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What Are the Benefits of Workforce Planning?

By Sherri Bennett, SPHR & SHRM-CP on Aug 05, 2021
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benefits of strategic workforce planning

A small or mid-sized business is only as successful as its highest-performing employee. While most business owners understand this, they are not always certain how to improve employee performance. Some assume that improving employee performance automatically means investing considerable time and resources in ongoing employee training programs.

While some re-training may be necessary, placing people with the right skills in the right positions is a better approach because it is proactive rather than reactive. Taking this approach requires in-depth workforce planning to allow companies to improve productivity with current staff and attract the most dedicated talent for future hiring efforts.

Axcet HR Solutions works with small and mid-sized businesses in the Kansas City metropolitan area to help them develop an effective hiring and management strategy. At Axcet, our experienced Human Resources team identifies skill gaps as they relate to a company’s long-term goals. We then determine professional development and recruitment solutions to address them based on client input.

Improved Workplace Efficiency is One of the Top Benefits of Strategic Workforce Planning

Working with Axcet HR Solutions to create a strategic plan results in greater efficiency in every area of the organization. For example, business leadership may agree to redesign the organizational chart to better reflect the responsibilities of each area. Identifying and addressing gaps in worker skills improves performance, leading to better customer service and retention.

A strategic workforce plan acts as a road map for small and mid-sized companies to align their values and goals. The process helps to identify projects and processes that ultimately do not support the company’s vision, resulting in revision or elimination as necessary.

Taking stock of desired business outcomes is necessary for budget purposes since it allows for the most appropriate allocation of company resources. Increasing the budget in high-priority areas can provide an automatic boost in productivity because employees have what they need to do their job well. Here are several areas where HR alignment with business strategy results in an improved outcome for the entire organization:

  • Career development for current employees
  • Data protection for clients, customers, and employees
  • Employee benefits,
  • Support of development and learning opportunities for employees

Improve Employee Retention

Workforce planning is critical when recruiting and hiring new employees, but it is also necessary to enable a business to keep the high-performing employees it already has. Axcet HR Solutions conducts research of market trends and education levels to identify positions that would be challenging to fill if an employee resigned. As any small business owner knows, having key positions remain vacant for too long has a significant impact on profitability.

Sometimes the need for strategic workforce planning does not become apparent until certain departments begin experiencing high turnover. Our Human Resources team works to identify turnover patterns, such as inadequate resources to perform the job or not feeling supported by the manager. We then work with clients to address the causes of people leaving and develop more effective retention strategies.

strategic workforce planning axcet hr solutions six phase process

Strategic Planning Can Help Small Employers Minimize Disruption and Delays

The recent COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented disruption to millions of American businesses. While no company could have planned for business disruption of that magnitude, it underscored the importance of having a contingency plan for future emergencies.

A strategic plan also helps businesses navigate everyday disruptions, such as having inadequate staffing during the company’s busiest times of the year. The benefits of successful workforce planning in this area include:

  • Prevent delays in the production process by anticipating staffing needs.
  • Presents a clearer picture of the supply and demand for talent in specific areas, making it possible for management to prioritize hiring along with training of current staff to close any skill gaps.
  • Reduce the impact of a fluctuating business cycle by enabling smaller companies to predict periods of high and low demand for products and services with greater accuracy.

In our experience, small and mid-sized business owners often do not know where to start with examining commerce patterns from the past several years. The result is avoidable delays in fulfilling product orders or delivering services due to lack of staffing. Analyzing past performance data is the key to improving future performance and eliminating disruption and delays as much as possible.

Another benefit of workforce planning is that it prepares organizations for inevitable changes that all businesses experience, including shifting market demands and increased labor costs. Small and mid-sized businesses may not be able to control these factors, but they can minimize the disruption they cause with proactive workforce planning.

Reduce Future Hiring Costs

By understanding the headcount and level of employee productivity necessary for success, companies are in a position to maximize the talent they already have. The result is a reduced need for new hiring in the first place.

When it does become necessary to bring on new staff, business leaders will have a better idea of must-have skills and make hiring decisions accordingly. With deep insights provided by Axcet, businesses can interview job candidates based on a list of desired traits of high performers for each area of business need.

Decreased recruiting costs impact more than the Human Resources department. Business operations run smoother company-wide when employees have more resources available to them, thereby improving both morale and productivity. By identifying critical hiring needs through workforce planning, smaller companies can focus efforts on bringing in the right person without having to go through the disruption of frequent turnover.

Schedule a Consultation with Axcet HR Solutions Today

We invite employers with fewer than 250 employees to request a consultation for an opportunity to learn more about the benefits of workforce planning. This is just one of many HR administrative support services we offer under the umbrella of organizational development. Axcet works in partnership with smaller businesses as a co-employer to complete a wide spectrum of Human Resources, employee benefits, risk management, and payroll tasks, freeing up time for leadership to focus on business growth.

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