Workforce planning decoded along with its importance

Workforce Planning, its importance and types

Workforce planning decoded along

Workforce planning:

Workforce planning refers to the continual process of planning of various workforce related activities in organization. The main aim behind conducting workforce planning is to align the needs of organization with the needs of staff members in the organization. Also, workforce planning is conducted to ensure that all obligations, regulations and legislations relating to workforce are complied with in the organization. Further, workforce planning is conducted to analyze the skills needed to be present in staff members and number of staff members required in the organization. This further helps in defining the skill gap in organization and helps in defining the number of staff members required to be hired at the workplace. Along with this, workforce planning is the key to ensure that right persons are hired at the right job and at the right time in the organization (Workforce Planning, 2019).

Article Summary

This article mainly focuses on the concept of workforce planning and different requirements related to it. Apart from this, different components related to workforce planning are also elaborated in thus article that can help the organizations in implementing HR practices in efficient way. This article is also very useful to understand the importance of workforce planning in efficient way.

Workforce planning fit:

Workforce planning is needed to be conducted in every organization and it is must to ensure that workforce plans are aligned with the business plans. Also, workforce planning fit depends on the extent to which workforce plans are incorporated in the business and financial plans of business. Following figure shows the workforce planning fit:

Workforce planning fit

The above figure helped in identifying that HR strategies are developed after preparing organizational behaviour and strategies. Also, it has been identified that HR processes involved in HR planning are recruitment, selection, performance management, learning and development, rewards and promotion etc.

Components of workforce planning:

Workforce planning helps in implementing number of HR strategies in the organization. The main components or steps of workforce planning include review of current workforce, forecasting the needs for future workforce and development of strategies to avoid workforce issues to be faced in organization. Following figure shows the main components of workforce planning cycle:

Components of workforce planning


The above figure helped in identifying that workforce planning helps in identifying gaps in current workforce of organization and helps in developing strategies for reducing workforce gaps and current challenges.

Importance of workforce planning:

Workforce planning helps in providing managers with the base for taking various human resource decisions in organization. it is one of the important business planning tool that helps in managing various workforce related risks and achieving best business outcomes ("The importance of workforce planning", 2019). The above section of the report helped in identifying that workforce planning is useful not only for identifying the gaps in current workforce plans but also helps in identifying the gaps in required competencies for future. The process of workforce planning helps in defining various HR strategies for mitigating workforce risks. Along with this, strategic workforce planning is needed for running business smoothly in competitive business world. Following points highlight the importance of conducting workforce planning in organization:

  • Analysis of current and future workforce:

    Work force plan also helps in analyzing the current workforce supply in organization by analyzing the current workforce profiling and evaluating the skills and capabilities of workforce. Also, workforce plan also includes analysis of shortages in the current workforce capabilities an capacities to meet future work needs (Fournier, 2016).

  • Forecasting and Preventing workforce issues:

    Workforce planning is conducted with the aim to forecast various workforce issues in advance. Analysis of likely issues and development of future plans helps in preventing the number of problems that are likely to be faced in organization due to number of workforce challenges. Competencies required for achieving organizational goals are also identified and staff members are hired on the basis of required competencies in the organization. Along with this, it involves deep analysis of various internal and external factors that may affect the future workforce demand.

  • Talent management:

    Workforce planning also helps in managing talent in the organization by hiring the best people at the organization and at the position needed. Also, right people are hired at right through regular workforce planning.

  • Development of workforce strategies:

    Various strategies are also developed on the basis of analysis of gaps in workforce planning and on the basis of various issues that can be faced in organization. workforce plans also include development of training plans for the staff members.

Need for workforce planning:

The above section helped in identifying that it is must to conduct workforce planning in the organization to retain best talent at the required positions and at the right time in the organization. Every organization i.e. public as well as private organizations are required to develop workforce plans to avoid surplus and shortage of staff members in the organization. Following points shows the needs for conducting workforce planning in the organization:

  • Improving organizational image:

    Workforce planning is also needed to improve the image of organization. retaining and attracting best talent in organization helps in building up the reputation of organization. Also, workforce planning and selecting the best talent in organization also helps in improving the productivity and performance of organization which further helps in strengthening up the reputation of organization.

  • Demographic changes:

    workforce planning is also required to avoid negative impacts of various demographic changes on the organization. It may also happen that workforce may become old and may fail to work on various technological changes in organization. workforce planning helps in identifying all factors relating to demographics of existing staff members.

  • Talent forecasting:

    Workforce planning is also required to predict the upcoming changes in workforce demand supply in organization. Workforce forecasting helps in estimating increase and decrease in demand and supply of workforce which helps in preventing number of problems such as labor cost, higher turnover and layoffs in organization.

  • Taking advantage of talent sourcing opportunities:

    Workforce planning also helps HR manager in taking advantage of various talent sourcing opportunities which further helps organization to source best talent (Workforce Planning, 2002).

Types of workforce plan

workforce plans are generally of three types, which includes Strategic workforce plan, Operational workforce plan and workforce management plan. Methodology used in all three workforce plans is almost same, but the forecast period and the type of details that are required to analyze and respond to risks that varies from plan to plan. Following section shows the detailed description of three types of workforce plans:

  • Strategic workforce plan (3-5 years):

    A strategic workforce plan are generally made for the period of three to five year forecasting period. However, this plan be extended to the longer period when longer period plans are required to be framed for workforce planning. This type of plan also helps in defining the current trends in demand and supply of the workforce which further helps in defining the actionable strategies for the business workforce activities. It also describes the forthcoming workforce capabilities or competencies required to maintain the operational activities in organization and also for achieving the strategic plan in the organization. Along with this, strategic workforce plan helps in defining the total number of workforce that would be required for complete year. A strategic workforce plan consists of strategies which conveys existing workforce capability of an organization, what it needs to be and how to achieve the objective.

  • Operational workforce plan (12 to 18 months plan)

    An operational workforce plan generally are prepared for 12 to 18 months’ plan and are generally lined up with the organization’s planning cycle. It also helps in defining the strategies that can be adopted to reduce workforce gaps by describing the skills or competencies required by staff members to achieve business plans. Thus, operational plans are the general workforce plans that helps in conducting workforce planning. Also, the size of plan depends on the nature and size of the organization. In Spite of short term aim, company also need to explore further to understand where an organization is heading. ("Workforce planning explained", 2019)

  • Workforce management plan

    A workforce management plan are the instant plans that are prepared for much shorter period in the organization. This type of plan deals with immediate concerns or issues of workforce in organization and helps in identifying actionable strategies for managing them. An organization may have more than one workforce management plan, depending upon the complexity, size, nature and location of the business.

Documenting workforce plan:

Workforce plan helps in summarizing the information about the current workforce and also helps in developing number of strategies for future workforce operations by analyzing the needs for future workforce. This further necessitates the need for documentation of workforce plans. Following section provides the steps to be followed to document the workforce plan in organization:

  • Identifying the type of plan that needs to be prepared in the organization.
  • Description of demand analysis i.e. current business scenario and workforce capabilities
  • Description of future internal supply of workforce by outlining the workforce trends and by analyzing skills and capabilities of existing staff.
  • Analyzing workforce trends such as ageing workforce, gender inequality, turnover rate, etc.
  • Description of external supply of workforce by conducting future supply analysis and analysis of skills and capabilities required in business.
  • Conducting gap analysis and writing the results of gaps identified.
  • Developing and writing strategies for workforce plans.

Workforce planning example:

For better understanding of workforce planning, a work force plan for Tesco has been prepared. The work force plan for Tesco is shown as follows:

Organizations adapt to number of changes in business environment. There are number of technological innovation take place at regular pace which necessitate hiring of skilled or qualified staff members. Tesco is a large supermarket chain and human resources are biggest asset of supermarket chains. Tesco prepares workforce table every three months to ensure that right people are placed in organization. following analysis shows the workforce plan of Tesco:

Description of type of plan: Workforce management plan

Current business scenario: growth phase, operations at global level and rising current revenue

Workforce capability: Team work, self-management, problem solving, communication, literacy, etc.

Objective of workforce plan:

  • To minimize the labor turnover and to develop flexibility plan.
  • Hiring adequate number of staff members in each department.
  • Development of effective HR strategies.

Internal hiring: Tesco also provides regular promotions to its staff members on the basis of their capabilities and competencies. Internal transfers from one department to other department are also conducted to ensure that employees do not get bored by working in same department.

Workforce trends: lower employee turnover and rising employee engagement. However, Tesco aims to hire various technical and operational staff members to increase effectiveness of operations.

Recruitment methods: Online advertisement and in-store advertising

Selection tests: two level of interview and aptitude test

External trends and supply: Reducing rate of unemployment

Gap identification: May face shortage of workers due to decreasing unemployment and rising rate of number of firms.

Strategies: Defining workforce hiring plan for each work level. following are the work levels for organization:

  • Dealing with customers
  • Managing resources
  • Managing and supporting operating units
  • Leading others and adopting strategic change
  • Excellent retailing through effective services

Thus, it has been identified that Tesco will hire its staff members for each operational level. Also, it has been identified that tesco will adopt number of hiring practices to hire large group of staff members. Further, this plan will be prepared every three months to avoid any workforce related problems being faced in organization. Tesco will also increase the number of trainers in the organization to increase the effectiveness of its staff members. Further, pay base of employees will be increased to keep the existing staff members motivated in organization. 

In addition to this, the case study of Woolworth's human resource practises is also very encouraging. It teaches an employer difference ways of workforvce planning. Also, by taking lessons from the experience of the established companies, a company can move towards the path of development. 


Detailed analysis of workforce planning and its operations helped in identifying that regular planning and analysis of supply and demand factor of workforce can help in defining the number of strategies to avoid workforce related challenges. Also, it has been identified that there are three types of workforce plans that can be prepared for hiring right people in organization.


  • Workforce planning explained. (2019). Retrieved 31 December 2019, from
  • Fournier, J. (2016). 5 Reasons To Implement Strategic Workforce Planning. Retrieved 31 December 2019, from
  • Paton, N. (2019). Supermarket sweep: Tesco - Personnel Today. Retrieved 31 December 2019, from
  • The importance of workforce planning. (2019). Retrieved 31 December 2019, from
  • Workforce Planning. (2002). Why You Need Workforce Planning. Retrieved 31 December 2019, from
  • Workforce Planning. (2019). A Guide to Strategic Workforce Planning | AIHR Analytics. Retrieved 31 December 2019, from
Article By:

Lucy Ross

A management professional having her degree from University of Auckland, Lucy Ross is a faculty at Duke University. She loves to spend her quality time proofreading online assignment help of college students.

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What is workforce planning?


Workforce planning refers to the proper planning and management of the employees of a company. Proper planning allows a company to have high employee engagement resulting in increased and prolonged profits for the company.

What are the steps in workforce planning?


Workforce planning as a process varies as per the model in selection. The common steps of workforce planning include strategising, analysing, developing an action plan, execution and monitoring of the results achieved through the process.

What is the purpose of workforce planning


This is the process which is directed towards the right management of the employees at the right place and right time by giving them the right tasks in hand. Here, the company tries to make sure to mend any type of gap and move towards the goal of development.