Over the past couple of years, with Covid-19 upending our lives, organizations and their workforce witnessed changes in the working models. As organizations prepare their roadmap for a post-pandemic workforce model, as a Leader you must analyze your workforce and workplace. The new workforce model is online and offline, distributed over several locations. The new workforce carries new beliefs, new policies and expects a more supportive work environment to be creative and flexible.
Your modern workspace must facilitate collaboration and productivity when delivering a superior experience. A recent research report states that over 80% of organizations are planning to head on for their workplace transformation journey. Besides utilizing advanced technology and digital tools, we must redefine our processes and policies for effective transformation. While we strive to stay relevant and attract top talent, enterprises must act with urgency as we redesign our workforce model.
Understanding the Concept of Workforce Planning:
Workforce planning refers to analyzing, forecasting, and planning workforce supply and demand, assessing gaps, and determining target talent management interventions. It ensures that your organization has the right people with the right talent fulfilling its mandate and strategic objectives.
In workforce planning, organizations systematically assess workforce content and composition issues to determine the actions managers and leaders must take to address future needs. The actions required on the external factors determine if the organization can meet its future skills through recruiting, training, and outsourcing its work.
Workplace planning involves working through four issues, whether handed separately or as a part of the business plan. These require:
- The composition of the workforce requires strategically positioning the organization to deal with its possible features and business objectives.
- Determining the outside sources that meet the talent requirements for the outsourced functions.
- The gaps between the future model and the existing organization include special talent required by possible futures.
- Recruiting and training plans for permanent and contingent employees to bridge the existing gaps.
Benefits of Strategic Workforce Planning:
In the current hiring market, organizational leaders and managers are experiencing challenges in talent acquisition. Besides, retaining these talents has become more difficult and lies completely in the hands of job seekers. Without strategic workforce planning, you might lose the ability to hire, retain and empower talent when your organization requires the most. Failing to support the organization’s talent strategy and culture would increase costs across the business.
The benefits of implementing strategic workforce planning include the following:
Prepares for the future
Strategic workforce planning creates a long-term recruitment strategy, highlighting the current workforce issues and analyzing future risks. As the firm grows, how does it affect the employees’ costs? HR and managers must anticipate the crucial question.
Anticipate the plan for change
You can establish a metric benchmark and inform executives about the workforce risks. It will help them equip with tools to assess the talent issues so that it does not affect your business goals. With the collected information, you can improve business planning and financial forecasts by predicting talent requirements to meet your short and long-term organizational goals.
Analyze work discrepancies
Often we as leaders overlook deciphering workforce skills, competencies, and gaps. Workforce planning allows us to understand future talent acquisition and the qualifications required for your employees’ promotions.
Reduces hiring costs
Is your organization making the most of the talent? The best way to determine this is by getting a detailed overview of the headcount across the organization and the productivity levels required for rising, running, and evaluating. The information reduces your organization’s recruitment costs, helping operations run smoothly. Strategic workforce planning positively affects the firm, including employee morale, engagement, revenue, and productivity.
Identify talent gaps and improve the recruitment process
When you find alignment in your workforce strategy and business goals, you can effectively identify the existing gaps for your workforce to benefit. Besides, when your firm reaches the point of expansion, you can detect hires required for the future. Workplace analytics can outline high-performing employees’ traits, skills, and characteristics. You can use these hiring criteria to find talents that suit your business goals and culture.
Drive talent investments
Strategic workforce planning outlines areas requiring extra resources to reach their potential. When you contribute more to your business, the planning helps determine the groups of employees delivering the highest ROI. Further, you can invest in your employees’ training and development.
Implement a retention strategy
Strategic planning is a tool for managers to help the HR department automate raises, bonuses, and promotions, further preventing turnover rates. We can also leverage predictive analysis to identify the top performers in the roles and those at risk of resigning. With the right information, your management team can implement an employee retention strategy to minimize risk and move forward.
Tips organizations must follow for effective Workforce Planning:
Enlisted are some top tips for effective workforce planning. Implementing these in your workforce planning and processes will drive organizational success. These include:
Having the right people at the right time and place
It is the winning formal for effective workforce planning. When your organization has the right talent at the right place, you get effective scheduling and visibility of your workforce. With the right employees at the right location, you boost your customers’ experience necessary for referrals, which boosts your organization’s profitability.
Selecting the right workforce planning tool
With the evolution of technology in recent years, you can avail of various workforce management tools from the market. Some of those tools help you track and manage employee productivity. An important aspect to look out for in these business optimization tools is that they integrate perfectly into other systems, such as your payroll and accounting software systems.
The right forecast
Forecasting is essential for developing an effective strategic workforce planning framework, as it allows you to identify your staffing requirements based on historic consumer demands. The right forecast helps you analyze the peak business time of the year and schedule them accordingly. When done effectively, it helps you develop a profitable workforce plan for your organization.
Utilizing analytics and reporting
As HR professionals and organizational leaders often, we want complete visibility and a holistic view of our business and workforce planning process. All of these rely on our data and insights on elements affecting our business, including productivity, overtime, absenteeism, customer satisfaction, and more. With the right tools, leaders can access and utilize the data to identify the issues, problems, and opportunities that drive growth.
How can Leaders promote successful strategic Workforce Planning?
Enlisted are some steps that help leaders and managers to promote successful strategic workforce planning within the organization.
Consider the long-term goals of the organization
Since strategic workforce planning involves ensuring that your employees can deliver your organization’s business goals, we must first focus on your business goals. Determine the organization’s short and long-term goals, what it aims to achieve, and the talent it requires to achieve those goals. Therefore, you must communicate with all your stakeholders before you start developing your organization’s strategic workforce planning.
Analyzing your current talent pool
Remember, strategic workforce planning begins with your current employees. Talent analytics, especially workforce analytics, plays a vital role, as it offers insights about your organization’s age demographics, seniority profile, the type of contracts, and their evolution. When analyzing your current workforce, explore the quality and quantity of your workforce.
By the quality of the workforce, we mean assessing your talent pool’s current performance and potentiality. On the other hand, by the quantity, we indicate analyzing the quantity, including the new hires, employee turnover, and internal promotions.
Analyzing the future skill gaps
It is now essential to analyze the skill gaps, which gives you insights about your people, and you start thinking about effective ways to fill them. Another factor that you must focus on is global digitalization and technological developments. These advancements create a skill gap that managers and leaders must fill.
Prepare for different scenarios
Although the future is unpredictable, you can always prepare your organization for various unexpected scenarios. When you prepare for the unexpected, you go beyond industry-specific developments. It also entails scenarios like a sudden, significant change in your organization’s financial situation or global economic slowdown.
Seek external advice
Leaders and managers must never take strategic workforce planning lightly, and to develop future-proof workforce planning, you need to consider different factors. Therefore, you must not hesitate to ask for external advice. You can hire or consult with professionals specializing in strategic workforce planning to support your organization during the process.
Keep your organizational culture in mind
The skills your need to achieve might change your organizational business goals. Undoubtedly, your organization’s business goals might play a role in hiring future talent. Along with your people and skills, your organizational culture also evolves. Therefore, while planning, think about how you plan to steer cultural development and the core values you would preserve over time.
Developing workforce planning at the organizational level is challenging. To foster success, it is essential to work closely with all the stakeholders in the organization, collectively contributing to the creation of effective workforce planning. With effective and greater transparency, strategic workforce planning can overcome all the limitations and support your organization in advancing its strategic priorities. As Asia-Pacific’s leading organization in Leadership Coaching and Mentoring, Talent Intellect understands the value of inclusive work culture and environment, ensuring growth and sustainable development. The organization helps businesses with high-performing and happiest teams by adopting a healthy and inclusive culture.