Have you ever experienced a situation where your company was gearing up for a new software launch, only to be reminded of the shortage of workforce and the right skill set?
This is where Strategic Workforce Planning becomes an integral part of an organization.
In the simplest words, strategic workforce planning is defined as a means to align your people strategy with your business strategy. The objective of every organization is to optimize the workforce for today while proactively planning for the resources needed for tomorrow.
For planners, this strategy helps in answering vital questions such as "Does the current resource plan support our business forecast? Or Do we have the right set of skills to achieve the targeted revenue?" With a few clicks, decision-makers can evaluate demand against supply to know the gaps and plan for the needed workforce.
When you can anticipate the headcount and skills required to support your business strategy, answering questions such as "Do our employees have the right skills to accomplish our future plans?" becomes easier. By exploring scenarios that impact the current and anticipated demands, you can look at the long-term demand for resources.
Implementing Strategic Workforce Planning empowers your business to improve from the ground up.
What are the Goals of Strategic Workforce Planning?
Organizations use strategic workforce planning framework to align their hiring processes with the overall priorities and goals. When the workforce and hiring practices are tied to the overall need of the company, leaders can hire staff more efficiently, avoid gaps in capability and prevent unnecessary spend on personnel.
The goal of workforce planning is to help an organization succeed by having a workforce with the right size, shape, cost and ability.
The right size of an organization means low friction, no vacancies and not being overstaffed. The right shape consists of succession management and focuses on critical competencies. Cost efficiency leads to manageable cost for maximum effect. Lastly, it involves the right agility, flexibility and resilience.
This model helps identify the needs of an organization, the skills required to fulfill those needs and the staff for the successful execution.
In a way, strategic personnel planning aims to enable the leadership and HR department to constantly evaluate workers and their performance, thereby preventing the business from being affected by the ever-changing needs of your workforce.
Benefits of Strategic Workforce Planning
The truth is, in today’s hiring market, acquiring talent is challenging, but retaining them is even more difficult. Employers are recognizing that this power is in the hands of the job seeker.
In absence of methodical workforce planning, you may lose the ability to hire, retain and empower talent when it is needed the most. If you cannot support the organization’s talent strategy and culture, it would lead to increased costs across the business.
The benefits of implementing Strategic Workforce Planning include:
1. Preparing for the Future
The key benefit is that it creates a long-term recruitment strategy that highlights the current workforce issues and analyzes future risks. HR and managers anticipate a crucial question to be answered from workforce planning – "How the employee's cost would be affected as the company grows?"
2. Analyzing Workforce Discrepancies
Deciphering workforce skills, competencies and gaps could be overlooked by companies. Workforce planning allows managers to understand who to hire in the future and the qualifications required to be promoted in the company.
3. Anticipate and Plan for Change
It allows leaders to establish metric benchmarks to inform executives about workforce risks. They can thereby equip themselves with tools to identify talent issues before it impacts business goals.
For example, what is the average churn rate across each department? How can you introduce processes to maintain workflow? How many employees are retiring in this quarter and how would that affect the operations?
Armed with this information, you can improve business planning and financial forecasts by predicting talent requirements to meet both short-term and long-term organizational goals.
4. Decrease Hiring Costs
One way to ensure that you are making the most of the talent in your organization is by getting a detailed overview of the headcount across the organization and the productivity levels required for the organization to run, rise and revaluate.
This information will decrease the recruitment costs and help the operations run smoothly. Strategic Workforce Planning model has a positive effect throughout the organization including employee morale, engagement, productivity and revenue.
5. Improved Recruitment Processes
The analytics can outline the traits, skills and characteristics of high performing employees. You can use these hiring criteria to find candidates more likely to suit business goals and culture.
6. Aligning HR with Business Strategy
The best way to strengthen an organization is by aligning HR programs and policies with business strategy using workforce planning.
The elements include:
Career development and upskilling programs
Learning and development initiatives
The result is an improved employee retention rate, which positively impacts company growth.
7. Driving Talent Investments
Strategic Workforce Planning outlines areas that need extra resources to reach their full potential. On the same lines, to contribute more to business, it helps to determine groups of employees who deliver the highest ROI. You can then invest in their training and development.
Going a step ahead, you get informed about the roles important for the growth of the business so that you can implement steps to protect them, to minimize the risk of attrition.
8. Identify the Talent Gaps
When your workforce strategy and business goals are aligned, you can easily identify existing gaps your workforce would benefit from. Also, you can detect the hires needed for the future when your company reaches a point of expansion.
9. Implementing a Retention Strategy
Strategic personnel planning acts as a tool for managers, and the HR department to automate raises, bonuses and promotions, thereby preventing resignations. Leverage predictive analytics to identify top performers in the key roles and those at risk of leaving. Then on, the management can implement an employee retention strategy to minimize risk and move forward.
An Effective Strategic Workforce Planning Strategy can be the Guiding Force for your Organization
Strategic workforce planning is a key characteristic of successful and well-operating organizations. They use workforce planning to forecast the market trends for the future, analyze performance metrics and plan for the challenges that the organization may come across.
Evosys, the leading global provider of Oracle Strategic Workforce Planning Cloud has helped 1,200 companies identify and address the gaps between the workforce of today and the human resource needs of tomorrow. We have helped startups, corporates and SMEs in almost every sector leverage the benefits of workforce planning.