Workforce Planning: Part 1 – Introduction
Workforce Planning: Part 2 – Setting a Strategic Direction
Workforce Planning: Part 3 – Identifying Potential Gaps
Workforce Planning: Part 4 – Conducting a Workforce Gap Analysis
Workforce Planning: Part 5 – Creating a Plan
Workforce Planning: Part 6 – Monitoring the Plan
This article is written to discuss why it is important to keep monitoring your Workforce Plan instead of setting and forgetting it.
In part 5 of this series, we discussed creating your plan by developing a Workforce Plan Proposal and providing an executive summary of all the information you gathered, including the creation of a Staffing Budget workbook which then summarizes the costs associated with your plan. In this last part of the series, we are going to discuss the importance of monitoring your Workforce Plan to ensure you remain on schedule and on budget.
When it comes to monitoring the plan, we recommend tasking members of HR and Finance to oversee it. This way you can focus on other business priorities while you have a team of professionals who worked closely with developing the plan now working towards the desired outcomes to remain on target with recruiting and budget.
To keep all internal/external stakeholders informed and updated on the progress of the plan and whether your business is on target regarding what was budgeted for staffing, we suggest creating a written report and/or dashboard to summarize progress on a regular basis, or in most cases incorporating the summary into your business’s monthly leadership team meeting. Depending on your business needs this can be on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis. To help you with creating these documents, we have included templates at the end of this article.
There will be instances where your workforce plan is interrupted by unforeseen circumstances, which is why it is important to have a backup plan, so you can respond to a problematic scenario.
For example: You were only able to hire three employees within the first quarter instead of the five you planned. Your backup plan may require you to refrain from further increasing your production rate until you are able to fill those vacant positions.
When it comes to evaluating your plan, it is crucial to communicate when certain milestones have been achieved, as this may affect your business’s operations and production output.
For example: You were finally able to fill those vacant positions, now it is time for operations to begin increasing production output as planned in the strategic business plan.
Remember to regularly monitor your workforce plan to ensure your business goals and objectives are going to be achieved. Monitoring the plan may require you to report on other HR metrics such as actual workforce costs related to the budgeted costs. This will keep the company aware of any matters which may have caused the plan to go over the budget due to unforeseen circumstances (i.e. Overtime).
The goal of workforce planning is to build a stable staffing level across the organization. With proper planning, your business reduces the risk of falling behind on organizational goals, objectives, and deliverables. This is achieved by being proactive and planning ahead for future staffing requirements needed by the business to be successful!
Success in your business centers on developing and improving Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The data for developing KPIs comes from your strategic workforce plan, which includes the staffing plan to ensure you have the right staff in place at the right time to support your business achieve results.
As your annual workforce plan is vital to your business, remember that you are not in this process alone! Speak with your leadership team and other internal stakeholders to get input on your workforce plan and utilize your team of professionals’ experience and training.