Suppose you are working on a high-value project for an important client. You cannot afford any delay or compromise quality since the client is very sensitive in these two aspects. However, due to poor strategic planning, you are reminded of problems like workforce shortages and skills gaps.
Strategic workforce planning is critical to growing your businesses in today’s competitive business landscape. It helps companies effectively manage their workforce, which is arguably the most important tangle asset of any organization. Project managers can use advanced strategic workforce planning tools to identify their talent needs, make accurate resource forecasting, and make data-driven decisions for enhanced productivity.
In this article, we will discuss 4 ways companies can use workforce planning tools to transform their HR operations and become more competitive.
So, let’s get started!
What is Strategic Workforce Planning?
Strategic workforce planning is the process of appointing the right person with relevant skills for the right job at the right time. The plan helps companies overcome challenges like understaffing, overstaffing, and skills gaps.
The primary goal of strategic workforce planning is to bridge the gap between recruitment practices and organizational priorities. Combining these two elements enable business leaders to hire talented staff and meet their client’s needs while staying on budget. For this purpose, organizations rely on workforce planning tools with advanced functionalities.
The right workforce planning tools can help businesses control their employees’ operational costs, capabilities, shape, etc. Besides, managers can focus on critical competencies to bring agility and resilience while keeping friction to the minimum.
Benefits of Workforce Planning Tools
Here are the key benefits of having the right workforce planning tools:
1. Optimize the Workforce Size
Assessing the number of workers required to effectively complete a job is extremely important for project managers. Companies cannot afford a shortage or overflow of personnel. The former will compromise the quality while the latter results in higher operational costs.
To overcome these issues, managers can use workforce planning tools to track their employees’ work hours in real time. Based on these insights, they can calculate the time required for future tasks and set realistic deadlines. Eventually, workforce planning tools can be used to make accurate resource forecasting and reduce operational expenses.
2. Gap Analysis and Action Planning
As a project manager, it is your job to evaluate the skill gaps within your workforce. This is an important task to determine key skills your employees need in the future to complete a job effectively. Besides, the process also enables team leaders to take the right action to fill these skill gaps and achieve their desired objectives.
Modern workforce planning tools assist managers in performing a gap analysis to determine the areas that need further improvement. Based on the findings of this assessment, executives can make action plans in terms of staff recruitment, training & development, transition, and deployment.
Some tools are also equipped with powerful modeling tools to evaluate the possible impact of potential interventions and talent management decisions taken by managers.
3. Accurate Payroll Calculations
You can calculate staff payrolls and estimate your expenses manually if you have a small workforce. However, as your workforce size grows, calculations become much more complicated and time-taking. Hence, you have to spend hours and hours on payroll calculations with a higher chance of discrepancies.
On the other hand, workforce planning and management tools offer GPS time-tracking features. It allows project managers to monitor their workers’ time and location, calculate workable hours, and check how much time was spent on breaks. The system calculates daily wages depending on employee work hours and the pay rate set by the administrator.
This way, workforce planning tools simplify payroll calculations and bring agility to organizational operations. Managers can download weekly or monthly reports with just a few clicks and stay updated all the time.
4. Effective Project Implementation
The ultimate objective of every project manager is to effectively implement the planned strategies to achieve the desired goals. It requires full control over operations, project team members, and key milestones.
An advanced workforce planning tool can streamline project implementation by offering real-time data and assisting managers in informed decision-making. You can review the progress of your project, monitor teams operating in different areas, and make necessary changes, all from a single dashboard.
Moreover, you can also assign new shifts, make necessary changes to already assigned shifts, and create weekly/monthly schedules in advance. All these functionalities contribute to the success of a project and help managers deliver impeccable results.
Strategic workforce planning is a multidimensional approach toward achieving operational efficiency while meeting project requirements. The process involves forecasting workforce needs for a project and make necessary changes whenever required.
The best way to create workforce plans is to use a robust workforce planning tool, which assists project managers in making data-driven decisions. Besides, these cloud-based solutions can overcome issues like overstaffing and understaffing and help companies optimize their workforce size.
Some workforce planning tools also offer modeling options for evaluation and assessment. Companies can use these advanced systems to identify skills gaps and make action plans. Similarly, the tools are also used for accurate payroll calculations and effective project implementation while keeping budgets in control.