The importance of workforce planning was specifically highlighted when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Because many businesses had to restructure their operations overnight, a lot of specialised skills became unforeseen collateral.
Employers that had a workforce planning system in place at the time had the luxury of making decisions with real-time data about the core skills required to maintain operations. This is just one of many benefits, alongside the following:
1. Workforce planning has an instant effect on operations
When workforce planning is first introduced, many employers are surprised by how quickly it adds value to their operations.
There may be a lot of touchpoints to cover — including gathering information on departmental needs, broadly examining the workforce, coming up with an action plan and actively monitoring progress — but once everything is in place, momentum builds.
It’s also worth noting that a workforce management software from companies like Indeed Flex typically helps to make the process less time consuming than might have been initially anticipated.
2. Implementation isn’t industry-specific, but the extra benefits are
As no two companies are alike, it’s true that an element of trial and error is required to perfect the workforce management process. The core setup process, however, is the same in all businesses regardless of the industry they are in.
At its full potential, workforce planning is also beneficial by yielding additional industry-specific positives. In hospitals, for instance, it can quite literally save lives. An unexpected resignation from a specialist without a contingency plan in place impacts the bottom line of a hospital and, worse still, may even result in a death that could have been prevented with better planning.
3. It equips businesses for the worst case scenario
Human capital is the lifeblood of any business operation. Workforce planning keeps the heart of a business pumping by covering everything from the slightest personnel change right through to the worst case scenario.
Equipped to handle anything thrown at them, employers experience greater peace of mind and can focus their attention on other important tasks instead. Because workforce planning helps them to spot gaps and mitigate risks, they can rest easy knowing that there is a strategy in place to counter potentially destabilising developments related to the labour force.
It’s clear that employers and HR managers have a lot to gain by implementing a workforce planning process into their operations. When introduced alongside a workforce management software, the process is not only time efficient, but generally uncomplicated too. And when a full-blown staffing crisis is avoided as a result, everybody wins.
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