The Importance of Strategic Workforce Planning


The importance of Strategic Workforce Planning – especially now

Creating workforce insight has never been more important

More and more organizations are acknowledging the importance of Strategic Workforce Planning. The need for organizations to be more flexible and agile is further increasing, demanding higher mobility and flexibility in your workforce. Strategic Workforce Planning enables organizations to create insights in potential workforce gaps, and will buy organisations time to initiate the right measures.

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Many organizations are struggling to implement effective Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP). And fairly said, it is not simple. It requires an in-depth understanding of the business strategy, your workforce and the market. However, if successfully implemented, it will serve as a powerful tool for workforce intelligence and management.

Over the years many organizations acknowledged the increased importance of SWP. The rise of digital and augmentation of jobs with automation and digitization demands a different skillset than before. The availability of talent with those specific skills and capabilities is lower than the demand. This urges organizations to increase their ability to attract, develop and retain talent in order to meet their strategic ambitions. So organizations need to “plan” their workforce, to ensure they have access to the right skills and capabilities in the right place and time.

In addition to this, organizations are taking on larger social responsibility. There is an increasing call for organizations to be more thoughtful in managing technology and its impacts on jobs (Deloitte human capital trends report 2019 – rise of the social enterprise). With the use of SWP organizations can create insights into how the workforce “demand” is expected to develop as well as the workforce “supply”. It is possible that the demand and supply are completely aligned, more likely however is that a comparison of demand and supply will lead to shortages in certain areas and surpluses in others. As our fast-changing world is leading to a fast-changing skill landscape.

In our 2020 Global Human Capital Trends survey, 53 percent of respondents said that between half and all of their workforce will need to change their skills and capabilities in the next three years. Creating insights in which skills and roles are needed in the (near) future will become an even more critical competitive advantage for organizations. Having a solid understanding of the strategic direction of the workforce, will buy organizations time. Time to develop, build, attract, hire or borrow those skills and capabilities, as well as the required mindset and culture to execute business strategy. Today’s success increasingly depends on innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity that doesn’t just rely on skills but also on capabilities like critical thinking and collaboration (Deloitte human capital trends report 2020).

Of course, nobody can predict the future, and there will always be rocks in the road ahead of us, as Covid-19 has recently shown us. However actively anticipating expected changes, monitoring both internal and external developments and translating these to potential impacts on the workforce, enables your organization as well as your workforce to be one step ahead. Informing individual careers, learning and development and of course talent acquisition. Creating higher organizational agility by increased flexibility and mobility of your workforce.

If you want to know more about our proven methodology and approach, we are more than happy to connect!

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