Workforce planning - ensuring the people resources are in place to deliver short and long-term organisation objectives - should be a core process of HR in order to help build sustainable organisation performance. This is the view of a new Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) guide, Workforce Planning: Right People, Right Time, Right Skills, which demonstrates how organisations can deliver the business plan through its people.
CIPD research shows that too many organisations are neglecting to plan for the future. This year's Resourcing and Talent Planning survey, released next week to coincide with the conference of the same name on 16 and 17 June, shows most organisations carry out workforce planning for the next 1-2 years (41%), with a fifth planning less than one year in advance (20%). Responding to these concerns, the guide urges organisations to look beyond short-term budgetary planning to the longer term needs of the organisation for sustained performance.
The guide, based on in-depth interviews with organisations of varying sizes in the public and private sector and a literature review, calls on HR to be a credible business partner through being part of the strategic planning process. It also establishes the role HR can play in helping to manage risk in organisations by using tools such as scenario planning.
Angela Baron, engagement adviser, CIPD, says: "Workforce planning provides the basis for better decision-making to meet the future needs of the business in terms of its people resource. While some organisations have these processes in place, for many there is still a 'knowing-doing' gap when it comes to workforce planning This is a shame as it presents an important opportunity for HR to 'raise the bar' and ensure they are involved in strategic-level planning.
"While there should be a focus on the long term, it's important that workforce plans are 'living' documents and are not set in stone. They need to be constantly reviewed and refreshed to ensure that the organisation can be agile and responsive to the demands of the changing business environment."