Strategic Workforce Action Plan for a Business, Organisation or Team


TAKE ACTION is the system designed and applied by Workforce BluePrint for Strategic Workforce Action Plans for teams and organisations, industry sectors and regions, city, towns, and countries.

It is a pragmatic approach building upon the evidence you have internally and externally, with custom made conversations to under issues, gaps and suggestions, as well as codesign workforce development solutions, to help you to work towards the preferred workforce profile and picture you want now and into the future.

The system identifies evidence, information and activities to help build out that plan, engaging the exec/leadership team, team leaders and your employees, so the result is a practical, prioritised action plan that you can implement, rather than a report with recommendation telling you what you already know.


The full picture

Week 1
Begin with the problem – why do you need a workforce plan? How far out are you planning a future workforce?
Collect all existing evidence, information, reports and research – what methodologies will you use to fill in the gaps? Who needs to be involved in your consultation and communication strategies?
Understand current context, processes, scope, systems and timeframes as well as impacts on the workforce– global, national, industry based and regional including economic development priorities at national and local levels. What challenges are being faced?

What is the scope of this Workforce Plan? Will it cover the entire workforce; specific occupations or skill sets; occupations that are difficult to recruit or retain; or those occupations for a particular strategy/project?

How does our strategic direction affect our workforce? What will we focus on? What are the workforce implications from our strategic plan?

At this time (current workforce)

Week 2 – Week 3 Analysis of current workforce profile – critical job roles and capabilities.
Identify current workforce issues and gaps.
Devise discussion questions with you.
Know what you want (future workforce)

Week 4 Flip the problem into a preferred future workforce scenario using this 8-step approach with stakeholders:

1. The scenario question – Part of this stage involves picking a year from which the scenarios will look back. How long a time frame do we care about?
2. The proximate environment – depict the environment in which the decision will be made i.e. how far into the future is the scenario?
3. Driving forces – consider the economy, industry sectors, labour market and regional needs
4. Judging importance and uncertainty – For each driving force, we ask three questions: Is it predetermined (unchanging)? How uncertain are we about our ability to predict its importance into the future? Is this particular driving force among the most important drivers of the future — will it make a difference that makes a difference?
5. Composing the stories – A major rule: check continually to make sure that none of these stories are redundant with each other—that they truly represent different ways that the future might unfold.
6. Sub-groups and Reality Checks – They always ask: Is the internal plot logical? Can we really get from point A in the plot to point B, C, D, or E? What plausible chain of events, actions, and counter reactions could lead to this future? What kind of economy is consistent with this scenario? What political reactions would have to take place to make it plausible?
7. Implications – what are they for each scenario and on different stakeholders?
8. Strategic Visions and Oracles – We have set the scenarios up as competing oracles. It is important to know which oracle is closest to the actual course of history as it actually unfolds. Also ask: “What kind of world do I want to help create?”
Decide the preferred workforce scenario or vision for the workforce, critical job roles and capabilities. Forecasting demand vs. supply for each critical job role may be appropriate.

Evaluate the gaps

Week 4 When comparing what we have at this time and knowing what we want into the future, identify all the gaps and issues including critical job roles and capabilities.

Address the gaps (workforce development strategies)

Week 5 Theme and/or cluster the gaps and issues, prioritise and/or risk rate them, summarise key findings.
Populate the Workforce Action Plan with workforce development strategies covering analysis and planning of skill demand (with critical job roles and capabilities) to improve the match and implications for funding with targeted investment.
Co-design solutions (with stakeholders)

Week 6 Ask:

• Who should be involved?
• What is already in place?
• What has worked well in the past?
• What strategies would work for where there aren’t any now?

Timelines and targets

Week 6 Agree timelines for the implementation of Workforce Action Plan
Inspire (for implementation)

Week 6 With the implementation of the Workforce Action Plan and co-design of the solutions how are you inspiring the workforce?

Ongoing review Progress on implementation and the achievement of outcomes and outputs for the Workforce Action Plan will require ongoing review with a governance structure involving stakeholders. This includes monitoring of any scenarios that may not be preferred with any early warning signs and managing accountabilities. How will you manage the review?

Next workforce (next plan) An iterative, dynamic approach will enable you to move beyond the gap of the current and future workforce, to the next workforce say 5, 10 or 15 years out. This could provide an opportunity to develop 21st Century capabilities understanding where career and job opportunities will be across employment and entrepreneurship, the country/region and globally. How will you keep looking towards the next workforce?

If you have a potential plan to be developed or project that you’d like to work on then please reach out for a customised proposal to, thank you.

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