5 Step Strategic Workforce Planning
Workforce planning ensures an organisation has the right kind of employees who have the appropriate skills at the right moment. This workforce planning model helps the HR of an organisation to figure out the gaps in the current workforce. It also helps to figure out the potential HR needs in the future. Planning and meeting an organisation’s human capital needs is one of the more significant challenges faced by the HR and executive teams of an organisation. Workforce planning ends up taking a short-term toll on the time and energy of the HR team. It also impacts an organisation’s budget and finances and the overall strategic plans. There’s environmental factors, legislative requirements as well as Governance and regulations that need to be considered. It is natural for the HR team of an organisation to feel overwhelmed when entrusted with workforce planning tasks. Hence, it is significant to develop steps for strategic workforce planning to simplify the process.
Significance of a Workforce Planning Model
The workforce planning model is a 5 step planning model. It offers a detailed understanding of all the crucial elements involved in workforce management. A robust workforce planning process helps the HR team as well as the organisation in the following ways:
- It helps to review the organisation’s annual business plan to ensure that they have sufficient staff to meet all the project requirements.
- It helps to forecast the environments and conditions of your organisation based on recurring trends.
- It helps to identify specific issues with repeated understanding in specific departments.
- It helps to explore the present staffing competencies to compare them with future competency requirements.
- It helps to locate and introduce gap reduction strategies to ensure consistent coverage.
- It helps to examine the present usage of your workforce.
- It helps to figure out new ways of structuring your organisation to deploy your workforce in future.
- It helps to overcome internal and external obstructions to achieve strategic workplace goals.
Workforce planning forecasting helps to reveal some of the biggest challenges that your HR team is likely to face. Let’s take a look at some of the challenges:
- It reveals an ageing workforce that needs careful planning, attention, and navigation.
- The different geographic distribution impacts your organisation’s turnover especially if your workforce is remote.
- It presents a lack of loyalty in today’s workplace. As compared to previous generations, today’s workforce does not feel the need to be in the same job till retirement age.
- Jobs that need advanced technological skills, education, and certification may soon be the norm. Hence you need to readjust your mindset while looking for new staff.
- A regular increase in the number of regulations, legislative, and governance requirements can slow down your hiring process.
Apart from the standard HR issues, there are many possible workforce management challenges. Hence it’s important to follow proven and effective processes and tools.
5 Step Workforce Planning Model
The 5 step workforce planning is quite simple to follow. Once you feel that you are ready, you may even expand and tailor the steps according to the specific needs of your organisation.
- Set the Stage for Strategic Planning
First of all, you need to gather all the relevant information linked to your workforce planning process. You need to request your organisation’s strategic plan for the time that you wish to explore. Seek for an annual business plan from your executive team. Having this plan will help you understand the projected needs and how you can carry out your goals, including the number of employees required. Discuss crucial factors with the project leads in context with new employee engagement. Determine the overall onboarding goals as well.
- Analyse Your Organisation’s Present Workforce Profiling
This step enables you to gain an in-depth insight into the present workforce. Figure out the areas where frequent understaffing may occur in your organisation. Analyse and gain an understanding of higher turnover rates in one department over another. You may end up discovering strategic requirements that lie at the root of these issues.
- Formulate an Action Plan
Figure out strategies that will help you to seal any gaps that you learnt during the first two steps. It is advisable to invest in real-time reporting software so that you can track employee productivity accurately. You may figure out that this is a specific issue with your organisation. If you outsource and restructure, it may offer you with prudent solutions. However, specific issues may be relevant only to specific teams. You can address this in the form of additional requirement, technological investments, and in-depth training.
- Implement the Action Plan
Work with various teams and departments to bring life into your workforce efficiency plan. You may discuss with your financial analyst or accounting team regarding the allotted budget. Seek ways to communicate and market new positions. For this, you need to coordinate with your executive team, IT staff, and the middle management. This is required to ensure that things run smoothly.
- Closely Monitor Plan and Revise as Required
You need to closely monitor the implementation of your plan to determine its effectiveness as well as any of its weaknesses. By doing so, you can make the necessary adjustments to improve the results of your workforce planning project.
The workforce planning model offers various advantages to your HR team such as:
- It offers a sharper collective eye for figuring out future staffing requirements along with potential risks of staffing shortages.
- It presents a streamlined recruitment strategy that entails realistic timelines and costs.
- It brings out specific skills gained from the repeated application of the recruitment process.
- It helps your HR team to plan for new jobs by undergoing various training courses.