Workforce Planning: Part 5 – Creating a Plan

7 mins read

This article is written to provide you with details on creating a workforce plan using the information you have gathered from the previous steps taken in this series.

In part 4 of this series, we discussed conducting gap analysis as it relates to the employee’s talents, skillsets, and capabilities which are done in 5 simple steps. In this article, we are going to discuss how to create an effective workforce plan and will provide you with a downloadable Staffing Budget Workbook that you can use to begin putting it all together.

Creating a workforce plan is a high-quality process that takes company-wide effort, as it overlaps with the annual budgeting process. When creating your plan, include your leaders and other internal stakeholders to ensure they are aware of what is happening as you are incorporating all the information you gathered from the previous steps into an actionable talent plan.

When laying out your strategic workforce plan, we recommend compiling the information into a proposal document. This ensures that all the information is kept together and structured accurately in one centralized document that can be printed off and reviewed by those who are involved in the Workforce Planning Process. Typically what is included in this document are, but not limited to:

  • An executive summary of:
      • Business’s Goals and Objectives
      • The Current Workforce’s Competencies
      • Future Workforce Expectations
      • Assessments, Steps Taken, and Analysis Results
  • A Reporting & Metrics overview of:
      • Turnover Rates
      • Time to Fill
      • Headcount
      • Organizational Charts
  • An Action Plan Overview of:
      • Training & Development Plans
      • Succession Plans for Retiring or Resigning Employees
      • Scheduling Anticipated New Hire Start Dates
      • Scheduling Anticipated Existing Employee End Dates
  • A Staffing Budget Workbook which may include, but is not limited to:
      • Annual Budget vs. Actual Workforce Variance Costs
      • Current Workforce Costs
      • Forecasted Workforce Costs
      • Schedule for New Hire Start Dates
      • Schedule for Existing Employee End Dates
      • Workforce Allocations

It is important to craft a plan that works for everyone, this can be accomplished by ensuring that there is clear and consistent communication across the board around expectations. It’s imperative that there are no surprises.

We would like to take this opportunity to gently remind you that workforce planning is one component to a business’s Strategic Business Plan and Budgeting Process, which is related to human resources activities. This is why workforce planning typically only captures information associated with staffing plans, budgets, and forecasting which is then used by Finance to incorporate into the business’s annual budgeting plan.

Workforce Plan Proposal Document

Using the Workforce Plan Document template from our downloadable package below,  you can begin capturing the information you gathered during the previous steps.

Executive Summary
In this section of the Workforce Plan, you can capture the Business’s Goals and Objectives, Current Workforce’s Competencies, Gaps Identified, Future Workforce Expectations, and outline the results from any assessments, steps taken, and other analysis data that you consider pertinent to include.

Reporting & Metrics Overview
In this section of the Workforce Plan, you can provide a high-level view of the company’s Turnover Rates, Headcount, Time to Fill, and other analysis data that you consider pertinent to include such as Organizational Charts.

Action Plan Overview
In this section of the Workforce Plan, you can include information relating to your Training & Development plans for employees, Succession Plans for retiring or resigning employees, or other plans that you have identified during the process.

Workforce Planning Staffing Budget Workbook

Using the Staffing Budget Workbook included in our downloadable package below, you can begin capturing the costs relating to the current and future workforce, budget vs. actual workforce costs, schedule for new hires and retiring employees, workforce allocations, and other analysis data that you may consider pertinent to include.

Now that you have been introduced to Workforce Planning and all the steps that are involved to develop an effective, detailed, and high-quality process this concludes the development phase. With the development phase complete you can move forward with your action plan and begin monitoring the progress, which we will discuss in part 6 of this “Monitoring The Plan”.

We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge that this process can be intimidating and exhausting, and that each business handles and administers their workforce plans differently. The intent behind this article series is to guide business leaders in creating an effective Workforce Plan, any information and templates supplied are generalized and are subject for review and edits based on the business’s needs and requirements.

Remember, you are not in this alone! Seek out support from your leaders, department heads, or other internal stakeholders, and work together to develop an effective plan.

Download the Workforce Planning – Creating a Plan – Template and Workbook Package (zip).

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Visit our Resource Library for all available downloads.

If you require assistance with any of the guides, forms or templates, please contact a BIG representative.

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