4 Tips for Effective Strategic Workforce Planning

Strategic Workforce Planning

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In today’s business world, we are all looking for new ways to improve efficiency, enhance operations, and increase profits. Strategic workforce planning is essential to achieving this. For an Operations (Ops) Manager to put a strategic workforce plan together, they need to have the correct tools for workforce planning in place, analyse staffing supply and demand, identify skills gaps, and more. Let’s take a deeper look into what it takes to put a strategic workforce plan together.

Strategic Workforce Planning

What is Strategic Workforce Planning?

Strategic workforce planning looks at your business, your staffing, and aims to assist you in having the right talent in the right roles at the right time. This type of workforce planning focuses on ensuring that your business runs as effectively as possible, especially where shift work is concerned. When managed and implemented correctly, workforce planning ensures that there is no under or overstaffing, that you have the correct number of staff for current and future jobs, and that your team knows their roles and responsibilities and when and where they are working. The strategic workforce planning process also uncovers current and prospective employees’ training needs and requirements and aligns these with your business’s strategic goals and objectives.

There are four specific types of analysis that you, as an ops manager, should conduct in workforce planning. This includes:

  • Supply analysis – also referred to as a staffing assessment that aims to identify and analyse an organisation’s current labour supply, e.g., the number of staff, credentials, experience, and roles.
  • Demand analysis – which is often called a demand model which examines and defines future business plans and objectives.
  • Gap analysis– compares the differences in the supply assessment and demand models and sims to identify skill surpluses and deficiencies.
  • Solution analysis – focuses on workforce resourcing and aims to address the gaps related to current and future staffing needs through recruiting, training, development, outsourcing, and more.

When this workforce planning model has been conducted efficiently and strategic workforce planning is effective, a business will experience the following benefits:

  • Reduce labour costs due to scheduling efficiency, which ensures no over or understaffing.
  • Identify future customer needs to meet demand before its needed.
  • Devise appropriate strategies for people development that aims to improve employee retention.
  • Identify and improve target areas and KPIs to improve profitability and grow the business.
  • Boost productivity through effective planning to ensure that the right employee is at the right place at the right time.

4 tips For Effective Strategic Workforce Planning

From the above, it is clear that strategic workforce planning plays an essential role in business. To ensure that your workforce planning is as effective and efficient as possible, we have put together 4 tips for effective strategic workforce planning for you to follow. These include:

1.    Get the right people in at the right time and in the right place

This is the winning formula for effective workforce planning. Having the right staff, in terms of qualifications, at the correct location or job and at the right time all comes down to effective scheduling and having complete visibility of your workforce. Having the right employees at the right location and on time can provide your customers with a great customer experience necessary for repeat work and referrals, impacting profitability. 

2.    Find the right workforce planning tool

Technology has evolved, and in recent years, several different workforce management tools have come onto the market. These tools aim to enhance scheduling, making it more efficient and effective. Many of them also enable you to track and manage employee productivity. One of the most important things to look out for with these business optimisation tools is that they are easily integrated into your other systems, for example, your payroll and accounting software systems.

3.    Get forecasting right

Forecasting is key to an effective strategic workforce planning framework. This allows you to identify your staffing needs based on historic consumer demand. This will help you identify peak business times of the year and schedule these accordingly. If done efficiently, you can put together a profitable workforce plan.

4.    Make use of analytics and reporting

Having complete visibility and a holistic view of your business as well as how effective your workforce planning process is, relies on the data and insights you have on elements affecting productivity, overtime, absenteeism, customer satisfaction etc. If you have the right workforce management tools in place, you will be able to access this data and use it to identify issues, problems, or opportunities to improve and grow the business.


How can EasyRoster assist with creating an effective workforce planning strategy?

EasyRoster is a workforce planning tool that aims to empower you as an Ops Manager to improve your labour efficiency and effectively meet your human resource requirements through innovative scheduling software.

This workforce management solution has been designed to help you roster and post the correct number of employees, with the correct skill, grade, or rank, for accurate shifts, at suitable locations as per your specific contractual requirements. This system will help you minimise overtime, non-productive hours, over and under posting, and ensure the best profit margins per location. This efficient software solution boasts the following features:

  • Contract management – details regarding each site or location are captured and maintained in EasyRoster.
  • Personnel management – details regarding each person to be managed are captured and maintained in EasyRoster.
  • Staff scheduling per location – scheduling (rostering) of personnel shifts are done per location and may be done either manually or automatically.
  • Time and attendance per location – capturing actual attendance details is done per location and may be done manually or automatically.
  • Reporting and analytics – these reports enable an operations manager to keep day-to-day control of operations to ensure that costs are kept to a minimum, and personnel requirements are precisely met.
  • Flexible business rules – EasyRoster is highly flexible, allowing for the creation of customised business rules according to your unique requirements.

Book a demo today for more on EasyRoster and how this specialised software can assist your business with strategic workforce planning.


From the above, it is clear that strategic workforce planning is essential to business success. The key to this success is ensuring that you have the right people at the right time and place, that you have the best possible workforce management tools at your disposal, that you use reports and analytics and that you get your forecasting right. One solution that helps you tick each of these elements off your checklist is EasyRoster, the workforce management software that enhances labour efficiency and minimises labour costs. For more on EasyRoster and how it can assist with your strategic workforce planning, click here.

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