SACS is very active in workforce planning. The graphic above is the SACS Model of Workforce Planning which we have used in many workforce planning projects in a range of sectors.

You will see that the components of effective workforce planning include defining your current workforce and the environmental factors surrounding it. You then need to define the workforce you are going need in the future – say 3-5 years down the track.

This is where it gets interesting, because this is a task most organisations have never done and are not set up to do. Why? Because they don’t have true strategy. Instead, they have:

  • Broad conceptual purpose statements, or
  • Tactical work plans, or
  • Both.

True strategy defines organisational success in terms of measurable outcomes that the organisation will need to achieve and how we are going to achieve those outcomes. True strategy says “These are the businesses we are going to be in in 2-3 years’ time and this is the size and shape we are going to need to be.”

We find that workforce planning really puts the acid on strategy and we therefore often end up leading an organisation back to strategy development as part of the workforce planning endeavour. After all, the key question in workforce planning is what the workforce is going to have to do. If you can’t make some kind of informed forecast you can’t really workforce plan.

We have a free seminar on workforce planning coming up in late February. Join us to get the latest evidence based perspective on this important topic.

Andrew Marty