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The Sock Secret – Why Getting Back to Basics is Vital in Workforce Planning

Picture this: a room filled with athletes, their attention fixed on the coach. And what does he start with? Socks. Yes, socks. Legendary basketball coach John Wooden didn’t kick off his training sessions with flashy plays or slam dunks. He began with the simple act of donning socks and shoes.

“Little things matter,” he emphasised. A tiny wrinkle in a sock, a small oversight, could spell disaster. A blister that could sideline a player for the season. Such simplicity held the power to define success for his UCLA Bruins. It’s a poignant reminder of the importance of nailing the basics.

Now, let’s apply this lesson to the realm of Workforce Planning. Before diving headfirst into complex optimisation strategies, we need to ask ourselves: ‘are we nailing the fundamentals?’ In this case our ‘socks’ analogy is the standardisation of Core Activity Language set. It’s fundamental, often overlooked, but crucial.

Without this standardisation, our data becomes a chaotic mess. But when done right, it can positively impact every subsequent step. A small yet essential detail can be the game-changer, the thin line between success and failure.

Standardised language across specialties enables meaningful comparisons, helps identify spending patterns, and uncovers anomalies swiftly and efficiently. It lays the groundwork for streamlined, efficient workforce planning – the equivalent of a winning season, as Coach Wooden would say.

So, what’s the key takeaway? Just as Wooden’s meticulous approach to socks laid the groundwork for success, mastering the fundamentals in Workforce Planning is paramount. It’s not just about avoiding errors; it’s about building a sturdy foundation for excellence. Small, basic steps contribute to the bigger picture, forming the intricate notes that compose a symphony of success.

To make life easier, SARD has done the groundwork for you. We offer Core Activity Language for all specialties. The best part? It’s completely free. Regardless of the Job Planning system you use, these resources are universally applicable across the NHS. If you’re interested in receiving this valuable resource, email to get started.

Every journey begins somewhere, and for us, it starts with ‘socks’. Let’s lay the groundwork for success together.

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