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Future State: Shifting to Integrated Strategic Workforce Planning


As the workforce landscape evolves, companies need to adapt their approach to strategic workforce planning to remain competitive and future-proof their businesses. With changing skill sets and technological advancements, companies can no longer rely on traditional headcount planning, nor can they cherrypick the skills they want in employees and leave the less desirable traits. Instead, they must shift to a whole-human approach that emphasizes a deep understanding of skills and skills gap analysis, but also work to develop talent from the ground up.

The Skills-Based Approach

A skills-based approach requires companies to look beyond traditional job titles and instead focus on the specific skills needed for each role. This approach enables a more agile and flexible workforce that adapts quickly to changing business demands. However, the whole-human approach is a vital consideration to remember. 

By conducting a skills gap analysis, companies can identify the skills they need now and in the future and take proactive measures to acquire or develop those skills within the team you have. This strategy enables companies to stay ahead of the curve and maintain a competitive edge in the market.

Did you know that only 14% of companies take a long-term, skills-based approach to workforce planning?

The New Maturity Model

To help companies understand their current workforce planning process and the steps they need to take to transition to an Integrated Strategic Workforce approach.

Companies just broaching workforce planning are typically only engaged in headcount planning. Those in exploring Cost-Based Workforce Planning have some systems in place to analyze the demand and supply of headcount, while those at the strategic stage align their workforce planning with business objectives. The final stage, Integrated Strategic Workforce Planning, is the ultimate goal, where companies take a deep understanding of skills, as well as business planning analysis and use technology to maximize the potential of their workforce.

To achieve their future goals, companies must consider who has ownership over integrated strategic workforce planning and how aligned it is with strategic business goals. They should also consider the technology and services in place, as well as how often strategic workforce planning is being evaluated. A long-term commitment is required, and companies must be willing to evolve and adapt to meet future challenges.

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According to the study, only 14% of companies take a long-term, skills-based approach to workforce planning. To remain competitive and future-proof their business, more companies need to transition to an Integrated Strategic Planning approach.

The Benefits of an Integrated Workforce Planning Approach

Integrated Strategic Workforce Planning offers several benefits for companies, including:

Enhanced Flexibility

By focusing on skills, companies can develop a more flexible and adaptable workforce that can quickly respond to changing business needs.

Improved Talent Acquisition

A skills-based approach allows companies to identify the specific skills they need for each role and acquire the talent with those skills. This approach improves the quality of hires and reduces turnover rates.

Better Succession Planning

With a skills-based approach, companies can identify the skills needed for future roles and develop employees with those skills. This strategy improves succession planning and reduces the risk of losing critical talent.

Increased Cost Savings

By identifying skills gaps, companies can proactively develop the skills they need, reducing the need for external hiring and associated costs.

The benefits of adopting a skills-based strategy go beyond filling talent gaps and adjusting to shifts in talent demand. Companies that focus on developing their employees' skills are more likely to retain top talent, increase productivity and innovation, and improve overall business performance.

Companies that embrace a skills-based approach can develop a flexible, agile, and adaptable workforce that can quickly respond to the changing workforce landscape. 

The core difference of Integrated Strategic Workforce Planning is identifying the company's overall goals and developing a plan to achieve them. This involves analyzing market trends, identifying competitive advantages, and assessing risks. By doing so, companies can fine-tune their strategies and allocate resources effectively to achieve their goals.

In contrast, skills-based workforce planning alone centers around identifying the skills and qualifications needed to perform certain roles in an organization. This approach is more reactive and fails to take into account the changing market landscape as well as the employee as a whole. Unfortunately, planning for a certain skill set alone is difficult when organizations aren’t able to cherry pick the skills they want and don’t want from a future candidate. 

Furthermore, strategic business planning allows companies to adapt to disruptions in the market and to pivot quickly, while skill-based planning tends to lock companies into a fixed talent structure that may not be agile enough to respond to changing conditions. Therefore, businesses that incorporate strategic business planning are better positioned to achieve sustained success and long-term growth

Companies must keep up with the times by developing a flexible, strategic approach that emphasizes Integrated Strategic Workforce Planning. By doing so, businesses can ensure that they not only have the necessary workforce to meet current and future demands but also gain a competitive edge in their respective markets. The shift towards Integrated Strategic Workforce Planning brings with it significant opportunities for enterprise organizations to optimize their workforce effectively.

Download Report Unlocking the Power of Strategic Workforce Planning. 

Future-proof your company today! Embrace Integrated Strategic Workforce Planning and optimize your workforce with eQ8’s Strategic Workforce Planning Software. Stay ahead of the curve and gain a competitive edge in your industry.

Read more about the data within this post in our survey report: Unlocking the Power of Strategic Workforce Planning.

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