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Systematic identification and analysis of what an organization is going to need in terms of the size, type, and quality of workforce to achieve its objectives. It determines what mix of experience, knowledge, and skills is required and sequences steps to get the right number of right people in the right place at the right time. “Workforce planning is an integrated and forward looking process that is designed to predict (what, when, how much) will likely happen in talent management and then to provide action plans that will cause managers to act in the prescribed way. As a result of the planning process, managers will be able to avoid or mitigate people problems, take advantage of talent opportunities and to improve the “talent pipeline,” so that your organization will have the needed “people capabilities” required to meet your business goals and to build a competitive advantage over other firms.”
Goals of Workforce Planning
Once again, not everyone agrees on what workforce planning is, but generally speaking, there are eight major goals for workforce planning that everyone should agree make sense. These goals relate to an organizational capability to: Reduce labor costs rapidly without negatively impacting productivity. Identify and prepare leaders and managers for future openings. Fill “sudden vacancies” in key roles immediately with capable talent. Maintain a flexible contingent workforce. Proactively move talent internally to maximize the return on talent. Target retention activities on key talent. Identify mechanisms to rapidly hire needed talent. Increase the overall productivity of the workforce.
Key Programs within Workforce Planning
There is no standard array of programs that define every organizations’ workforce planning effort. No matter what you end up doing, your programs will largely fall into one of two areas. The first area focuses on increasing organizational capability through talent, and common
programs in each area include: • • • • • • • • Forecasting the future needs, talent availability, and potential talent problems. Succession planning and leadership development. Forecasted recruiting plans. Workforce innovation management. Retention planning. Immediate “backfill” planning (To fill sudden openings in key positions). Internal re-deployment and “right job” placement planning. Merger and acquisition integration plans.
The second area focuses on decreasing labor costs, and common programs in each area include: • • • Contingency/contract labor workforce planning. Workforce outsource planning. Reduction in force planning.