People, Leadership & Culture

Strategic Workforce Planning

Strategic Workforce Planning

"Every organisation has a strategy, and every organisation makes a multi-year plan. It is important to be aware of the people who make up the organisation"

While the strategy and long-term plan are often well-grounded in finance and marketing, a chapter dealing with the people in the organisation, the human capital, is missing. In fact, every strategy and multi-year plan should contain a chapter on ‘people’. Ideally, there should be a strategic workforce plan, outlining the number of people (headcount), their characteristics (competencies) and the funding (remuneration) needed at which place (location), in which form (employment relationship) and at which point in time (time).

Strategic workforce planning (SWP) is the appropriate tool to create a strategic workforce plan.

Highberg can assist you with the above.

Irma Doze
Irma Doze

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Gido van Puijenbroek
Gido van Puijenbroek

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What is Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP)?

Ask ten people the question “What is Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP)”, and you will get ten different answers. Here is an attempt to come to a definition:

In the world of workforce planning, a distinction is made between operational, tactical and strategic workforce planning (SWP); sometimes talent management is also still included.

We will first explain the distinction between operational, tactical and strategic workforce planning

The relationship between strategic workforce planning (SWP) and talent management

Now that the difference between operational, tactical and strategic planning is clear, we can explain the relationship between strategic workforce planning (SWP) and talent management. People who want to get started with strategic workforce planning (SWP) sometimes associate it with issues like succession management or personal development. 

We at Highberg believe that these issues are part of talent management, however, making them the results of Strategic workforce planning (SWP). Once it has become clear how many people of a certain type are needed at a certain time and place, it is possible to determine how to meet this need. Internal talent development is a route that is often used to achieve this. 

Another route is that of external talent acquisition through recruitment, partnerships or takeovers.

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In which ways can Highberg help you?

Highberg helps organisations set up their strategic workforce planning (SWP). We can do this in four ways, ranging from furnishing a strategic workforce planning model for you to work with to taking the entire process out of your hands.

Strategy & Design

Implement & Change

Train & Coach

Benefits of Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP)

  • Firstly, it is a way to implement the strategy properly and in a timely manner, leading to a competitive advantage and thus turnover and/or margin growth. “Get the right people on the bus in the right seats”- Jim Collins – Author of Good to Great.
  • Secondly, workforce planning is a way to keep costs under control. Organisations with an early awareness of which people and competencies they need to achieve their strategy are able to anticipate.
  • Thirdly, it provides the organisation with tools to flesh out follow-up plans based on the strategic workforce plan. For example, Recruitment can determine the level of future demand for the organisation’s services and thus the number of people they will need to recruit, while the Learning department knows which subjects require training and how many people will need to acquire certain skills.
  • Fourthly, a strategic workforce plan brings peace of mind. If there is timely certainty about the organisation’s course and its effects on the demand for staff, both can be communicated at an early stage.

Want to know more about SWP?

Contact our expert Irma Doze!

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