The top 5 benefits of Strategic Workforce Planning
Strategic workforce Planning, often abbreviated as SWP, is a common topic these days. With the “war for talent” in the pipeline, many HR professionals from large companies have concluded that the workforce must be used as optimally as possible and that talent must be nurtured within the organization. Many people working within HR see strategic workforce planning as the most important development in the field of Human Resource Management, but what are the top 5 concrete benefits of strategic workforce planning?
The benefits of Strategic Workforce Planning
Strategic Workforce Planning has many advantages. If we look at the top 5 advantages of SWP, we can formulate these as follows:
Evaluation of commercial business strategy;
Managing staff to achieve the commercial objectives;
Identification of gaps;
Scenario development to solve gaps and surpluses;
Improvement of your Talent Management.
1. Evaluation of commercial business strategy
The most important advantage of Strategic Workforce Planning is in our opinion the evaluation of strategic objectives. Evaluating strategic objectives is extremely valuable when it comes to managing your workforce. When using the right tool, it is possible to calculate the impact of strategic objectives on your workforce. This allows you to analyse whether your current workforce can achieve the current strategic objectives, whether you need to make changes within your workforce and some tools can even tell you when you should make these changes within your workforce to achieve your short term and long term goals.
2. Managing staff to achieve the commercial objectives
Once you have evaluated your strategic objectives, you will be aware of apparent mismatches between the commercial objectives and the workforce. Based on the differences between the strategy and the workforce, it will be possible to determine which changes to the workforce have to be made in order to be able to meet the strategic objectives. In many organisations, designing your workforce according to the strategic commercial objectives involves large investments. By means of SWP it is possible for you to test several scenarios, in order to determine the best investments for achieving your objectives.
3. Identification of Gaps
Strategic workforce management enables you to identify gaps within your current and future workforce. By analysing the current situation of your organization with tools specifically designed for Strategic Workforce Planning, you will be able to determine whether there are gaps within your organization. You will then be able to investigate what causes these gaps. You can investigate this for the present, but one of the most important characteristics of SWP is that you are also able to do this for the future. You can re-evaluate your goals and achievements over time and keep track of them.
4. Scenario development to solve gaps and surpluses
Once you know there are or will be gaps or surpluses within your organisation, you want to solve them. SWP also enables you to solve your gaps and surpluses. Solving your gaps and surpluses is done through scenario-based planning. By means of scenario planning, you can investigate which possible solutions are effective and act in advance to prepare for the future. Based on this data, you can than make an informed action plan based on data. This a very effective way of combining your knowledge with data insights, to make the best possible decisions for your workforce.
5. Improvement of your Talent Management
With the upcoming “war of talent”, organizations are currently investing heavily in talent management. Strategic workforce management can help you make your talent management even better and more effective. Through strategic workforce management tools, for example StaffGenie, you will be able to find out what job flows your talents go through and where they leave your organisation. It also enables you to plan your training programmes on time and use them more effectively. This increases the chance of retaining your talents and makes your organisation’s future perspectives a bit better.
Strategic workforce planning can bring many benefits to your organization, including strategy evaluation, scenario-based planning, retaining employees, identifying skills gaps and achieving business objectives. Staff planning can also help to better prepare an organization for the future and to better predict the challenges they face. An effective strategic staffing plan can truly guide all areas of your organization. Start making data driven decisions and see how it can help you achieving both short and long term business goals.
In a fast-changing world as we live in today, sometimes it might look impossible to look ahead to what de 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.
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.