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Workforce planning depends upon, complements, and logically follows strategic planning. Strategic planning assists in mapping where you are, where you are going, and how you plan to get there. Workforce planning identifies staffing and competency needs and strategies required for you to achieve your strategic goals. The suggested actions below will set the strategic direction for the workforce plan.
Set the strategic direction to ensure the workforce plan aligns staffing to the business needs and strategic goals of your organization's mission and vision.
Documentation of the organization's strategic direction, critical functions , and environmental factors (internal and external) that impact the organization's workforce.
Obtain executive support for the workforce plan.
Establish ownership for the workforce plan by building a project team that includes representation from each division/program area to help develop the plan and garner feedback from key stakeholders throughout the process.
Review the organization's strategic plan to align workforce planning efforts to the mission, vision, and critical functions.
Identify the internal and external environmental factors that impact the organization's workforce including shifts in politics, technology, economy, culture, etc.
Analyze the impact the environmental factors have on the organization's mission, vision, and critical functions, to also include future implications.
Workforce Plan Checklist PDF |
Steps 3 - 5:
Workforce Plan Template DOCX | Blank Template DOCX - See Page 1
Strategic Plan - An internal document that outlines an organization's overall direction and purpose, examines its current status, sets long-term objectives, and formulates tactics to achieve them.
Steering Committee - An advisory committee comprised of stakeholders who provide guidance on key issues such as policy and objectives, resource allocation, and decision-making.
Environmental Scan - Examining internal and external factors to obtain a better understanding of what trends and issues impact the workforce.
To gain support of the executive team and other critical stakeholders, conduct a risk assessment illustrating the business need for workforce planning and costs associated with lack of planning. For example, explain the potential impact of retirements, transfers, and other voluntary separations to the costs of training new employees, loss or delays in services, etc.
Some benefits of workforce planning that can be emphasized to executives include:
This can be done within a smaller case study context or a comprehensive workforce analysis.
Case study: Identify one or more division/program areas experiencing recruitment, retention, employee development, knowledge transfer and/or succession management challenges. Interview division/program area managers and supervisors to gain information on how these challenges are impacting their division’s critical functions and the organization's mission. To assist in gathering division/program area input utilize the Survey and Development Tool PDF |
RTF | online version.
Comprehensive workforce analysis: Analyze the entire organization's workforce data to illustrate demographic and separation trends. For detailed instructions on completing a workforce analysis, follow the guidance in
Phase 2 Step 1 and utilize the Tools and Detailed Information sections. Reserve the competency assessment, as mentioned in Phase 2, until executive support has been established and/or a
Steering Committee Roles and Responsibilities PDF |
RTF or project team is available to assist with this effort. Compare the organization's workforce trends to statewide age demographic and retirement trends for perspective.
Utilizing concrete examples of workforce risks from your organization can be a very powerful illustration of the need for workforce planning. In addition, the following are general “What’s In It For Me (WIIFM)” concepts that, if relevant, can be presented to assist with understanding the necessity:
Maintain executive and stakeholder support throughout the process by delivering continuous communication about workforce planning progress, small and large accomplishments, other successes, and impacts to the organization.
Allocating sufficient resources to the workforce planning effort is essential in the success of a comprehensive and fully implemented workforce plan. To help anticipate the time and resources needed, refer to the Workforce Plan Checklist PDF |
RTF. The tool is used to evaluate a completed workforce plan, but can assist organizations during the planning process to anticipate critical milestones that will need to be accomplished.
Workforce planning is the responsibility of the entire organization and can be pursued in circumstances with limited resources. Although there may be one person responsible for coordinating the effort, a dedicated team comprised of full or part-time members should be established to serve as the support team for workforce planning efforts.
Begin with a working project team and later establish a governance committee to ensure successful implementation and maintenance of the plan. See more about a governance structure in
The project team will carry out the work of developing the workforce plan. A formal Steering Committee can also be established in addition to, or include, the project team. Regardless of the team formality, reference the
Steering Committee Roles and Responsibilities PDF |
RTF for guidance on roles and responsibilities. Although it may not be possible to establish a formal Steering Committee due to limited resources, the Steering Committee Roles and Responsibilities matrix can still assist in identifying which division/program areas of the organization may be able to assist with the associated aspects of the workforce planning effort.
If it is necessary to narrow the scope of workforce planning efforts due to limited resources, begin by interviewing the executive team to gain information on the top three to five workforce planning needs of the organization. From there, focus on the division/program areas that have the highest impact on the top needs identified. Proceed through the State of California Workforce Planning Model with a narrowed focus on the workforce of those high impact division/program areas. The Survey and Development Tool PDF |
RTF | online version may assist with efforts in collecting this type of information.
If a strategic plan is complete and current, identify the mission critical goals, then the critical objectives within each goal. For each mission critical objective, consider the human resources needed to fulfill it. All the workforce planning strategies that will be developed should directly support one of these objectives or overlying goals.
If strategic planning has not been completed, begin the process by gaining input from division/program areas and stakeholders through meetings and/or surveys to complete one or more of the following:
Perform a SWOT analysis (Strengths- internal attributes of the organization that are helpful to achieving strategic goals, Weaknesses - internal attributes of the organization that are detrimental to achieving strategic goals, Opportunities - external conditions that are helpful to achieving strategic goals, and Threats - external conditions that are detrimental to achieving strategic goals) to help determine challenges that impact the workforce.
Contact the CalHR Statewide Workforce Planning Unit at
firstname.lastname@example.org or (916) 322-0742 for methodology information on performing a SWOT analysis.
Obtain data on the entire organization as well as data related to internal and external environmental factors, such as: events impacting your organization, private sector trends, federal or local influences, potential organizational shifts, changes in how the organization conducts business or provides services, etc.
Analyze the impact of the environmental factors identified in Step 4. Identify current trends to the workforce and anticipate their future implications. Compare the analysis against demographic trends that you will collect in
Phase 2, such as age and retirement eligibility.