Workforce planning is how businesses align goals with current resources and plan a route to success; workforce planning techniques help these businesses get there by evaluating and strategising.


Your business will benefit greatly from sufficient strategic workforce planning, from business growth and efficiency to harmonious, content staff but where and how can you get started? It’s not a small undertaking; it will mean plenty of evaluation and analysis, so give the process the time it deserves to apply the techniques.


Preparing for your workforce planning techniques:

Start objectively and look to overhaul the way you currently strategies internally.  If you want to play the long game and develop a sustainable workforce planning strategy which propels you forward and upward, then the time and the effort is most definitely worth it!

Begin with your business objectives, your vision for the future, what are your business goals and objectives?  Build your ideal workforce planning strategy and plans for expansion as the company grows.  To do this, you’ll want to look at growth figures, financials and speak with each leading member of your team and all members of management.  Analyse how your business works and the absolute key players in each team.

Then you need to evaluate your current workforce, in comparison to your ‘ideal’ model. This will illuminate any real issues that you have which need to be addressed – teams and individuals which are overstaffed or understaffed or underskilled.

workforce planning techniques

Time to dig a little deeper…

Workforce Planning Techniques:

5 Rights: This workforce planning technique comes from Korn Ferry Hay Group, the framework gives you 5 ‘S’s to begin to analyse your organisation. Have you got the right size, skills, shape, site and spend?

In other words:

Does your organisation have the right amount of staff to work efficiently and stay lean?

Is your workforce in need of reskilling or upskilling to fill any knowledge gaps?

Does your company hold the right structure to operate at its optimum?

Have you placed the members of your workforce in the right positions to allow for growth?

What is the right amount you should be spending and where should investments be placed to grow?


Compensation and Benefits Analysis: This approach looks at bringing any mistakes which are negatively affecting the organisation into line – the benefits that your workforce receive and any compensations which may need to be given.  There may be benefits that employees are enjoying which are financially damaging to the company, by carrying out this analysis you’ll gain insight into staff performance and targets being met in comparison to pay grades and benefits packages.  Underperforming staff who are being overpaid or well-performing staff who are being underpaid can be identified and steps to equalise this can be included in your strategic workforce plans.


Address the gaps: If your organisation is in no position to restructure or undertake any kind of overhaul, then a healing a preventative measure is to plan to close the gaps which your evaluation of the workforce highlighted. Many of these may be skills related, both soft and hard skills – your startegy here may be skillsharing or putting resources towards the training and development of your current staff.  You might also look to shuffle responsibilities once gaps in the organisation have been discovered – perhaps leads aren’t being followed up after a certain point because this has never been specifically laid out as one department or individual’s responsibility, these are the kinds of gaps you can close to improve business. 


Scenario Planning: As you might expect, this is planning for different scenarios, this can be one of the most valuable workforce planning techniques to adopt as it can equip you well for the future!  Not only does this technique force you to consider the various ways your business could develop, by planning and strategising so your workforce is equipped to handle any and all, but it makes you incredibly flexible and closer to unbreakable as a company!

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