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Workforce planning: preparing for the future

In the business field, the end of the year is always a good time to evaluate the goals achieved and organize resource management for the next year. Therefore, it is now that we must carry out the workforce planning.

Knowing what resources are going to be needed in terms of personnel and how they are going to be managed is especially important so that organizations can survive in an environment that is increasingly changing and complex.

By addressing this task, companies prepare to face the challenges that lie ahead and to capitalize on the opportunities that may arise. Building a template solid enough to guarantee that you will have a high chance of achieving success in everything you set your mind to.

Table of Contents

Workforce planning and its importance in the current context

Planning the workforce is a strategic process that companies carry out to address Human Resources management in the most efficient way possible. This implies knowing well the current environment and also what is to come. Because the staff must not only be able to efficiently confront current challenges, but must also be able to do so with those that arise in the future.

Through this planning work, organizations align your goals business to be according to the availability of personnel and the skills of the members of your staff. This allows you to set goals that are much more realistic and easier to achieve. 

But why has this task become so important? Far from what some think, this is not a mere trend in the field of Human Resources, but a real necessity. And this is not explained by a single reason, but rather we must take several into account.

Anticipation of changes in the market

Evaluating and determining what a company's workforce should be like allows the organization to be prepared for changes that may occur in the market. If there is good planning, Adjusting the workforce to continue maintaining or gaining competitiveness is much easier.

Human Resources Optimization

An efficient allocation of resources is essential in all areas of the company, and Human Resources is no exception. If organizations carry out efficient personnel allocation, They manage to have the most suitable person in each position.

This means making good use of talent and getting the most out of it, while avoiding underutilization of employees' capabilities or overloading certain members of the workforce with tasks. Something that It has a very positive influence on both motivation and productivity.. And it also increases employee loyalty levels towards the company, because they feel valued.

Skills and talent development

When planning, companies evaluate the critical skills they need in their team members, and even detect talent gaps. This allows them to implement training and development programs that improve skills and competencies that are necessary to address present and future challenges.

Adaptation to emerging technology

The digital transition is a process that all companies have to address and that seems to never end, because technology continues to advance day by day.

In this sense, if good HR planning has been done, the company can be sure of having people who are well trained in technological matters, which guarantees a smoother transition to an increasingly digitalized environment.

Effective diversity management

Workforce planning is also a way to promote diversity within the company. The objective in this case is try to put an end to work groups that are too homogeneous and accommodate people of different origins, ages, etc.

Preparation for crises and unexpected changes

The events of recent years have shown us that circumstances can change quickly due to issues such as the economy, public health or geopolitics. Hence, today's companies need to be more prepared than ever to be able to face all the disruptive events that are yet to come, thereby minimizing the impact on your activity.

Improved retention and morale

If there is effective personnel planning, it creates a work environment that is capable of meet employee needs and expectations. This makes them feel more comfortable and increases their level of commitment to the company. 

That is, if done well, workforce planning can help retain talent, and it can also help capture it in the labor market.

How to plan your workforce for the future

To make HR planning effective, a wide variety of factors must be considered. Among them, we can highlight the following:

Analyze market trends

The company has to be aware of important changes that are occurring or may occur in the immediate future.

This means knowing the changes in consumer tastes and needs that will give rise to a variation in their preferences and demand. If we know how demand is going to change, it is possible adjust from production and marketing strategies to workforce needs. 

Identify critical skills

The skills and competencies required of workers have changed greatly in recent years. If a few decades ago only technical capabilities mattered, today we give priority on soft skills.

Currently, organizations demand employees who are capable of working as a team and have good resistance to stress. But will it continue to be this way in the future? As the market and ways of working change, so do The soft skills needed will vary.

For this reason, companies have to do the work of identifying the skills that will be critical in the future. Because so they can get ahead of events and start preparing your staff. Both by hiring new talent and promoting the development of new skills among its employees.

For this measure to be truly successful, it is first necessary to carry out an assessment of current skills. We cannot set realistic goals if we do not know exactly what our starting point is.

Once the weaknesses and strengths of the staff members have been detected, it is then possible to start working on the development of skills that will be essential in the future.

Succession management

All the changes that occur in organizations alter their balance. This is something that is especially appreciated when there are adjustments in positions of responsibility.

In order for that instability lasts as little as possible, it's a good idea fill vacancies with internal talent. Let the workers who are already in the company have the opportunity to be promoted. Since they already know the organization and are known by the staff, the adaptation process is much faster.

For this to be done efficiently, human resource planning needs to include a succession management system. Through it it is possible Identify employees best prepared for promotion and train them so that, when the time comes, they assume new responsibilities.

Integrate emerging technologies

Artificial Intelligence, automation and Big Data have radically changed the way we work, and they have done so in a very short time.

Companies that want to be prepared for the future have to evaluate how these new technologies (and those to come) can affect your operations. AND assess if it is time to integrate them and what type of training should be given to employees to overcome resistance to change and make their work more effective.

Currently, It is not possible to plan personnel management without taking into account the influence of technology on the way of working. Therefore, it is important to design a plan that allows easy adaptation of staff to technology.

Continuous evaluation and adjustment

No planning is set in stone, much less the one that affects the organization's staff. No matter how much analysis companies do, There are events that are totally unpredictable and can change the scenario very quickly.

From there the need for planning to be flexible and it can be adapted if there are major changes.

By addressing workforce planning, organizations are better prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities that may arise in the future. Having a capacity for flexibility and adaptation that is essential to achieve success in a business environment that is constantly changing.

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