In light of the global labor shortage, workforce planning has become integral to many businesses.
“The Great Resignation” and volatility within the demand for employment have been a challenge for consumer companies looking to guarantee that they have staff with appropriate abilities in the right places at all times.
Poor workforce planning can result in a critical shortage of senior-level skills today.
As an employer, you should have a comprehensive plan or strategy outlining your resources and staffing needs.
Workforce planning is essential to achieving the objectives of the said plan as it will equip your business with the tools necessary to meet those goals.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss what workforce planning is and why managers today are finding it as the key in sustainable business growth.
What is workforce planning?
- A business imperative; an executive responsibility
- A core business process and strategy to ensure that the right number of people with the right skills is in the right place at the right time to deliver short- and long-term organizational objectives (CIPD)
- According to the Office of Financial Management, workforce planning is essential for optimizing organizational performance – it serves as a tool that allows business leaders to match their employees with their objectives and address any current or future staff challenges.
- A strategic response to changes in workforce demographics, business models and economic conditions – and in today’s environment, it’s more important than ever (Watson Wyatt Worldwide).
- A continuous future focused process concerned with aligning the needs of the employee with those of the business and vice versa. It requires the examination and understanding of different type of occupations; global advantages; insulated and vulnerable occupations; supply and demand gap analysis; and evidence-based and targeted workforce development strategies – recruitment, retention, growing or buying your workforce and job redesign (Workforce Planning Australia)
As we look to 2023 and beyond, businesses must prioritize workforce planning to avoid any labor supply issues that could impede our progress.
By taking proactive steps now, your business can ensure the future success of its consumer operations.
Workforce planning is all about vision and foresight. Businesses should ask the following questions such as;
- What are the goals and objectives of the company?
- What does the future of this business look like, and where is it heading?
Developing an effective workforce strategy requires a thorough comprehension of your business objectives.
When you have determined short and long-term goals, you are ready to craft a successful staffing strategy.
An effective workplace planning strategy can be instrumental in helping your business craft unbeatable recruitment, retention, and engagement strategies.
Detailing each step gives your process a well-defined structure that simplifies execution.
Furthermore, asking questions on what needs to be attained on that vision is necessary, such as;
- What is the organization’s plan to achieve sustainable growth?
- What areas will expand or shrink?
- Who will be involved in attaining the goals?
- What resources will be required?
- Are the skills and competencies needed to gain a competitive advantage being developed currently within the organization?
- Will there be a need to recruit in certain areas? If so, how many people will be needed?
Workforce planning helps corporations evaluate their existing staff resources and determine the necessary measures to meet upcoming staffing needs.
Senior management involvement is a must to gather accurate data regarding each department’s current and future staffing requirements.
When planning with a C-suite, the CEO, COO, CFO, CIO, and other executives must also contribute their input.
By taking a strategic approach, you can establish an effective workforce plan that procures the necessary talent for your business now and in the future.
Think of your workforce like a team of players; having the vision of any threats or opportunities in an upcoming match, you can create a strategy that sustains your players and utilizes them (employees) when needed.
Examples and Steps on What Happens in Workforce Planning
Regarding workforce planning, there are many templates and models available from industry veterans to help get you started.
Ultimately, the details will be determined by your organization’s distinct components, like the job description, the type of industry, the location, the employment framework, and the demographics of the workforce.
Here are two examples of workforce planning for you to understand what and how the process works.
Five Steps of The Office of Personnel Management’s Model
STEP 1: Craft a strategic direction
By linking your workforce planning process and business plan, along with their corresponding work tasks, you will be able to achieve both short-term and long-term staffing goals.
This comprehensive approach will ensure that your company has the resources it needs for sustained success.
STEP 2: Assess and analyze your workforce, detect any deficiencies in their skillset, and conduct an extensive employee analysis.
Estimate your current staff and how it may fluctuate with growth, contraction, or turnover.
Pinpoint the people you need to accomplish your mission and goals in terms of type, amount, and location.
Finally, determine any discrepancies between what is now available versus what will be necessary for the future success of your enterprise.
STEP 3: Create an action plan
Uncover tactics to fill staffing shortages, establish gap-filling processes, and track your progress.
These strategies include: Employing staffing, teaching/updating skills, reorganizing structures, outsourcing tasks, preparing for transitions in leadership roles, utilizing technological advances, etc., which are effective strategies.
STEP 4: Execute the action plan
Establishing the right resources, personnel roles and responsibilities, communication methods, marketing strategies, and efficient coordination of these components will ensure that your plan succeeds in accomplishing its strategic objectives.
STEP 5: Monitor, evaluate, and update the action plan
For this step, it is essential to check progress against milestones and assess for ongoing improvement.
In addition, we should modify the plan accordingly to make corrections and address any new workforce problems that may arise.
4-Step Process of the Society for Human Resource Management
STEP 1: Supply analysis
In the “supply model” or “staffing assessment,” organizations need to assess their current employees concerning the quantity, skillset, diversity of workforce demographics, and protected classes, as well as estimating attrition.
This step will help them better understand the state of their organization’s workforce supply.
STEP 2: Demand analysis
Known as the “demand model,” this procedure necessitates inspecting your future company designs and aspirations.
The purpose is to determine if the workforce exists within reach to meet approaching industry needs and how you can acquire the necessary expertise to realize these future business goals.
STEP 3: Gap analysis
This step examines the gaps between labor supply and demand to recognize skill imbalances.
For instance, it will reveal how many of your current employees possess the skills needed for future business demands and where you might need to let go of staff members who lack these abilities.
STEP 4: Solution analysis
Understanding how to ensure your staffing needs are met now and in the future requires an insightful strategy.
Implementing tactics such as recruiting, training, outsourcing, employee development, retraining, and succession planning can help you maintain a well-equipped workforce that meets your company’s objectives.
Why is it important for managers?
Having good workforce planning can change the way that an organization makes decisions. Good workforce planning allows organizations to see what could happen and it tends to make decisions on people more objectively and based on data.
As with any collection of data, there can still be gaps in information, but workforce planning helps to change the conversation from “I think we need this many people” to “if this situation were to occur we need this number of people with this type of skill” and then be able to supply the best options for acquiring and retaining those people.
Without a workforce plan, organizations could undoubtedly lose large numbers of senior and key employees and also be unprepared for the market changes and ill-equipped to hire the best talent in a competitive and evolving global market.
Workforce planning also offers numerous advantages, such as better employee retention, the capacity to pinpoint and acquire talented workers, revealing skill deficiencies inside your team of employees, optimizing workforce budgeting decisions, and much more.
Furthermore, it readies your business for what is to come by furnishing you with clear visibility and direction over the staff needed in a swiftly changing marketplace while equipping you to conquer upcoming challenges.
Related: Becoming a Better Hiring Manager: Your Vital Role in the Hiring Process
To guarantee that all the right people are optimally placed for success, Workforce Planning is essential in every recruitment process.
It evaluates your current workforce and identifies future staffing needs so you can make informed decisions as your company grows.
Strategic workforce planning provides a lucrative advantage over competitors, allowing an organization to manage staffing needs while guaranteeing productivity and economy effectively.
With this type of forward-thinking strategy, organizations can remain ahead of competitors.
Carefully consider your plan to ensure that your business achieves its maximum potential and avoids any possibility of failure.
Does your organization have a current workforce planning strategy in place? What are your experiences with workforce planning? Share in our comments box below.
Ferguson, G. (2023, January 9). Everything You Need to Know About Workforce Planning. Retrieved on January 13, 2023 from https://www.zenefits.com/workest/everything-you-need-to-know-about-workforce-planning/
Rogers, K. & Jones, C. (2023, January12). Consumer Trends 2023: A global perspective on labour supply. Lexology. Retrieved on January 13, 2023 from https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=2d514476-5e31-4d17-866e-2ca5552ffb60