Strategic Workforce Planning | 3 mins read

7 Clear Steps to Successful Workforce Planning

7 clear steps to successful workforce planning
Mary Kate Morrow

By Mary Kate Morrow

7 Steps for Successful Strategic Workforce Planning

Strategic workforce planning is defined as designing a within organization process that proactively anticipates both current and future business hiring requirements. Workforce planning is used to make sure that the right people with the right skills are using their skills both at the right time and optimally.

There are many short term and long term benefits to successful strategic workforce planning. Benefits of effective workforce planning range from enhanced investor relations to improved talent management capabilities.

60% of businesses state that they need to improve workforce planning capabilities. Unfortunately, a mere 32% of businesses report that they have a strong vision for the workforce the company wants to build in the upcoming three years.

Before beginning the strategic workforce planning process, business leaders must make sure they understand it. Thankfully, the strategic workforce planning process can be broken down into 7 steps.

The 7 steps for strategic workforce planning include-

1. Objectives Evaluation

1 objectives evaluation 1613687078 6459

A primary aim of strategic workforce planning is to make sure business objectives are achievable. As such, both short term and long term business objectives should be evaluated during the first step of the strategic workforce plan process.

Including the right people in this step is crucial, it is not enough to have a business partner and HR professionals participating. Line managers, financial services representatives, HR technology experts, and business leaders are examples of just some of the right people to include during strategic workforce planning initiatives.

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2. Current Analysis

At the second step of the workforce planning process the current workforce must be analyzed. Business leaders must make sure both that quantity and quality of the workforce are evaluated during this step.

People analytics is an incredibly useful tool at this stage of the strategic workforce plan process.

3. Address Skills Gaps

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Addressing future workforce skills gaps is vital for future business success. Performing a skills gap analysis will supply valuable future workforce data.

For example, a skills gap analysis would indicate when an employee plans to retire. Instead of a future business scrambling to replace the retiring employee, the skills gap analysis would have supplied ample time for human resources to prepare.

4. Future Preparation

Adequately preparing for the future supplies businesses with a competitive advantage within their industry. Business leaders should make sure to develop a workforce plan that anticipates future business issues and supplies action plan steps in order to address them.

Examples of future workforce issues range from a supply chain problem to labor market concerns. Scenario planning is an excellent tool for strategic workforce planning initiatives.

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5. Request Advice

Strategic workforce planning is complicated and sometimes business leaders may feel overwhelmed. However, there is nothing wrong with hiring a third party consultant to help with strategic workforce plan composition.

Additionally, it can be helpful to seek advice from the right people regarding specific portions of the strategic workforce planning process. For example, maybe a talent acquisition or business strategy expert would be most useful for specific advice requests.

While it is great to utilize the right people within organization properly, there are always strategic workforce planning professionals available for consultation.

6. Consider Culture

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50% of executives consider company culture as one of the top three company value drivers. As such, business leaders must make sure that company culture is a top consideration during strategic workforce planning.

Human resources professionals should not only understand the current workforce company culture but also supply additional ideas for future workforce company culture improvements.

7. Monitor Process

Monitoring the effectiveness of a strategic workforce plan is crucial to improve future workforce planning processes. If issues are noted in a current workforce planning process, corrective action should be swiftly undertaken.

Proper utilization of people analytics and HR technology will increase strategic workforce planning success.


conclusion 1613687078 7536

  • The 7 steps of strategic workforce planning include objectives evaluation, current workforce analysis, skill gaps addressed, future workforce preparedness, advice requested, consideration of company culture, and process monitoring.
  • Benefits of strategic workforce planning range from better human capital management to more data driven decision making.

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