The CIPD has launched a new guide to strategic workforce planning, to support organisations to review and improve their business performance and set them up for future success. 

The new guide will encourage people professionals to tackle business problems, reduce organisational risk and meet organisational goals by ensuring their workforce planning strategy delivers seven key ‘rights’: the right people, with the right skills, in the right roles, with the right shape, in the right place, at the right time and the right cost. 

It offers practical tools to help create an effective workforce planning strategy that’s tailored to the organisations’ needs – including a six-stage planning framework and a checklist to guide workforce planning. 

The six stages of strategic workforce planning

Strategic workforce planning is a comprehensive approach to assessing and analysing internal business drivers and goals, on a three-to-five-year time horizon. The new guide breaks the progress down into six key stages:

  1. Establish a baseline – take stock of external and internal factors that impact your organisation.
  2. Assess your workforce supply – determine your workforce needs and evaluate whether you have an internal supply of talent to meet your demands.
  3. Analyse your workforce demand – assess the labour that will be required for your organisation to meet its business goals in the future.
  4. Carry out a gap analysis -  compare what workforce your organisation has available (supply) with and what it will need in the future (demand).
  5. Create an action plan – establish the best way to close the skills and capability gap identified in the gap analysis. Using the workforce planning framework in our guide will help you do this.
  6. Deliver your plan – and make sure you collaborate with key partners and stakeholders at every stage.

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At the CIPD, we champion better work and working lives. We help organisations to thrive by focusing on their people, supporting economies and society for the future. We lead debate as the voice for everyone wanting a better world of work.