Overview of Strategic Workforce Planning Part 1

Last week, we talked a little about Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP) and how it is changing the way HR does business. Today, let’s take a look at one institution that has been using workforce planning for quite some time. The state of Texas requires that all state agencies (except for educational facilities) must use strategic staffing analysis and human capital planning to run each public organization effectively. Since this type of plan is used to determine funding for agency workforces, you can assume that they put a lot of thought into this stuff! Here are some highlights from the workforce planning guide issued by the State Auditor’s Office.

The guide starts by defining SWP in the following way:

SWP is a systematic processIt involves the entire organization and takes into account the impact of workforce planning in every area, it follows specific procedures, and it is continuously practiced, updated, and improved.

SWP identifies the human capital required to meet agency goals – This entails not just deciding how many workers will be required, but identifying the specific skills needed, how the new employees will fit into the existing organizational structure, and the expected timeline during which they will need to be recruited and onboarded.

SWP develops the strategies to meet these requirements – The organization must pinpoint the actions required to recruit, develop, and retain the talent needed by the agency to carry out its work.

Why is Strategic Planning so Important Now?

The driving factors behind the decision to implement SWP at the state level are:

  • A workforce that is aging and retiring – taking valuable knowledge with them
  • A workforce that is becoming more diverse
  • A need for workers with technical, problem solving, and informational skills and the need to compete with the private employment sector for this talent
  • An expected upswing in the demand for state sponsored services leading to a need for more workers

State agencies expect to see the same benefits as private employers do from SWP. These benefits include greater HCM effectiveness, accurate budgeting capability, more productive training and development, far-reaching succession planning, etc. That’s the WHY of SWP. Next week, we’ll go into more detail about the HOW.

Keep your eyes peeled for news from Emerald Software Group. We’re gearing up to make a big splash in the SWP field with new services soon.

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