Strategic Workforce Planning to Boost Productivity

Strategic workforce planning involves the careful analysis of the skills required for your business to succeed. This includes:

By analysing your workforce alongside immediate and future business goals, you can establish the ideal balance of skills and talent training requirements. The outcome creates a compatible combination of talent with project goals: offering you a potent competitive advantage.

Today, I’ll take you through the critical steps involved in undertaking successful strategic workforce planning.

Strategic workforce planning

1 Remember, it’s a long game…

  • Where’s the company headed? Consider this in both in the long and the short-term
  • SWP must align with these goals
  • Involve all relevant stakeholders in the mission (IT, Line Managers, PMO, Finance, Operations, C-Suite)

2 Analyse the Status Quo

  • What skills exist in the current workforce mix?
  • How ‘high quality’ is this workforce (meaning, is your workforce up to the task of meeting current and future business goals? What’s their potential?)?
  • Factor in quantitative measures: do you have enough talent considering new hires, attrition, and internal promotions

3 Factor in These Four Elements

  • All successful workforce planning models will be comprised of these elements
  • The four components of strategic workforce planning
  • A low-friction workforce means your business is operating at the optimum staffing levels
  • Your workforce shape defines the competencies in the business, and impending retirements and succession plans
  • The efficient management of costs means your workforce planning is succeeding
  • The ability to remain flexible and adapt to market conditions is critical

4 Meeting Future Skills Needs

  • Skills gap analysis: will enable you to plan for the future workload and business goals
  • Factor in retiring workers, those you can train, flight risks and contingent talent
  • The World Economic Forum ‘Future of Jobs’ report, estimates that 54% of ALL workers will need re/upskilling by 2022

5 Gather/Keep HR Data in One Place

  • Bring together HR, workforce management and financial data
  • Invest in a centralised HRIS technology platform
  • Customise reporting based on your strategic goals

6 Go Beyond New Talent as a Skills Fix

  • New hires are important, but are just one talent lever
  • Upskilling and better career pathing of existing employees is also key
  • Factor contingent talent into the skills mix

7 Remain Agile

  • The pandemic has introduced the awareness of and need for regular change
  • Shorten planning cycles to quickly redeploy resources to critical projects
  • Un-siloed data will better enable comparison of different workforce planning scenarios, so you can pivot based on your business needs

Today’s workplace is heavily characterised by uncertainty and change. Navigating this landscape is not easy. It requires business leaders to create a dynamic where workers can adapt to operational agility. By making decisions using workplace data, in the context of an agile workforce framework, your organisation will be well positioned to meet the demands of today, and the future. If you would like to discuss workforce planning for your business, I’d be happy to share our experiences at CXC. You can reach me here.

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