A company’s employees are possibly its most essential asset. As with any other asset, businesses must develop appropriate strategies to utilize human resources to achieve organizational objectives. The HR department, in conjunction with department supervisors and managers, is typically tasked with ensuring the business’ human resources are sufficient to attain its goals. Managers must integrate manpower planning with organizational planning to ensure the right employees are available with the right skills at the right time.
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines manpower as, “The total supply of persons available and fitted for service.” An organization’s manpower consists of all employees who are available and capable of working. Manpower planning, however, also includes future employees who may be necessary to achieve organizational objectives. Businesses must often plan for additional manpower to ensure workers possessing the appropriate capabilities are available to do the work necessary to achieve long-term goals.
According to the online Management Study Guide, manpower is integral to all four of the key management functions of organizing, planning, directing and controlling. Planning consists of determining appropriate goals for the organization as well as how to allocate resources, including human resources, to attain those goals. The planning function of management determines the company’s overall strategies. The HR department plays a fundamental role in the planning function in that it ensures the organization’s human assets are available when needed.
Efficiency and Productivity
Businesses commonly rely on the existence of constant, reliable productivity levels on which to base management decisions. Productivity also has a direct impact on the organization’s bottom line and tends to increase with the effective and efficient use of human resources. Managers must develop and direct the organization’s human assets to ensure human resources are available to maintain stability, efficiency and productivity to achieve ongoing effectiveness. Additionally, the organization’s ability to expand and grow is directly related to its ability to properly manage its manpower.
Sustainable Competitive Advantage
A sustainable competitive advantage is achieved when an organization maintains the capacity to compete with others within the same industry. The effective use of manpower in planning is essential to the creation and maintenance of a sustainable competitive advantage. The development of existing manpower to ensure workers maintain the capabilities required to continue to do their jobs and remain competitive is an essential element of manpower planning.