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Understanding strategic workforce planning

Posted by David Ballinger on Sep 10, 2018 8:00:00 AM
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Workforce planningStrategic Workforce Planning is a common industry term among HR professionals. Often abbreviated SWP, strategic workforce planning is primarily about structuring your workforce in a way that helps you accomplish your company's mission and goals.

Let's take a closer look at what exactly that means.

Staffing and ROI

Typically, when companies think about return on investment, they're thinking specifically about finances. But ROI is so much broader than that. Your employees should be making a positive impact on ROI. It's the reason companies implement time tracking and quotas and other benchmarks.

If payroll costs exceed profits, then a new workforce strategy can help to regain a positive ROI. 

Achieving long-term goals

A realistic goal setter knows that in order to achieve long-term goals, one must establish short-term goals that guide them toward their ultimate goals. Strategic workforce planning is one of those short-term goals that plays a key part in long-term success.

When a company is clear on its goals, it will structure its workforce in a way that allows it to achieve them. 

For example, if a company's goal is to increase production, they'll hire more employees to accomplish more work in a shorter period of time. If their goal is to improve quality, they'll launch training sessions to educate employees on quality standards and procedures. SWP should be directed by your business goals.

Employee satisfaction

Strategic workforce planning means paying careful attention to employees' responses to company strategies, processes and accomplishments. Do you have a high turnover rate? Is your workforce engaged? Keeping your employees motivated and on task is an important part of keeping them at your company in general, and the best way to motivate your employees is to instill in them a passion for your company's mission. Strategic workforce planning can aid in that. When focused on employee engagement, strategic workforce planning is a major part of improving company morale and keeping great employees.

Good leadership

Strategic workforce planning is contingent on leadership. Leadership — and often the HR team — is responsible for creating effective strategies and either implementing them or delegating their implementation. A leadership team that is apathetic, overworked, undertrained or understaffed, will struggle with strategic workforce planning. 

For leadership teams that are apathetic or self-serving, introducing the idea of servant leadership may help them restore a positive relationship with their employees. For HR teams that are overwhelmed, consider outsourcing consulting services to handle your strategic workforce planning.

A consulting company like OpSource Staffing can conduct a full assessment of your company, pinpoint problem areas, and prescribe a customized and effective solution. Not only do we create strategic solutions, but we also offer ongoing services for implementing them. Click on the banner below to learn more!

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Tags: Human Resources, Workforce Management