How to create an effective workforce management plan

Have you heard about workforce management planning? It’s a fresh, modern way to make sure your organisation is running smoothly.

Effective workforce management planning involves forecasting, analysing, and planning multiple factors from varying perspectives. These factors include gaps in the workforce, supply and demand, and managing talent interventions.

Workforce management’s ultimate purpose is to maintain a strategic workforce of employees with the necessary skills and knowledge. It all comes down to making sure these folks are working on the proper projects. A workforce management solution can help you manage everything by streamlining and automating the procedures that manage workers’ time, efficiently organise and deploy their labour force, enable employee and manager self-service, and assure employee safety.

In this article, we’ll walk you through four steps to create an effective workforce management plan. With these ideas in mind, you’ll be well on your way to optimising your organisation.

  1. Identify current issues

The first step involved in creating an effective workforce management plan is to look at your current talent and identify issues. You should specifically analyse a few key points, such as:

  • Understaffing issues, i.e. are there any areas where staff are struggling to keep up with workflow?
  • Turnover rates, i.e. does one department experience a higher rate than another?
  • Retirement, i.e. are any employees likely to retire soon, leaving gaps behind?
  • Skills, i.e. what are your team’s current strengths?
  • Costs, i.e. how much will it cost to hire new talent?
  • Availability, i.e. how readily available is the kind of talent you’re looking for?

Your answers to these questions (and more) should help you develop a clear workplace management plan. Keep in mind—assessing your talent is about more than saving money and time. It’s simply vital for your organisation’s success.

When organisations manage their workforce poorly—or fail to manage it at all—they’re much more likely to experience performance issues and struggle to meet key objectives. All in all, failure is a real risk.

  1. Set strategic goals

Once you’ve identified pressing issues and successes within your workforce, it’s time to look a little further. Consider your future objectives and plans for your business. Are you looking to expand or restructure in the next few years?

Workloads could change in the future, and so could your staffing needs. Make sure to include projected changes in your workforce management plan to ensure success.

You’ll also need to look for gaps in your workforce. Is there a certain role you need fulfilled? Or do you have a big project coming up soon that requires a specific set of skills?

Identify these gaps and plan the steps you’ll need to take to fill them. Think strategically, laying out the specific goals you want to accomplish for your business.

  1. Create an action plan

Now you’ve looked at your current talent, thought about the future, and set your goals—it’s time to formulate an effective plan. You can create your plan manually or use workforce management software to streamline the job.

  1. Implement new decisions

Now it’s time to exercise your workforce management plan and see its benefits. Look at opportunities to develop, train, and upskill your current employees. If necessary, hire externally to fill specific roles.


Creating an effective workforce management plan is all about thoroughly analysing both the present and the future. Look at how your talent is performing now and consider potential changes.

Once you’ve identified where things are going well (and not so well!) it’s time to bring your vision to life. We recommend using workplace management software—it can take the hard work and stress out of planning, giving you more time to focus on your other responsibilities.

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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