Workforce Planning: What is It and Do I Need It? (Part 2)

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We gave a short primer last week on what workforce planning is. This week’s post will discuss how a company may want to implement a strategic workforce plan.

Once you’ve decide you need to implement a workforce plan, you’ll need to get buy-in from your company’s executives and managers. You’ll need to present them with well-crafted reports and documentation showing them the how and why of the workforce plan. The reports should include

  • your company’s current number of jobs/positions and the current number of people filling them,
  • your projection/prediction of future jobs needs based on your company’s goals and strategic plan,
  • your recruiting plans (including whether you’ll be hiring temporary employees, regular employees, using free-lancers and/or partnering with other businesses to ensure you have adequate talent),
  • as well as your anticipated deadlines and costs.

Many workforce planning experts recommend submitting about three written plans to upper management, each with different equipment, worker numbers, materials and supplies and the costs of same.

Once the plan’s been approved by your company’s leaders, form a workforce planning team that has at least one person from each of your company’s department. Aim for a mix of supervisors and workers. Meet regularly.

Send messages consistently company-wide of your progress. Address concerns as you learn of them. (For example, many companies report that rumors of layoffs and/or firings often accompany the implementation of workforce plans.) Be sure to send written reports regularly to management — it’s a great way to be sure of their continued support.

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