Workforce Planning gives your business security and vision

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In an employment market that can change quickly, it is important for businesses to have strategic workforce planning in place to ensure that market moves are met and opportunities not missed. Workforce planning has been described as ‘the analysis and forecasting of the talent that companies need to execute their Business Strategies’. Workforce planning will save you money and improve the bottom line, and enable your business to succeed in volatile environments. We know of one organisation that hadn’t even considered that 65% of its manufacturing workforce was due to retire within two and a half years.

Workforce planning has a twofold positive effect on businesses. Firstly, it enables organisations to profile their workforce in terms of demographics and skill sets. Secondly, it ensures businesses have all the necessary information to be able to forecast, identify and plan future workforce needs.

The benefits of workforce planning explained

  • Internal positioning
    By being proactive, you will be well prepared for any changes in your environment well before they actually happen.
  • Calm waters
    Workforce planning enables you to remain prepared and stress-free should employees leave the company.
  • Direction
    Workforce planning will give you a clear direction for the people side of the business, as well as knowledge of potential hurdles, and how to jump those hurdles when they arise.
  • Knowledge
    A workforce plan results in a summary of what your business' high impact issues are, and what action to take around them.
  • Savings on the bottom line
    Investment in proactive planning will equal savings in the long term, as well as less disruption, more effective recruitment, and better retention.

Adapting to skill shortages

Strategic workforce planning can ease the pressure of skills shortages, especially at an executive and managerial level. The general, finance, IT, HR and Sales/Marketing managers are the executive roles that typically contribute the most value to a company, and companies can find themselves in a predicament when those important roles need filling. With an ageing population leaving the workforce, businesses need to strategically plan for their workforce needs.

1st Executive has workforce planning software that enables businesses to profile the demographics and skill set of their workforce, as well as forecast their business needs - ensuring they get the right people, at the right place, at the right time.

Simply speaking, strategic workforce planning enables you to:

  • View the future of your current workforce, taking into consideration demographics and skills sets
  • Profile your workforce in terms of their strategic criticality to the business
  • Assist in Succession Planning
  • Scan your internal and external environments for implications on strategy
  • Analyse your internal and external environments and forecast workforce requirements
  • Apply some science to your hiring plans

There are five steps to strategic workforce planning:

  1. Environment Scan
    Businesses scan their internal and external environments to determine the causes of growth/decline.
  2. Current Workforce Profile
    Staff are profiled in terms of their strategic criticality to the business. How much value do they add to the business? The likelihood of retirement and staff turnover is also analysed.
  3. Future Workforce View
    Consider the demographics within the business, as well as length of service and age spread within the business by role type
  4. Analysis & Forecast requirements
    The information from steps 1 - 3 are used to identify skills shortage risks, retirement risks, and the consequence of any staff turnover probabilities.
  5. Closing the Gaps/Strategy Development
    Ensure that your business is not approaching complications by using steps 1-4 to develop a workforce strategy.
By Andrew Thoseby from 1st Executive, a CareersMultiList Partner
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