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Strategic Workforce Management is the future

In a fast-changing world as we live in today, sometimes it might look impossible to look ahead to what the organization will need in a short- and long period of time. This makes strategic workforce planning a very big challenge for HR-departments, but it also makes it more important than ever. Due to digital disruption and a more fluid labour market the adoption of strategic workforce planning will be all but mandatory in the coming years. Strategic workforce Management is the future and we should act accordingly.  

Controlling the quality and cost of labour is very relevant within a field of modal forces and competition. Investments in ‘human capital’ are also very important for the innovative capacity and strength of organizations. The dynamics of functions are increasing as the average lifespan of functions is decreasing. Finally, personnel planning is an important instrument for restructuring organizations. It shows which possible HR instruments can lead to certain effects 

Attract and retain talent

In general, we can say that organizations that use Strategic Workforce Planning are able to better attract and retain talent in the right job functions. As a result, competence management gains in value, and through better matching, direct (fewer mismatches, and therefore fewer dropouts and efficiency gains in recruitment and selection) and indirect (greater loyalty, better motivation and more involvement) benefits are achieved. SWP organizations also indicate that with the improved quality of their employees and customers, the employee satisfaction has improved as well.

These organizations also indicated to have less recruitment and training costs than they used to have before they implemented Strategic Workforce Planning. In the past few years, organizations treated strategic workforce planning as “nice to have” but in the coming years this will definitely shift to “need to have”. Multiple executives from several corporate organizations have indicated that in the coming years half of the workforce will consist of temporary workers and contractors. Without strategic workforce management and an adaptive strategy to manage the workforce, staff scheduling will be an even more difficult and error-prone process. 

Strategic Workforce Management is the future

Strategic workforce planning as a business capability

Strategic workforce planning as a business capability requires enterprise vision. It continuously integrates planning across domains (process, workforce and supply chain), planning layers (physical, data and behavior) and time horizons (operational, tactical and strategic). 

Change is constant and fast. It is difficult to predict all the variables —particularly with the workforce. Executives consider availability, sourcing and cost of labor along with changing level of demand as the top ways change is impacting their business. 

Strategic workforce planning offers a pragmatic approach to managing change inherent in the future. It is not about predicting one perfect future that isn’t even able to exist in such a dynamic business environment. Prescriptive analytics capabilities empower organizations to dive deep into the impacts of possible future scenarios. 

Workforce Management in the future

Prescriptive analytics tools

With the prescriptive analytics tools that are on the market right now, organizations can go beyond describing the status quo and projecting its implications. These high-quality tools provide organizations a playground to constantly optimize their workforce choices. Organizations are therefore not only able to identify what is happening or what will happen, but also to identify what should happen. With the accuracy of prescriptive analytics, organizations can constantly simulate the outcome of different courses of action with a high accuracy.  

With scenario-based strategic workforce planning, organizations are able to predict more than only the future of work based on historical trends. With this approach they are also able to optimize workforce choices due testing, learning and tweaking of several decisions across multiple dimensions and futures. With the results that come from these different scenarios, strategic HR-manager are able to identify the best way of shaping the organization to current and future challenges and opportunities.  

Several organizations have trusted us into providing software solutions for tactical and strategic workforce planning. Can we help you as well?

Levels of workforce planning

The different levels of workforce planning

Workforce planning is commonly used to refer to the day-to-day operations, operational workforce management needed to maintain capacity, or shorter-term planning that looks at the months ahead (tactical). In order to get a better understanding of the differences withing workforce planning, we split up workforce planning in to three categories. We will discuss operational, tactical as well as strategic planning.

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