Workforce planning is a process in which an organization analyzes its current and future workforce needs based on its commitments, plans and objectives. It involves a system-wide review and analysis of the size and type of workforce that a company will need to meet its goals.
This includes identifying both the quantity and the quality of the employees needed, in terms of their knowledge, skills and experience. For many companies, strategic workforce planning has several advantages, particularly in an ever-changing business environment. There are many benefits of workforce planning, including reducing costs and maximizing efficiencies.
A strong workforce is perhaps the most important asset for any company. After all, without employees — particularly employees with the proper skills — most organizations would not be able to accomplish much. If a business does not have the right number of employees with the right skills at the right time, it will not be able to meet its goals.
Workforce planning is critical to maximizing profit, avoiding surprises, and ensuring long-term success. It gives company leaders and managers solid data and metrics that can be used to identify workforce risks before it impacts business objectives. For this reason, workforce planning is an essential tool for all companies.
How Can Workforce Planning Help?
When properly utilized, workforce planning can help businesses identify and anticipate issues early, helping to avoid disruptions and unexpected costs. It can assist a company in identifying critical roles, as well any shortage of talent to fill those roles.
For example, if a business plans to expand, workforce planning can help it identify the types of employees required to make that expansion possible.
The company can begin to recruit for these positions at the appropriate time to ensure that the expansion goes according to schedule. In this way, workforce planning aligns the strategic and business planning process with hiring and retention planning.
Workforce planning aligns the strategic and business planning process with hiring and retention planning.
Beyond hiring new talent, workforce planning can aid a business in retaining critical employees. A broad analysis of education and market trends can help identify positions that will be hard to fill if an employee left, which would damage the business’ bottom line.
If there is high turnover in a particular department, workforce planning can help businesses assess the cause of that turnover and develop strategies to retain these employees.
By analyzing these factors and identifying these roles, businesses can appropriately prioritize employee retention and minimize interruptions in the business plan.
Avoiding Delays and Disruptions
Similarly, workforce planning can help to avoid delays and disruptions that will impact a business’ profits. This allows a company to meet production goals by appropriately staffing the appropriate people. It creates a clear view of both the supply and demand of talent in key areas, permitting managers to prioritize hiring and staffing decisions.
This may be as simple as examining long-term commerce patterns to determine whether staffing should increase or decrease at particular times. It can also help to reduce the effects of a changing business cycle, allowing a business to cope with either the times of high and low demand for its products or services.
Workforce Planning Assessment
A good workforce planning assessment is not limited to hiring new employees or determining appropriate staffing levels. It can also help to identify training needs and employee development initiatives by establishing skill gaps in the current workforce. With the right plan in place, productivity can be increased and both employee and customer satisfaction can be achieved.
By aligning business goals with workforce needs, this process supports effective budgeting, as the organization will have a detailed picture of employee needs and costs over the course of its strategic plan.
In addition to these benefits of workplace planning, this process helps businesses to be proactive rather than reactive. This guards against financial insecurity and minimizes risk.
Managers will be aware of early warning signs of problems in the workforce, allowing the implementation of pre-existing action plans to address issues before they cause significant disruption. Having these plans in place will improve both morale and confidence in the workplace.
This creates a clear competitive advantage, as employee management is planned rather than reactive.
Contact BBG for More Information on Workforce Planning
The Business Benefits Group has the Benefits Consultants your organization needs to plan for every situation.
Workforce planning is a crucial element of any business strategy, albeit one that requires a significant commitment of time and energy from an organization’s leaders. The benefits of workforce planning, including achieving long-term goals and minimizing risk, make this output worth it.
To learn more about this process, including how our organization can help you accomplish your workforce planning goals, contact The Business Benefits group by sending a message online or by giving us a call today.