The common definition of Workforce Planning is simple enough: Ensure you have enough of the right people in the right positions doing the right things at the right time. The tricky part is the execution.
Most managers consciously or unconsciously evaluate these considerations every day. Without much calculation, a savvy leader can guess if the day will be slow enough to let employees go home early, or busy enough to require extra help and overtime. But this kind of improvisational management style is reactive, and while it may work well enough to forge through the peaks and valleys of immediate operational demands, it does nothing to help the essential longevity of an organization.
A recent study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (I4CP) showed that Workforce planning is “in the room “ at a rising number of companies, but even then, the significant focus is on immediate hurdles, not long term strategy. This may imply that what these companies are engaged in is actually Workforce Staffing, and not really planning at all. Not to say that short-term goal attainment isn’t an import aspect of Workforce Planning, it absolutely is, but unless the short term approach is aligned with a long term vision, the future success of these businesses is at risk.
Here are the can’t-miss components of effective Workforce Planning: