4 Reasons Why Your Business Should Focus on Workforce Planning

3 minutes • Aug 21, 2018HR

The business landscape is changing as a result of new advances in technology, as well as industry disruptors that leverage talent and technology in innovative ways. Along with the pace of change, organizations want to grow and remain competitive, and having the right mix of talented people will help make that goal a reality.

According to research conducted by Accenture, 61 percent of executives say they are not well prepared to change their workforce skill and job mix to transition into a digital business. Without careful workforce planning, it’s almost a given that the goal of becoming digitally competitive will remain unachieved—a fate that could mean disaster for just about any business. As you work toward your goals for growth, here are four reasons your business should focus on workforce planning and begin to realize its many benefits.

Balance External Hiring with Internal Moves

Workforce planning can help to achieve a healthy balance between external hires and existing company talent. As an example, the establishment of a strategic workforce plan prior to expanding or reorganizing a team helps decision-makers map out which specific skills already exist internally and which will need to be brought in-house via recruiting efforts. With an informed sense of the aggregate skill set within the current workforce, you’ll be in a better position to provide existing employees with promotional or lateral move opportunities before making a new hire. In addition, if there is a talent shortage for a particular kind of job, workforce planning can help you determine how to bridge the gap with existing staff until external candidates can be identified and hired.

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More Effective Onboarding

One of the key components of workplace planning is recruitment. Whether there are three new hires or 30, a well-thought-out workforce plan will ensure managers and teams have the time to effectively onboard new members of the team.

Organizations that plan headcount changes and other internal moves have more lead time to determine whether there are any additional elements to include in new hire onboarding. Also, when managers are aware of reorganization changes that will affect their teams, instead of having change abruptly thrust upon them, they’ll be better equipped to organize work and responsibilities so that new and existing employees can ramp up quickly for maximum productivity.

Better Anticipated Training, Compensation, and Benefit Needs

Workforce planning impacts many elements of the HR cycle and can help you better anticipate employee needs for training and development, compensation, and benefits. A solid workforce plan that details when and how many individuals will be hired in a new location, for example, can help with forecasting the costs of compensation and benefits, as well as the costs of training that may be necessary for new hires. Workforce planning also details who will lead certain teams and functions, so having a plan in place can help you map out and anticipate the leadership development needs of supervisors and managers as the company grows.

Improved Employee Engagement

When organizations don’t plan for skill gaps or a talent shortage and instead rely on assigning more work or requiring extra overtime, employees may feel overworked and therefore less engaged. Conversely, when employees see that you’re planning for the future and not being purely reactive when it comes to organizational restructuring and hiring, they may be more likely to have a stronger commitment to the company. With a talent plan for the future, existing employees are often spared from being stretched too thin, which can positively impact their engagement and productivity.

With the aid of a strategic workforce plan, you can more effectively leverage, hire, and reorganize talent to meet organizational needs. Rather than relying on spreadsheets and static org charts, you can use modern, live org chart technology to collaborate on reorganization and staffing plans, share different versions of the org chart with specific individuals, and develop workforce plans that evolve as your organization grows.

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