A need for planning is greater than ever. The current business climate of intense competition and increasing speed of delivery means that organisations need to plan ahead better and faster in order to survive. Due to the fluctuating economy businesses need to be prepared for possible downturns as well as upturns. In addition, changing demography, in particular the ageing of the workforce, means that organisations need to make efforts to avert an impending loss of skills as a large portion of the workforce retires. Also new generations entering the job market have different priorities, skills and attitude than their predecessors, which must be considered in this transition.
Workforce planning is a widely used yet often misunderstood term. It’s 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). While both are necessary, neither will ensure organizational health over the long term. It leaves you unprepared for the uncertainty of the changing nature of work. It leaves you vulnerable to disruption. Planning longer term allows you to anticipate change and be ready for what the future brings.
In order to get a better understanding of the differences withing workforce planning, we split up workforce planning in to three levels. We will discuss operational, tactical as well as strategic planning. We hope that our explanations will help you better understand the levels of workforce planning and on which level certain decisions are made.