Strategic Workforce Planning – Right People With Right Skills At The Right Time

The success of every organization depends on so many factors. Some of these factors are within the control of an organization; some others aren’t. In this regard, businesses need sophisticated planning and organizational strategy to adequately prepare for and respond to the effects of these factors. The workforce is one of such factors an organization can’t control. As such, it is of absolute importance that every organization uses a workforce planning process to forecast the future of the market, analyze performance metrics, and prevent damage to their corporate image.

What is strategic workforce planning?

Strategic workforce planning is a concept that covers many topics. This broad coverage of the concept has created a situation where its definition is misaligned. Strategic workforce planning is a systematic workforce planning process that helps organizations identify and address the gaps between today’s workforce and tomorrow’s human capital needs.

CQ University in Australia defines the strategic workforce model as a process that ensures an organization has the right people who have the right skills at the right time. With right workforce planning, the HR department can access the gaps within the present workforce and create schemes to address the situation. Also, it allows HR to identify the future needs of an organization.

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Benefits of strategic workforce model

A well thought out workforce planning process has plenty of benefits for organizations:

  • It helps with the review of a company’s annual business plan to ensure there’s enough staff to cover all company projects
  • With strategic workforce planning, companies can use recurring trends to predict future business conditions
  • Companies can easily identify and understand issues as regards recurrent understaffing in certain departments
  • Strategic workforce planning helps HR teams evaluate the skill level of current employees against future skill level requirements
  • Organizations can use strategic workforce method to create a structure that will effectively deploy the workforce for the future
  • It also helps with the identification of internal and external challenges that can hinder the organization from achieving strategic workplace goals

5 steps to create an efficient workforce planning

The U.S. Office Personnel Management developed the strategic workforce model as a starting point HR departments and organizations can use to kickstart their strategic planning initiatives. It is a simple five-step planning cycle for workforce management.

1.Set strategic planning

This stage is the information gathering stage of the workforce planning process. Organizations can gather information by requesting their agency’s strategic plan and annual business plan.

2. Analysis of current workplace profile

At this stage, organizations should evaluate and analyze their workplace environment in relation to their current staff. This process of staffing assessment will help companies understand the reasons behind large turnover rates and other staffing problems.

3. Develop an action plan

Here, HR departments can create an organizational strategy to fill any inadequacies learned after carrying out the first two steps. They can do this by investing in real-time reporting software that accurately tracks employee productivity. Restructuring and outsourcing can provide prudent solutions.

4. Action plan implementation

The plan is already set at this stage. But to implement it, HR departments must involve other sections of the organization to bring strategic workforce planning to live.

5. Plan monitoring, evaluation, and revision

Organizations must do this at specified intervals to ensure workforce management remains relevant and effective.


  • Top 5 benefits of strategic workforce planning by Courtney Osborn||June 26, 2018
  • Strategic workforce planning – 5 simple steps by Mitrefinch

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