Workforce Planning is Critical to Companies' Ongoing Success

Workforce planning can be one of the most challenging functions for any organization to accomplish. It involves looking at your existing workforce and your labor pool, and then determining needs for the future. This will involve predicting retirement departures, working to retain great high-level executives and high-potential employees, investigating demographic changes in the workforce and adjusting your strategic plan accordingly.

The objective is always to support your business goals by increasing or decreasing staff as appropriate, training and developing younger workers to take over when others retire or leave for other reasons, and evaluating compensation and benefits to to align with retention plans. The task often falls to the human resources department, but executives and all leadership must be involved in the process.

I’ve been reading a lot about workforce planning this week. Here are some great articles and blog posts that will help you see your organization’s big picture.

5 Ways to Avoid Tomorrow’s Leadership Mistakes. Fast Company: “Where will your leadership needs be and how many will you need? If you match your business growth plans against your existing leadership team, then age them by five years, will you have the right people in the right place at the right time? Chances are the answer is no, but at least through analysis you will be able to see where the most vulnerable places are and begin to put together a workforce plan there.”

Employers Aren’t Ready for Boomer Exodus. BenefitsPro: “SHRM found that less than half the companies weren’t paying close attention to the potential wave of upcoming retirements, as evidenced by the percent of those that were actively identifying their upcoming skill gaps and were taking steps to plug those gaps.”

What to Consider When Starting a Federal Workforce Plan. Management Concepts: “To make it both manageable and effective – as well as headache free – you need to plan out your individual process before you begin. The first step is to really understand the factors that affect your plan, ask the right questions, and gather the data you need. If you do this well, you can create a high-quality plan that will positively impact the future direction of your organization.”

Do You Have the Supply Data for Strategic Workforce Planning? Aasonn: “Here’s the list of key data elements, you’ll need to get started: Headcount: List of current employees in your organization. I know that sounds easy to some people who don’t work with data on a daily basis, but after having worked with many companies around the globe, I know what a painful process this can be. Hopefully you have a way to pull a list of current employees. Ideally with that list of current employees, you would also be able to provide the following information on each employee: Department/ Business Unit/ Location, Job Family / Function, Level/ Grade, Part Time/ Full Time and Regular / Temporary, Age/ Workforce Tenure.”

How Does “The Internet of Things” Change HR Workforce Planning? SAP: “Predictive functionality will provide clarity on what workloads are expected and what future skills are necessary to run the business. Strategic plans can be made instantly, factoring in external economic and political trends. Resource plans can be made based on projected internal and external workforce supply and organizational modeling will be based on information from all enterprise processes, combining data from finance, HR, logistics, supply chain and sales.”

Workforce planning and succession planning go hand-in-hand. To learn more, read our white paper:

Succession Planning: A Step-By-Step Guide

Success Labs is a leadership development and management consulting firm in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. For more than 25 years, our expert team of consultants has worked with hundreds of companies to explore their business potential and improve their company and cultural performance. Contact us to get proactive about your people strategy.