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Developing a workforce planning model? Use these six steps

by , 22 November 2013
In today's dynamic business environment, it's easy to lose the hard-won benefits that give your company its competitive edge. That's why you need to assess the competency and ability of your workforce on an ongoing basis to anticipate looming staff crises and steer a steady course. How do you do this? Develop a workforce planning model using these six steps.

Whether you have a staff complement of ten or 10,000, you have a choice to:

  • Implement workforce planning and stay one step ahead, or
  • Ignore workforce planning and find yourself at the mercy of changing circumstances that you haven't planned for and don't know how to manage.

Don't be found wanting. Make the smart choice and develop a workforce planning model.

But how do you go about workforce planning?

Where do you start?

Follow these six steps to develop a workforce planning model

Step #1: Have a demand analysis: The first step is to map out your strategic plans and determine where your company's going, says the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.

The Guide adds 'once you know this, you'll be able to identify what particular skills you will need in your workforce to be able to action those plans.'

Step #2: Conduct a supply analysis: Analyse the strengths of your current workforce and supply factors within the labour market.

Essentially, this analysis will help you determine what skills are currently present in your company and what internal and external factors will affect the supply of human resources in the future.

Step #3: Do a gap analysis: This analysis will help determine the gaps to be addressed and where the skills' shortage is.

You'll compare the information from the supply and demand analysis to identify the differences between your current workforce and the workforce you need in future.

Step #4: Strategy formulation: This is where you'll develop an action plan with deadlines to address the differences in workforce requirements you identified in Step #3 (gap analysis). Include actions that are clear, concise and measurable, including achievable milestones agreed with the people involved.

Step #5: Implementation phase: Implement the plans to make the transition from the present workforce to future workforce requirements.

Step #6: Evaluation and review: Evaluate the success of the plans and the continuous adjustment of plans to adapt to changing circumstances. Remember to review plans regularly to ensure that they're up to date.

Well there you have it. Develop a workforce planning model or lose control of your workforce.

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