Building a talented and collaborative team isn’t always easy, but it is nonetheless imperative for today’s competitive workforce. Business leaders often turn to workforce planning to optimize their talent needs for a greater impact on their business results. Workforce planning is the process of analyzing and forecasting your workforce needs both presently and in the future. In simple terms, workforce planning is about attracting and retaining the right number of people with the right skills, traits, and experience. Learn how to properly assess your workforce planning objectives to maintain an efficient team that will bring your business long-term success.
A Plan that Produces Results
When workforce planning, ensure that your plan is developed in a way that will get you measurable results. A successful workforce plan will provide a plethora of benefits, starting with a clear view of talent demand and supply issues. Determine where you may need more employees according to location and other factors. You’ll also want to identify talent risk before it has the chance to impact your business objectives. As part of your workforce planning, provide managers with the necessary reports and tools to better gauge their talent decisions so that they can more effectively prioritize future workforce investments.
Workforce planning must align business with HR needs to retain current talent and bring new talent to the forefront. This involves two main components: strategic and operational planning. With strategic planning, business leaders consider the long view and forecast the critical roles that an organization may need in the future. With operational planning, leaders look at the short-term demands of a business. Short-term needs are compared with the business’ current talent supply so it can be determined whether or not there are gaps that need to be filled.
Assessing Your Workforce Plan
When assessing your workforce plan, it’s important to first distinguish between your employees. Many business leaders neglect to tell high potentials apart from high performance workers. What makes high potentials a vital component to your team is that these employees consistently outperform their peers in a variety of scenarios. These individuals often exhibit behaviors that reflect the skill and professionalism of the business and display values that make them an invaluable member of the team. While you may already have numerous high-potential employees in your midst, it’s crucial to determine how to identify these works and unleash their full potential to create a talented, high-performance workforce.
The primary elements of a workforce analysis involve a few select areas of interest. First outline the most critical occupations in your organization and the desired competencies of the employees in these occupations. Next, look at supply and demand. Evaluate the current headcount in your organization and identify the current skills and competencies of your workforce. To meet demand, forecast the optimal headcount of competencies of employees which will be needed to meet future objectives. Finally, perform a gap analysis to determine the extent of the gap between the supply and demand analyses. From a gap analysis you can better establish future headcount and competency gaps.
During workforce planning, there are several other factors you will want to review. While looking at your current workforce, consider demographics, diversity, and educational pipelines. In your workforce analysis, you’ll also want to review industry trends, supervisor ratio, projections, labor market supply, and a risk analysis to help minimize the impact on the workforce caused by restructuring. Data for your workforce analysis can come from many places, such as employee databases, focus groups and workshops, employee position descriptions, questionnaires or surveys, employee evaluations or self-assessments, process maps, or IT systems in place to measure competencies.
Transitioning Your Workforce
Transitioning your existing workforce to a future state can be challenging for all involved. Proper planning must take place within the organization to ensure that the transition goes as smoothly as possible. To help ensure a smooth transition, those managing the process must develop the necessary plans that allow employees to quickly adapt to a new environment and gain a solid understanding of any new programs, processes, or IT systems that will be associated with the move. Employees should also be given the tools and resources necessary to allow them to demonstrate a high level of efficiency in their new roles, while also possessing the skills to meet the needs of customers.
When running through your workforce assessment, ensure that your plan is capable of developing a high-performing workforce that will deliver better services to your customer base. A practical and effective workforce plan should offer a team with the capability to flexibly and efficiently ensure that objectives are met. The plan should also include a strategic and focused approach to attracting and retaining new and existing talent, while also identifying skills gaps that could potentially impact your business long-term. Your assessment should also cover other important aspects, such as plans to address issues like workforce size, design, and composition.
Workforce Planning Considerations
As you analyze each step of your workforce plan, you’ll want to ensure that it includes several critical elements, including time, money, people, and resources. First consider where your organization stands in terms of timing. Are you meeting your deadlines? How long is it taking to complete certain tasks? Next, consider if your budget is accurate. Perhaps you’re over budget? Now take a closer look at your staff. Do you have an adequate number of employees? Do these employees have the skills you need to move forward? Other resources and tools can also play a major role in the success of your workforce plan. Do you have the technology and capacity to put your steps into action?
What did the last year look like for your organization? If there is room for improvement, you need to take the time to assess your current workforce plan. Consider what events could have affected your strategic plan and what you can do in the future to better approach these events. At the Business Benefits Group, our Benefits Consultants have the skills your organization needs to help you plan for any situation. Schedule a consultation today to see how we can help you accomplish your workforce planning objectives.