Most organisations do Manpower Planning – analysing current headcount data, plotting staff movements and seeing where gaps in demand are to inform future resourcing and training activity. Typically this activity is done for the next 6-18 months to meet the operational needs of the current business plan or budget cycle. Mostly Manpower Planning is part of HR and provides the data for business heads to understand and plan accordingly.
Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP) is different – it is both more strategic and targeted. It is challenging and requires greater collaboration across the organisation.
How is it more strategic?
SWP looks at a longer time period – perhaps up to 5 years ahead. It links directly to the organisation’s strategy, breaking down strategic intent into the practicalities of what roles are needed to achieve the strategy and ensuring that the best people are in these roles. SWP also looks at data-based scenarios to anticipate potential change and the impact on the business and the risks associated with this change on achieving the stated goals of the organisation. SWP is a core business process – hence the need for collaboration across the business – well beyond just HR!
In what way is SWP targeted?
The start point is to understand the implications of the organisations strategy in people terms. Who is needed where for how long? What are the key roles that will enable the organisation to achieve its stated objectives? Have we got the best people in these roles? If not, what needs to happen? Key roles are not necessarily linked to seniority in the organisational structure – hence part of the challenge!
In this series of post, the Facilitator, Stephen Cowburn, senior consultant with Glomacs, FCIPD MBA, will help business leaders understand how to better articulate the people actions that need to be addressed to deliver against strategic plans.