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Six reasons why workforce planning should be your number one priority

by , 29 July 2013
Proper workforce planning allows you to assess the competency and ability of your workforce on an ongoing basis. It also helps you anticipate looming staff crises and steer a steady course. These are just some of the benefits of having a workforce planning model in place. Read on to discover the six other benefits of implementing workforce planning in your business.

If you're still sceptical about the importance of workforce planning, perhaps these benefits will sway you in the right direction.

According to the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service, workforce planning will give you these direct and quantifiable benefits:

Workforce planning will enable you to achieve these six benefits

#1: You'll be able to make projections of where staff increases or reductions are required.

For example, doing a headcount in your customer services department may reveal the cause of all those extra customer complaints about slow service. If the problem is understaffing, you can increase the numbers and potentially save yourself a lot of lost or cancelled sales.

#2: You'll be able to anticipate and deal proactively with staff changes. There will be no more unpleasant surprises from unexpected walk outs or resignations. If you have a workforce plan in place, there will be logical successors to key positions and a staff member leaving unexpectedly won't cause a crisis in your company.

#3: As your business grows and develops, you'll have your finger on the pulse and you'll be able to identify competency requirements. This means, you can either train your existing staff or appoint new staff members with the necessary skills to fulfil your new business needs.

#4: Being in control of your workforce means you'll be able to plan ahead effectively and reduce or eliminate costly time lags in filling vacant positions.

#5: Instead of being forced to rush through quick solutions, you'll have the time and the knowledge to introduce innovative solutions to address changing workforce requirements.

Workforce planning will give you an in-depth knowledge of the demographics of your workforce.You'll need this vital information to build the right workforce profile to comply with the Employment Equity Act.

#6: It'll give you a good idea of where the business is going and what needs and skills will have to be met going forward. This means you'll be able to plan ahead and recruit, develop and train staff to build the workforce of the future.

Ignore workforce planning and you'll find yourself at the mercy of changing circumstances that you haven't planned for and don't know how to manage.

So make workforce planning your priority to ensure you don't lose the hard-won benefits that give your company its competitive edge.

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