Successes don’t happen overnight or out of sheer luck. Behind every successful organization is a team incessantly planning, analyzing, and implementing ideas to achieve the targets and objectives. Although having effective leadership and lucrative strategies in place is imperative, strategic workforce planning has been instrumental in helping management identify employees as the most valuable resources of the company. But to state facts, recruiting skilled individuals or overachievers may not crack the code to success. How these talents are utilized and capitalized on is vital, which is why HR teams and management are now turning to strategic workforce planning to prepare and reinforce their strategies for long terms goals and objectives.
What is workforce planning?
Effective workforce planning ensures the organization has the right people with the right skills in the right roles at the right time to attain success. Also, this process aids in understanding the skill-strength of the workforce so the management can invest in organizational development, team building, training, reskilling, and upskilling. And, besides rerouting businesses towards success, workforce planning also assist in talent management and crisis management, like in a pandemic.
How does it work?
Workforce planning is a step-by-step systematic guide for the management to evaluate, foster and plan workforce strategies to achieve long- and short-term objectives. The model has six steps:
1. Strategy planning: To achieve a goal, you need a concrete plan in place, and before planning, the team should be well-versed about the company’s goals, core values, short- and long-term objectives, etc. The management should organize meetings with executives, shareholders, leaders, team managers, and the finance department to learn about the company’s core values and goals before developing a strategic workforce plan.
2. Workforce analysis: The next step is to analyze the current workforce. For example— Is the current workforce skilled to meet the objectives? Or how can the team utilize or help the current workforce evolve? And more. The management should rummage through employee data, qualifications, skills and evaluate their potentials and weaknesses to have a complete understanding of whether the workforce is eligible to undertake long and short-term goals in the future.
3. Bridge the gaps: After the analysis, the data should be compared with the strategic plan to see the differences, which would eventually be the gaps that need addressing. The HR team must recruit, organize workshops, training sessions, give promotions, and partake in various other strategies if need be; to bridge these gaps and reinforce their workforce.
4. Develop a plan: Closing the gaps is imperative, and so is developing a workforce plan. The team must draft strategies to implement the plan and secure the finances required to implement these strategies. Besides this, they must plan how they would monitor the progress of these strategies after implementation. Additionally, the management should keep the shareholders and leaders of the organization in the loop with the development, so they can brace the plan when in action.
5. Implement the plan: The management must play smart and start with a small team rather than overwhelming the entire organization with new developments. It will help in comprehending feedback quickly and make adjustments and changes to the plan before full-scale implementation.
6. Monitor the progresses: After implementing the plan, monitor the progress and downfalls incessantly. Take feedback, address new gaps, maintain transparency with leaders, make a revision if need be, to reinforce and keep the plan in action in the organization.
Workforce planning has been effective in helping businesses organize and utilize the in-house talents efficiently to attain goals and objectives. Although the process requires a lucrative strategy, data, and management to kickstart, it is the employees and leadership that eventually aids in making the workforce strategies a success. Moreover, these strategies also train and encourage the HR team to recruit the right talents for the company, thus making workforce planning an efficacious process for the businesses.
- Strategic Workforce Planning – 5 Simple Steps | MitreFinch | February 23, 2017
- How Workforce Planning Sets up Businesses for Success | Recruitment.com | Lauren Ramakrishna | March 2021
- Four Steps Of Workforce Planning | Cardinalatwork.Stanford.edu | March 2, 2018
- How Workforce Planning Contributes to Business Success | Learn Hub G2 | John Kearney | January 27, 2020