Workforce Planning is a journey, and no matter where you are at on that journey, at least one of these strategies for improvement should help you along:

  1. Ask yourself these 3 questions:

    Which roles are critical to the delivery of our strategy?
    Do we have the capability and capacity to deliver our strategy?
    What should we spend our people budget on?

  2. Ask your executive the same questions. If they answered the same as you - great! If not, you need to understand why. Perhaps you need to improve your understanding of the business and its drivers.

  3. Embed Workforce Planning into the strategic planning process. If you are doing Workforce Planning as a standalone activity, this might be the year to embed it into the wider organisational strategic planning process.

  4. Get the balance between synergy and autonomy. Not only do different organizations workforce plan differently, so do different organizational units. Evaluate your own framework and process to ensure you have a process that is "tight" enough to allow synergy, but also "loose" enough to enable autonomy of business units.

  5. Clearly define roles and responsibilities. Who is accountable for what parts of your workforce planning and do they understand their role, and the value of the process as a whole?

  6. Look at your people reports. Which ones provide insight, and which provide only data? While a lot of data can be interesting, very little of it is normally useful. Data becomes information when it is positioned in context, and is insightful when it relates to your organisation - and when the executive can easily understand and interpret it to take action.

  7. Understand your talent sources. Develop relationships with potential talent supply sources - universities, scientific and professional institutions, special interest networks, community groups, clubs, alumni. Providing diversified and complementary sources of talent reduces the burden and risk on traditional sources.

  8. Build a team of resources with workforce planning capability. When you are workforce planning for essential capabilities, make sure you don't forget the capability of workforce planning! Every exectuive manager and HR professional should have some workforce planning skill (albeit at different levels), and your organisation is at risk if only a few people are highly skilled.

  9. Market Workforce Planning as Talent Risk Mitigation. If you are struggling to get traction with your executive for workforce planning, try emphasizing the risk management aspect - workforce planning is about reducing the risk associated with your people.

  10. Automate where possible so that Workforce Planning effort is spent on the outputs not the inputs. Give us a call to see our tools and software!