Overview of Strategic Workforce Planning Part 1

The Texas State Auditor’s Office workforce planning guide has a lot more to offer than the basics we looked at last week. So, let’s continue perusing the guide to see what specific steps they recommend taking in the process of Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP).

Communication about Value

Before an SWP initiative can get off the ground, it has to have support from stakeholders. This means communication is the first step. HR must be able to give executives, managers, and employees all a reason to cooperate or the whole thing will fall apart. Each of these groups will value different aspects of SWP. For example, leaders will want to know how this approach will affect operations over the long term and what edge it gives the business over industry competitors. Managers will need to understand how SWP serves their needs by consistently and rapidly delivering high-value new hires to fill their departments’ requirements. Workers will be most interested in how ongoing employee development will impact their earning potential and career opportunities.

Your company’s stakeholder groups can be mined for feedback that will be used in analyzing the best way to approach SWP. This step is essential since there is no one-size-fits-all approach. If you start out focusing on goals that have low value to your stakeholders, you will quickly lose both momentum and support.

Build a Team

SWP is not something that one person can do alone. One mistake employers sometimes make is handing complete responsibility for the program to the Recruiting specialist. Although hiring/staffing is a vital aspect of SWP, the scope is actually much bigger and requires a broader perspective. This is an initiative that should be sponsored by the highest level of HR (VP or Director) and supported by the full HR team. Ideally, managers in key positions in other departments will collaborate as team members as well. Cross-departmental input helps ensure that SWP goals are fully aligned with business goals.

Next week, we’ll look at what your team needs to know before they start making any decisions regarding workforce planning. Here at Emerald Software Group, we want to help you to get it right!

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