Strategic workforce planning involves ensuring that an organization has the right people who have the right skills at the right time, according to CQ University Australia. The workplace planning model helps your HR team examine the gaps in your present workforce. It also helps to determine HR needs in the future.
As your HR and executive teams are aware, planning and achieving your organization’s human capital needs is one of the greater challenges you face. It takes a short-term toll it takes on your HR team’s time and energies. It also affects your company’s overall strategic plans and budget and finances. Human resource projects require that you consider environmental factors and legislative requirements. Regulations and governance should be considered too.
It is easy to imagine HR feeling overwhelmed when faced with workforce planning tasks. This makes it important to develop steps to strategic workforce planning to simplify the process.
How Can a Strategic Workforce Planning Model Help Your HR Team and Organisation?
Developed by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the 5-step Workplace Planning model serves as a practical starting point. This provides a detailed understanding of all the elements involved in workforce management. A solid workforce planning process helps your HR team and organization in several ways, including:
- Reviewing the company’s annual business plan to make sure you have ample staff to cover all projects.
- Forecasting future conditions and environments in your company based on repeating trends.
- Identifying issues with repeated understaffing in specific departments.
- Exploring current staffing competencies to compare them with future competency needs.
- Finding and introducing gap reduction strategies to ensure consistent coverage.
- Examining the current use of your workforce.
- Finding new ways to structure your organization to best deploy your workforce in the future
- Overcoming internal and external obstructions to accomplish strategic workplace goals
Key Challenges That HR Teams Face in the Modern Workplace
The forecasting aspect of strategic workforce planning is likely to reveal the biggest hurdles your HR team will face. Explore some of the following challenges to determine if any seem familiar:
- An aging workforce that takes careful attention, navigation, and planning.
- Geographic distribution affecting your organization’s turnover in the case where staff are based remotely. Whether suddenly or with advanced notice, a mobile workforce may involve more work for you.
- A lack of modern workplace loyalty. As opposed to previous generations, millennials do not feel it necessary to keep the same job until retirement.
- Jobs that require advanced technological skills, education, and certification may become the norm. This means that you might need to readjust your mindset when searching for new staff.
- A continually increasing number of regulations, legislative and governance requirements can slow down the hiring process.
There are many possible workforce management challenges, on top of standard HR issues. It is important to use any effective tools and processes at your disposal.
Follow 5 Simple Steps to Efficient Workforce Planning
There is a strategic five-step planning cycle for planning in the workforce. The steps to workforce planning are simple to follow. Once you feel ready, you may expand and tailor them to your organization’s specifications.
1.Set Strategic Planning
At this point, gather all the relevant information for your workforce planning process. Request your agency’s strategic plan for the time that you plan to explore. You might ask your executive team to provide you with an annual and business plan. This should feature the projected needs for how to carry out goals, including the number of employees required. Discuss factors with project leaders regarding the duration of engagement with new employees. Determine overall onboarding goals.
2. Analyze Your Current Workplace Profile
This step allows you to take a deeper look at the current staff. Set out to identify where frequent understaffing might occur in your organization. Understand the reason for larger turnover rates in one department over another. You may unearth strategic requirements that lie at the root of these issues.
3. Develop an Action Plan
Identify strategies to help close any gaps you learn in the first two steps. Consider investing in real-time reporting software to help track employee productivity accurately. You might discover that this is a specific issue within your organization, for example. Restructuring and outsourcing can provide prudent solutions. However, most problems can be isolated to certain teams. This can be remedied in the form of additional recruitment, in-depth training, and technological investments.
4. Implement Your Action Plan
This step requires working with different departments and teams to bring your workforce efficiency plan to life. Discuss your allotted budget with your accounting team or financial analyst. Communicate and market new positions available to the desired parties. You will need to coordinate with your executive team, IT staff, and middle management. This is to ensure things keep running smoothly at this point.
5. Monitor, Evaluate, and Revise Your Plan
Monitor the implementation of your plan to determine its effectiveness, as well as any weaknesses. This step allows you to make adjustments to improve the results of your workforce planning project.
The Benefits of Workforce Planning
The workforce planning model offers your HR team many advantages, including:
- A sharper collective eye toward identifying future staffing requirements and possible risks of staffing shortages.
- A streamlined recruitment strategy that accounts for realistic timeframes and costs.
- The specific skills obtained from repeated application of the recruitment process and various training courses can help your HR team plan ahead for new jobs.
Get Support When Starting Your Own Workforce Planning
Whether you plan to take a training course or invest in workforce planning software, this guidance can help your HR team get up to speed quickly and with greater confidence.