What is Workforce Planning?


If you do a quick google search of “Workforce Planning”, you’ll find hundreds of articles, models, best practices, strategies, etc.  And while each author will have his or her own perspective on the right approach, you will see common threads throughout most.  It’s pretty simple, really: workforce planning is about making sure you have the right people in the right positions marching towards the right goals at the right time with the right skills.  Easy, right?


In actuality, there are many steps involved in the workforce planning process.  First, a business needs to establish clear objectives.  Where are you today and where do you want to be tomorrow?

Next, you need to make sure your talent aligns with those objectives.  Who do you have in place today?  Are they in the right positions?  Do they have the right skillsets?  As you analyze your needs and compare them with your current talent, you can start to identify gaps and solutions for those gaps.

Most importantly, you have to take action!  Workforce planning isn’t effective if you only plan; you must implement.  This is where many businesses fall short because the tasks seem too monumental.  Approach workforce planning as a marathon, not a sprint. Start with these simple and effective workforce planning tips:

  • Take a hard look at how employees are spending their time versus what their job descriptions say they should be doing. Where you see discrepancies, do you need to rethink job descriptions, do you need to manage performance more closely, do you need a better recruiting strategy, or perhaps you need to reassess your training offerings?
  • If an employee leaves, be more thoughtful with replacing the position. Does the position really need to be filled?  If so, should it look the same or can you use this opportunity to redesign the role?  Do you have someone internally who can fill this position effectively?
  • Make sure you are scheduling appropriately. Utilize the data available to you to determine busy times and downtimes.  Look at your mix of full-time and part-time employees.  Flexible work arrangements are proving to be more and more beneficial to both employees and employers in certain circumstances.  Don’t be afraid to take creative approaches and try new things.


There are many resources available to assist you with all aspects of workforce planning.  As always, Berger HR Solutions is happy to partner with you to help you grow your business.  For help with Workforce Planning, please contact Berger HR Solutions at info@bergerhrsolutions.com or 410-695-9888. Let us partner with you to take your success to the next level.