Strategic Workforce Planning

Strategic workforce planning is the method of matching workforce calls for and supply over a foreseeable time period. Organizations conduct personnel making plans that build upon quantitative sports, including headcount planning and a group of workers analytics, and use this information as part of qualitative decisions to help and put into effect organizational strategies.

Workforce planning allows organizations to meet higher the demanding situations of a swiftly changing economic system. By using an enterprise approach to align shifts in the call for with the prevailing and future delivery of human capital, organizations optimize the workforce to fulfill enterprise goals, grow market proportion, and improve worker engagement.

When formulating a strategic team of workers plan, one desires to think about the external and inner working surroundings, i.E. Enterprise or marketplace-level and company-stage techniques. This will ensure an awesome balance of method-based totally calls for forecast – Strategic Priorities, with sensible deliver channels – Workforce Priorities. Besides considering Strategic and Workforce priorities, we want to examine the useful resource and procedure abilities, i.E. Process Priorities as an entry to fulfill the group of workers or resourcing plan.

Recently, we sat in an assembly with senior staff responsible for the huge-scale strategic workforce making plans in Singapore. After explaining our views, one spoke back: “But how do you plan if the nature of work is not a method?” Following our experience, there may constantly be a procedure. A series of duties had to be accomplished, which determines the sort of talents and profile of the workforce wished. If these obligations cannot be indexed, workforce-making plans are an illusion. We cannot plan something that we do now not understand.


No plan is totally accurate; the group of workers’ plan desires to be reviewed and updated often to ensure that the technique and approaches deployed for the fulfillment of the plan are valid and cater to adjustments in demand and supply.

Workforce making plans is not a one-manner avenue that starts offevolved with strategy and ends with a group of workers deliver. It is rather an iteration of strategic, system, and group of workers priorities. Strategies might also trade due to the supply of new running approaches, visible at many carrier companies who shifted their awareness online. Processes may be variable because of the availability of a greater group of workers capabilities, visible in many firms who construct upon the drastically more suitable verbal exchange channels of their personnel to the gain of employees and clients.

If you don’t know the responsibilities, you need to plan the group of workers for, your personal planning is at the mercy of danger!

The following sections show a few strategic staff planning practices that would help address some major problems:

Strategic Priorities

Expecting the Unexpected

Workforce planning for a solid business that produces identical services or products 12 months over 12 months with positive annual growth in quantity is a no-brainer. In this sort of organization, consumer and worker pleasure is continuously measured if you want to stumble on needs for ability changes in workers’ body, antennas are out to look at what the opposition does, and marketplace studies are aware of precisely what comes next. Unfortunately, this kind of business enterprise does not exist very frequently.

More often than now not, internal or outside elements disturb the ideal international. Can we be prepared for the entirety? No, we can’t. However, we will attempt to be organized for the much more likely scenarios. A series of “What if ” questions and the respective solutions might help make the group of workers plan greater strong.

“What if we have the usual percent of the body of workers leaving this yr after bonus pay-out?” is a substitute easy example. Some corporations begin on recruitment and choice even before they get hold of the resignation letters. They need to do that because the notice duration is normally shorter than recruitment cycle time plus settling-in duration.

“What if we win this rather massive venture for which we need a huge number of extra engineers?” is a not unusual query in creation groups. How do they cope with the regularly large version of staff? This seems to be a mixture of right planning and playing.

In most situations, having the right HR metrics in the vicinity and jogging respective analytics regularly facilitates averting surprises. If you did this, you would discover, as an example, that a big percentage of your body of workers with comparable age profiles and comparable skills has joined at the same time whilst the unit became shaped. You’ll not be amazed that each one of them will go away at about the same time. Frequently measuring consumer and employee pride may additionally deliver additional records for future workers’ planning considerations.

Focussing on Core Competency

Workforce planning ought to the consciousness of what enterprise activities are approximate. Transactional help activities like finance, IT, or HR processes might be applicants for outsourcing in many organizations. The planning for those sports is left to the specialists who may have the greater quantity, better IT support and an extra able group of workers to maintain this kind of methods green and efficient.

However, hasty outsourcing actions may also bring about damaged approaches, employee and even patron lawsuits, and better prices. Outsourcing is the main change, and it wishes to be prepared carefully. Therefore, the right group of workers making plans for those instead of transactional activities is less complicated than outsourcing.

Process Priorities

Planning Workforce for Transactional Activities

If the duties are laid out in properly-structured and stable tactics, the best prediction is quite excessive. Industrial processes in production workshops or at assembly lines show this type of characteristic. Similarly, carrier processes like loan approval at a financial institution or claims processing at any HR branch are frequently properly-structured and transactional, too. Quality of prediction is, as a substitute, excessive if there aren’t any drastic adjustments within the processes.

Predicting the group of workers who wished for this sort of method appears to be smooth. If the call for will increase and the process remains extra or much less the equal, accuracy of prediction following the cross-multiplication will be high. However, that allows the increase in personnel proportionally to the demand, i.E. Never getting more efficient, never turning into smarter.

Bending the direct line of correlation among demand (Takt Time) and a team of workers (FTE needed) is simplest possible using decreasing the processing time, i.E. With the aid of converting the way the paintings receive completed. Methods like Business Process Reengineering and Lean and Six Sigma are frequently deployed to do exactly this – with excellent success.

Planning Workforce for Non-Transactional Activities

“But every day we deal with distinct packages; no applications are the same” is a commonplace response whilst employees from much less transactional environments are requested to explain what they do. It appears that making plans the team of workers for environments where a range of various obligations with reputedly little repeatability is not possible.

But is it? A proper portion of glaringly non-transactional strategies without repeatability show a sure diploma of the sample, i.E. Structure – just on a larger scale. For example, purchaser packages for the approval of certain gadgets are definitely different from Monday to Friday. Even from January to February, there is little proof that the cycle repeats. However, the proportion of easy, medium complicated, and complex packages seems to be repeatable and with it the quantity of time needed to do the activity.

It has to be considered that the call for the variation on this sort of surroundings is lots higher and must be planned for it. At the same time, studies have shown that the operating sample in this form of challenge is distinctive to the natural transactional responsibilities driven partly with the aid of the environment and kind of staff doing this non-transactional style of the job.


Predicting the personnel for a less transactional pastime such as coverage writing, processing complex applications or coping with worker engagement, etc. It appears to be more difficult because the activities have much more variability in the processing time needed. However, it can pay off to collect records at the huge photograph, i.E. The call for version over time and on the series of work will apprehend what human beings truly do for the duration of their office hours.

And, would not or not it’s better if we had more structure within the so-known as unstructured techniques besides? Go to Gemba and take a look at how the work receives was performed. You will certainly learn something new that usually results in higher planning and forecasting.


Benchmarking is a manner of accumulating information approximately nice practices in a team of workers allocation. Even here, there’s a want to support numbers with Gemba visits. Numbers can be grossly misleading if the underlying info is very extraordinary. This might also result in incorrect assumptions about personnel utilization, allocation, and competency.

Workforce Priorities

Workforce Planning and Resourcing

Workforce planning wishes to ensure that staff with a sure set of capabilities is to be had while wanted. Resourcing strategies encompass Build, Buy, Borrow. An incredible example of revolutionary resourcing techniques integrating very one-of-a-kind sourcing approaches for the body of workers has been the Singapore Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in 2010.

Workforce making plans for YOG changed into damaged down in 5 stages, with the primary one being the training and the closing one being the dissolution. The 5 levels required remarkably distinctive numbers and abilities of the workforce. To hold charges low and supply super consequences, a group of workers had to be recruited, skilled, and deployed in a totally bendy and yet dependable way.

This, for Singapore’s largest event, had been prepared by way of an establishing committee that consisted of greater than 500 term-contract personnel (Buy Strategy) who knew that they’d be out of action in September 2010 (Bounce Strategy). Additionally, the games were delivered by using approximately 1,300 short-term assigned ordinary body of workers (Borrow Strategy: STARS had been borrowed from ministries, corporations, and businesses in Singapore), a large variety of interns (Build Strategy) who got here in as clean graduates and acquired all relevant improvement at YOG in addition to greater than 20,000 volunteers from all over the world who received a few basic education.

After all, YOG becomes a real instance of One Government.

Resourcing Strategy: Build

Nowadays, more than ever earlier than, expertise control systems are critical to helping cater to destiny workforce wishes. Retaining their own staff and developing them is typically lots cheaper than losing staff and re-shopping for from the marketplace and supplying them with the inevitable improvement. Career making a plans systems upload to the attraction for workforce and help are expecting destiny moves. Systematic career planning and regular professional dialogues between supervisor or mentor and staff to develop individualized career pathways increase the workforce’s retention and ease workforce making plans concerns.

Resourcing Strategy: Borrow

In some business environments, in addition to some public corporations or ministries, resources are wasted on a project foundation – like for YOG – for a restrained time. For instance, taking the government, big engineering tasks do now not start all simultaneously. However, they have exclusive styles in their timeline instead. The peak period for staff needs in assignment A at employer One isn’t always similar to top length B at organization Two. However, the profile of engineers wanted is pretty comparable. Hence, the use of a number of those engineers first for challenge A, after which B appears to be an excellent concept.

Smart personnel making plans for a huge conglomerate of groups or the said authorities would include synchronizing initiatives so that the team of workers’ want is by some means spread out properly and balanced. This would reflect a macro angle on a potent Lean technique: the flexible team of workers. The more youthful body of workers may also like this technique of being deployed daily with very extraordinary tasks and environments to work in.

Resourcing Strategy: Buy

Workforce making plans wishes to ensure that new hires are to be had when you need them. This means workforce making plans wishes to cater to the recruitment method and all its variables as nicely. If your business needs a sure quantity of new employees with special competencies, the recruitment may be quite complicated.

A bendy recruitment strategy allows assembly of varying workforce desires. Workforce-making plans desire to include a right recruitment method to cater to the fulfillment of task requests. Knowing the functionality of your recruitment technique is prime. Therefore, a powerful set of metrics needs to be in the location to allow brief-term and lengthy-term HR analytics.

Workforce making plans does now not always result in the recruitment of complete-time employees. Today’s young group of workers may additionally desire to enjoy greater flexibility due to career anchors around “Lifestyle” or “Independence/Autonomy.” They can also believe in term-contract employments, which serve many corporations well. Being bendy for your recruitment strategies allows assembly of various workers’ needs, retaining the charges ideal and can even higher fit the profession aspiration of mainly the younger staff.

Flexible Workforce

Many organizations are established hierarchically from top to backside with personnel who is very specialized in positive tasks best. Some paintings devices deploy the most effective one or 3 folks prepared with a completely slender competency set, allowing them to attend on one job they fulfill in high great.

A straightforward Lean principle says the smaller the devices which might be to finish positive responsibilities, the less flexibility the “machine” has. Ergo, if we have been capable of building competency and mindset for flexible staff, we’d be able to make a major step in efficiency and have less headache in workforce planning.

Job Redesign

Planning Workforce for dusty, old tactics isn’t always very clever. Workforce Planning offers an opportunity and the obligation to ask questions like

“How will we be doing this job in a few years?”

“What kind of workforce could we need by way of then to finish this activity with quality results?”

“What kind of capabilities could we want through then to accomplish this?”

Since almost all establishments – even and specifically authorities, ministries, and groups – are pushed by fee benefit considerations, the answer “We might be doing the same aspect” will not get many supporters. Therefore, take the possibility and rethink the way the work gets carried out. After that, remodel the roles to the gain of method and team of workers. The output of this may provide you with a better basis for your team of workers planning.

As an aspect effect, your staff retention may additionally boom, and your recruitment may also benefit as nicely. Today’s graduates do no longer want to work in the day gone by’s procedure environments. And they are proper.


Strategic Workforce Planning is a multi-faceted technique designed to prepare for a future team of workers’ wishes. It is going a long way beyond understanding the approach and allocating personnel numbers to it. Since no one is expected the future, the quality personnel making plans technique is the only one that caters to plenty of unique scenarios and establishes a robust gadget to address them.

This robust system will help address even obligations and procedures that can be much less dependent, less transactional. Efforts have to be made to grow these duties’ expertise and place a few shapes in the region. This commonly will pay in terms of the body of workers allocation and technique performance likewise. Undertaking Workforce Planning has to be supported by process redecorate usually and procedure excellence sports to make sure making plans group of workers for an up-to-date method instead of a previous one.

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