August 28 –

As WFM professionals, we have to work with the uncertainty of planning for the future, and this means we have to learn to be adaptable, flexible, and demonstrate problem solving skills. We really do not always have the data at our disposal, or if we have it, it may not even be presented in a meaningful way, so it is important that we learn skills to manage that uncertainty.

Here are some tips on managing uncertainty:

  • Remember, a forecast is just that. And so is an assumption, a prediction and so on. As workforce professionals, while we typically use historical information and whatever insights into the future that we might have to help drive our forecast and assumptions, we aren’t crystal ball readers. We are forecasting or predicting what we think can happen if all of the inputs hold true.
  • Try your best to proceed without details. Who knows this job better than you? Probably no one other than another workforce professional. You have likely run across a scenario or situation that you can use to mimic something. Hey, sometimes you might just have to guestimate. Take risks.
  • Plan for multiple scenarios. Partner with your key stakeholders to understand what risks are they willing to take based on scenarios.
  • Pilot, pilot, pilot. Be sure to suggest pilots to help gather information that may be needed.
  • Embrace change! The one thing that does not change in this industry is change. While we may not have control of change, we certainly do have control on how we react to it.

So yes, you can manage uncertainty because it is not always black and white in our roles.

This week’s tip provided by SWPP Member Jessie Cessna of FIS Global.  She may be reached at