Strategic workforce planning has become the war room of human resources. As the cornerstone of strategic HR solutions, the right plan certifies that strategies geared toward talent management and human capital are parallel to your organization’s business goals.
Workforce plans depend on effective strategies for preparation, analysis and forecasting. Failing to craft and implement a solid one will most likely have an adverse impact on your organization’s ability to acquire and retain the top talent for your industry.
Therefore, you want to build a war room where battle strategies for conducting business are formed. Your team should devise tactics and monitor actions towards building a stronger workforce.
Why Designate a War Room for HR’s Strategic Plans?
With a designated war room, your organization acknowledges that it is necessary to take an occasional step back to survey the scene. This helps to give you a holistic view to determine the right direction for pursuing the proper strategies, while making corrections if needed.
You will build a better workforce through short and long-term strategic plans. Further, the plans will have congruent meaning. Generally, you will have tactics and action steps for current and future talent needs.
The Case for Reliable Data
Having the ability to readily access important data to analyze is essential, especially if you have a high growth and high paced work environment. Not only must you assess the status quo, but collecting reliable data is critical to determining future needs.
Workforce planning will only hit its mark when companies use a robust set of quantitative and qualitative data. In reality, this data is sourced from:
• Quantitative data extracted from HR payroll and information systems. This data includes salaries, benefits, history of roles in the company, work experience, tenure and workforce demographics.
• Qualitative data sourced from talent management systems. Data from this source covers training and development history, competency and performance ratings, relocation preferences, successional status, career plans and flight risk ratings.
Combining this collection of data provides helpful insight on the strengths and weaknesses within the current workforce of your organization. In addition, you capture highlights of possible capability gaps as well as your bench strength for future leadership.
Most organizations are challenged by a growing workforce that comes with complex and disparate data. Increasingly, staying on top of the changes requires your team to remain focused on the integrity and reliability of the data.
Although state-of-the-art HR technology is readily available to capture and track critical data few organizations have analytical and interpretive skills. Possessing both is necessary to transform the data into meaningful outputs. Without it, your managers cannot use the information to make strategic workforce planning decisions.
Best Practices in Workforce Planning
In reality, global HR has evolved with considerable advances, particularly in the global arena. This updated expertise is mostly due to increased functionality that comes with HR technologies. From tracking employee time to scheduling, and matching talent with roles and tasks, every aspect of HR is automated.
Just take a look at workforce dashboards. Expansive data points are translated into information that presents a telling picture of where your strengths and weaknesses exist. Hiring consultants or permanent staff with quantitative analysis skills take the detailed information to gain insights into global workforces.
If your organization is a multinational corporation, consider these strategic workforce planning best practices:
• Strategic business planning should be compatible with workforce planning processes
• Have a leadership team that values decisions driven by reliable, accurate data; couple this with promoting an objectively transparent culture
• Make an investment in a sophisticated HR management system, includes analytical tools that generate meaningful information for building your workforce
• Produce comprehensive insights into shortfalls and available talent from external, internal, structured and social data
• Hire adept HR team members for data modeling, forecasting and interpretation
Strategically Speaking, Technology is Your Window into the Future
The smart investment for your organization is to have powerful forecasting tools at your disposal. Harnessing the latest technology grants you permission to not only see the future, but to make sure your organization is fully prepared.
Ideally, you want a management system that is flexible enough for multiple variables and hypotheticals. This is reviewed over a period of time so you have the most accurate view of your future workforce. Does it match business goals? You will gain insight on what the data represents.
Reports are tailored to your organization’s needs. The result is an effective and efficient workforce tied to the organization’s business strategy. Performance improves when there is a clear framework for strategic planning because the report data helps your organization get the best from recruiting, selecting and developing talent.
Workforce planning activities should consistently be part of your organization’s war room. When people are the biggest investment that an employer can make towards its success, you must have a plan. Combing methods for planning strategically with the latest HR management software. This ensures strategic planning for your workforce is done precisely the way it needs to be for success.