristic of pool management is that it’s not just a quick fix, but also a good, long-term remedy, for example imagining and creating your ideal, future employee.
Pool management also provides you with a powerful strategic tool, which is why employment agencies often use this method to manage large numbers of staff, scheduled to work at different times, on different days.
So, how does it work?
You start by making a list of employees suited to each role, task, or activity. It’s up to you who you decide to include on the list. Next, you put the list of candidates into a ‘pool’ that defines who works when on each task.
When applying pool management, you can choose whether to hire temporary staff or to flexibly deploy your own workforce.
- Temporary staff – using temporary labor is a good solution if your organization is missing certain skills or knowledge that are essential to a particular task or project. You can then opt to hire a freelancer or self-employed contractor.
- Your own workforce – perhaps you already have a versatile workforce that can perform a wide range of tasks. If so, it’s often wiser (certainly financially) to take this route.
- And don’t forget – a combination of both is also possible.
The benefits of pool management
If you’ve implemented pool management properly, it’ll provide many benefits:
- skilled, productive labor – readily available at any time
- better use of individuals’ strengths – mix and match employees and temp staff and create a schedule that gives them a healthy work-life balance (and fosters greater engagement, boosts satisfaction levels, and reduces staff turnover in the process)
- reduced administration – pool management is best implemented using clear, well-structured digital registration systems
- greater preparedness for labor market changes – find talented individuals more easily as aging populations leave the workforce
- fewer or zero skills gaps – spot missing skills or low experience levels in certain areas more quickly and easily so you can reskill or upskill staff accordingly
- greater insight into soft skills – capitalize on what’s becoming an increasingly important asset on the modern‑day labor market
Tips for implementing pool management
Use the following tips to get to grips with pool management and reap its rewards:
1. Conduct a skills assessment
Start with a skills assessment. What are your staff’s skills and competences? And how do these relate to specific tasks and roles?
Ideally, you’ll have this information once you’ve conducted your skills assessment, as well as being able to see whether there are any skills gaps.
You can do this in one of several ways. One way is with a test, simulation, or survey. Alternatively, you could simply observe staff while they perform their daily tasks. The most important thing, however, is to perform your assessment as objectively as possibly. Only then can you be certain you’ll get reliable, usable results.
2. Use smart tools
As with anything, using the right tools is vital to making pool management a success. Using skills matrices or skills management software, you can create a snapshot of all your staff’s skills, competences, and qualifications – quickly and easily.
List the names of your staff down the left-hand column and all the skills relevant to your pool across the top row, then enter your staff’s proficiency levels in the matrix. Using special-purpose skills management software, you can even update and share your information in real time to the work floor. The overview this generates makes it quicker and easier to find qualified and experienced employees for a given task or project.
3. Invest in a good flex pool
More and more companies are creating a sizeable flexible pool of workers around them. A good flex pool is a must these days, which is why it’s important to pay particular attention to the following points:
- gain commitment from both temporary workers and permanent employees to cooperate fully with one another
- make agreements about temp workers’ shifts and tasks
- generate forecasts for flex pool usage – when, where, and how often will you be using your flex pool?
- encourage greater engagement among freelancers and contractors
- perform evaluations to determine whether your flex pool is meeting its objectives
It’s ‘pool’ time!
Pool management is a great way to get more out of your workforce and create a perfect match for your employees, their skills, and your organization’s objectives. And with the right tools, it’s a piece of cake!