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15 March 2019

Workforce planning is a systematic approach that ensures you have the right people with the right skills in the right place at the right time to fulfil business objectives. 

It involves taking a step beyond traditional everyday HR metrics such as head count, attrition and engagement, to leverage wider workforce analytics that allow HR leaders to support and guide senior leadership decisions around resource allocation that lead to business boosting efficiency gains.

Regardless of size, sector or situation, for organisations looking to achieve more with less, workforce planning provides vital business intelligence to those responsible for resourcing decisions, and doing it right, can have a positive impact on your bottom-line.

To help you get started, here are 5 essentials to develop a strategic approach to workforce planning;

Review current patterns

  • Review your current working patterns and how your workforce is organised. This will include reviewing;
  • Demand and labour fluctuations (day/week/month) including any seasonal production, in line with staff hours and shift patterns
  • Pay load for each stage of the production process, including shift premiums, overtime rates and agency worker contracts
  • Pay rates compared to national and regional  benchmarks 
  • Job roles and opportunities for cross-training

Collect and Analyse data

  • Collect and analyse workforce data to help with decision making and defining requirements. Focus on your workforces current skillset and how this matches with your short, medium and long term production demands

Identify future skills

  • Establish what skills you need, where the gaps are and what training you require. Carefully monitor the balance between up skilling internal talent and recruiting externally to maintain a fresh and motivated workforce 

Develop a resource plan

  • Ensure that your resourcing requirements are aligned to your business plan, taking into account short, medium and long terms requirements, and don’t forget to consider how you will engage staff and take them on the journey with you, especially where your plans involve significant change

Measure outcomes and successes

  • Implement an agreed approach and measure outcomes and successes. Your plan should have review stages built in to allow you both to measure success and to quickly identify where changes need to be made


Whether you’re just beginning to plan your strategy or you’ve started but need some guidance to move forward, our HR experts are on hand to help you.

To speak to an expert today email [email protected] or call 0808 168 5874.

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Blog / HR & Legal