Employees are the foundation upon which every successful company is built so when there aren’t enough skilled employees, businesses struggle to meet their goals. This is especially problematic for large companies with many positions to fill. Workforce planning ensures that companies are actively focused on hiring and maintaining a staff of skilled employees.
What Is Workforce Planning?
The workforce planning definition is the actions companies take to analyze their current and future workforce needs to be based on their goals and vision for the future.
In many cases, the workforce plan definition includes a system-wide review and analysis of how substantial the company’s workforce must be to meet its goals. This process includes identifying the quality and quantity of employees needed as well as what knowledge, skills, and experience they should possess.
What Is the Goal Of Workforce Planning?
The goal of workforce planning is to build a company with stable staffing levels across every department and to have people who possess the best skills to achieve the most successful results and a higher return on investment (ROI).
Additionally, workforce planning helps businesses take a proactive approach to staffing. It creates financial security and minimizes risk. When a proper workforce planning system is in place, human resources and managers recognize early warning signs within the staff and implement pre-existing action plans to address issues before they create a disruption.
A workforce plan improves morale and confidence in the workplace and creates a clear competitive advantage. When everyone is clear on goals and their role in achieving those goals, companies perform better.
Who Is Responsible For Workforce Planning?
Human resources are primarily responsible for designing and implementing a workforce planning strategy but they aren’t the only ones in a company responsible for workforce planning. Other essential players include:
Line and functional managers
Workforce planning includes hiring new employees and making sure staffing levels are met but there are also a lot of other factors involved. Workforce planning also makes it easier to identify training needs and implement employee development initiatives. The right system makes skill gaps in a company’s current workforce evident and increases both productivity and employee satisfaction.
When the goals of a business are aligned with its workforce needs, it makes for more effective budgeting and gives a detailed picture of employee needs and costs across the strategic plan.
Top Benefits Of Workforce Planning
A successful workforce plan allows you to identify all current and required workers and hire the top talent in your particular field. Why is workforce planning important? Because it keeps your company a step ahead of your competitors at all times.
Designing and implementing a strategic workforce plan provides your business with many benefits. Some of the most important include:
Addressing gaps in your current workforce
Analyzing the skills of your current employees helps you determine gaps that need to be filled, through either hiring or education and training. You know exactly what you need today and in the future to help your business achieve its goals and objectives.
Success in business hinges on developing and improving key performance indicators (KPIs). The data that comes from your strategic workforce plan helps move your business forward and ensures that you are always improving the performance metric.
Preparing for the unanticipated
A successful strategic plan looks at your current business needs and your future requirements so your company can avoid potential and unexpected problems, saving time and money in the long run.
List Of Strategic Workforce Planning Documents
Several documents can support your company’s workforce planning, including:
Onboarding is training, but also so much more.
It’s an opportunity to make a great first impression and has been shown to help with employee retention. A great onboarding document is not just helpful for new employees but it’s also essential for the company as a whole.
Strategic plan documents should include:
An executive summary that presents strategic objectives and key programs for the upcoming year.
An internal analysis that assesses your company’s competencies, capabilities, and overall satisfaction of employees.
An external analysis that analyzes your company’s customers, product positioning, and competition.
A list of strategic objectives that include your company’s GAP analysis results, key success factors, KPIs, and high-level business objectives.
A list of goals, measures, targets, and initiatives that allows you to develop your balanced scorecard strategy map, brand scorecard, and your program deployment schedule.
Organizational succession planning that lays out a system for how things will work when change occurs.
Employee Development Plan
This is a planning document that allows employees to see that an organization is actively invested in them personally and not as just another employee in a group of nameless, faceless employees.
The purpose of a leadership assessment document is to allow companies to discover how their leadership practices and beliefs have an impact on how people function within their organization. It should include quantitative and qualitative data collected for leadership competencies, skills, and behaviors.
Do You Want to Know More about Workforce Planning?
If you want to learn more about HR workforce planning and how it can help your company, we can help.
Discover how to do HR better. We’re an HR community exploring the best of building company culture, employee engagement, talent, and human resource management. Find the tips, tricks, how-to guides, and tools you need to recruit, retain and develop your staff and HR team.
We elevate the conversation surrounding HR with fresh content, jobs, tools, and events!
If you have questions or concerns about workforce planning, the workforce definition, or how to make workforce planning work for your company, we can help. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the loop with fresh articles, podcasts, how-to guides, tool reviews, updates, deals, and product exclusives related to workforce planning and other human resources concerns.