Workforce planning is grounded in its contribution to organizational performance. It provides management with a way to align the workforce with the business plan, and address current and future workforce issues. Workforce planning has topped the wish list of HR executives for years, but it has consistently been one of the most difficult programs to launch within HR. Human interest finds it essential to focus on these aspects in their clients workforces.
According to Janko Kotzé. Director of Human Interest, Strategic business plans create direction and a foundation for allocating resources. The goals, objectives, strategies, and performance measures within the business plan should highlight the key workforce priorities. Strategic workforce planning is the essential link between business needs and HR strategy, driving the decisions that must be made today to create the competitive advantage leaders desire in the future
Workforce planning requires leadership, commitment, and cooperation. Workforce planning consultants, like those in Human Interest, can help ensure all units work together to ensure success, says Kotzé.
Getting Workforce Planning right requires a smart balance of technology tools, scenario planning, advanced analytics and strategic insight. HR either needs to have a seat at the strategy table or be kept informed about important business initiatives at their inception.
The goal is to align long-term workforce needs with long-term strategic goals. Senior business leaders typically develop three-year strategic plans; HR and Talent Acquisition need to forecast workforce demands against this projection, identify challenges and ensure that needs are met. Since strategic plans are not static, this process must be dynamic. The evaluation of skill sets in relation to growth initiatives must be continuous.
Companies struggle with strategic workforce planning for a variety of reasons, from an inability to collect meaningful data to a lack of credibility and acceptance with the executive team. Too often it is seen as yet another HR process, being done for HR alone.
Juran van den Heever, communication and reputation specialist.