How Do You Develop a Workforce Plan?

In our Third Article in the Workforce Planning Series we discuss how all plans have a beginning, and certainly Developing a Workforce Plan does.  How You Develop A Workforce Plan is not as simple as waking up one day and deciding. “We are going to have a workforce plan.” It requires careful thought and yes, planning to plan.  Previously I shared that there were but 6 steps in the process.  The first of those steps was Develop a Business Strategic Plan.”  Hopefully, your business has one, for, without a Strategic Plan, your Workforce Plan has limited value.  Once you have your strategic plan we get to our actual question, How Do You Develop a Workforce Plan?

It starts with an understanding…

It starts with understanding that a workforce plan, just like your strategic plan, is about success.   In a Workforce Plan, we are focusing on making the workforce successful; successful at executing the business strategy and then making the business successful.  It is important to remember that the workforce is the primary source of growth and value creation.  Once you accept that, you have effectively addressed one of the key truths of a workforce plan; the truth of perspective – that successful workforce planning is a source of strategic value to the organization that the workforce is a contribution to the success of the business and not a cost to the business.

The actual first step of the process is “Identify the necessary Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Experience, and Behaviors (KSAEB’s) necessary to execute the plan. “

To achieve this, the actual performance behaviors required by the workforce and managers must be identified.  They involve these four elements:

Workforce Success – For the company to be successful, the Workforce must be successful.  The focus is to identify the mindset, skills, behaviors, experiences, and culture necessary to execute the businesses strategy.

Workforce Mindset and Culture – Identify how the workforce should conduct itself and the expectations that Leadership has of the workforce.

Workforce Competencies – Competencies, what each employee can do, represent the knowledge, skill, and ability of employees.

Workforce Behaviors –  What behaviors the workforce and management must exhibit that is consistent with and supports organizational strategy.

Putting all four of those elements together gives you the KSAEB’s necessary to execute your business strategy.  The labor-intensive part with this step is the reality that you must do this for many of the individual roles and positions within your business.  This is not a one size fits all process.  A suggestion is to use the natural organization of your business and do this by parts and then first focus on those positions that have the greatest impact.

This is not the place for sameness; every job, worker, or output is not the same.  Set those beliefs aside as you perform this step.

Once you’ve identified all of the KSAEB’s necessary, it is time to perform a gap analysis between what you have and what your identified needs are.  Make certain that you also consider your future needs and not just current.  This is the final analysis step before you begin Action Planning.


The Series so Far: