Article written for HR Development at Work, follow the link and scroll down to the bottom of the page to find your copy of Dinkum Oil:
Workforce Planning is the process of taking stock of the current workforce, forecasting future workforce requirements and identifying gaps or issues. Workforce Development relates to strategies and activities that bridge those gaps.
A workforce plan captures the current workforce profile, training and development programs, forecasts the future workforce profile, compares the current and future picture and identifies priority gaps to be bridged with workforce development strategies. So, how do you maximise your workforce productivity and develop a workforce plan? You and your team work through 5 steps and answer the following questions:
Step 1- Context and Environment
Why? Why do we need to undertake workforce planning? Why is it important? What are our goals for this Workforce Plan? What are the performance measures for our Workforce Plan?
Strategic Objectives What are our organisation’s strategic objectives (link workforce plan to strategic plan)? How does this affect our workforce? What will we focus on?
External Environment What is happening in the external environment (at an international, national, industry, regional or local level)? What policies and initiatives (national, state, local) are being implemented? What challenges are being faced? (for example skills/labour shortages, attraction and retention, funding)
Internal Environment What is happening in the internal environment? What is our business planning process? What are the links between business planning and workforce issues? What current initiatives, projects and services are being provided? What funding sources are accessed? What is the organisational structure? What is the organisation’s current capability and capacity to deliver your products and services?
Step 2 – Current Workforce Profile What is your current workforce profile? What are the current skills and competencies of your workforce? What are your strengths and development needs? What is the consultation with your current workforce telling you regarding workforce issues and what is working well or what could be improved? What are the current workforce priorities, based on your workforce profiling and analysis?
Step 3 – Future Workforce Profile What future products and services will be provided by the organisation (link workforce plan to strategic plan)? What will the future environment require? What are the workforce implications and issues? What is the workforce supply and demand for priority job roles? What future skills and competencies are required? What is the consultation with your workforce telling you regarding future workforce issues? What are the future workforce priorities, based on your workforce profiling and analysis?
Step 4 – Gap Analysis and Closing Strategies What are the key areas of need/action to move from where the organisation is now to where it wants to be especially priority job roles? NOW…Prioritise the ‘issues’ and develop an action plan with strategies to address gaps.
Step 5 – Conclusion, review, evaluation strategy and next steps What are the key outcomes of your workforce action plan? How will you evaluate the strategies in your workforce plan? What are the next steps for implementation of your workforce action plan?
Workforce Development Strategies
Incorporate existing workforce development strategies into your plan and identify new strategies with #1 Priority = Retention and #2 Priority = Attraction and Recruitment.