Getting Started
  1. Time period the plan covers:
    • Years covered in the plan
    • Consider breaking down by 1 year, 5 years and 10 years

  2. A message from leadership to all employees defining:
    • What a workforce plan is
    • Why it’s important
    • Who’s responsible for developing the plan
    • Contact info for employee questions

  3. Provide a high-level overview for the strategic direction of the organization:
    • Mission
    • Vision
    • Values
    • Goals and objectives

  4. Clearly state how the workforce plan supports and aligns to the organization’s strategic direction:
    • What skills are needed in the workforce in 1 year to meet the organization’s goals and objectives? In 5 years? In 10 years?
    • What is needed to build the workforce the organization needs to meet its goals and objectives? (See workforce gap analysis below.)

  5. Situational analysis:
    • What is your organization’s current position in the marketplace?
    • What opportunities exist in the next 5 years? 10 years?
    • What challenges exist in the next 5 years? 10 years?
    • What external forces that you can’t necessarily control might impact your organization over the next 5 years? The next 10 years?

  6. Process for developing the plan:
    • Who is involved in developing the plan?
    • What is the time period for developing the plan?
    • How does development of this plan differ from the development of any previous workforce plans?
    • Briefly describe the approach for developing the plan; what is considered first?

  7. Summary of stay interviews, exit interviews, employee surveys and other employee satisfaction information:
    • Are there trends among employees leaving the organization?
    • Are there common concerns among current employees?
    • Are there common positive comments among current employees?

  8. Current workforce overview:
    • Number of employees
    • Location of jobs
    • Supervisor-to-employee ratio
    • Compensation and benefits
    • Demographics of employees by gender, ethnicity, age, disability and veteran or criminal record status
    • Vacancy and turnover by position or category during the past year
    • Retirement eligibility for the next 10 years
    • Current employee competencies
    • Current organizational chart
    • Projected organizational chart for 1, 5 and 10 years

  9. Position analysis:
    • How essential is each position?
    • Identify necessary knowledge, skills and abilities for each position
    • Could positions be reorganized for greater efficiency?

  10. Key leadership analysis:
    • Which employees are critically important in maximizing efforts of others toward achieving your organization’s goals?
    • What is being done to prepare future leaders to take on these roles?
    • What leadership preparation should be prioritized over the next 1 year, 5 years and 10 years?

  11. Workforce gap analysis:
    • Compare your current workforce overview with the skills you will need in 1 year, 5 years and 10 years to meet the organization’s goals and objectives?
    • What risks does the organization face if the gaps are not filled?
    • What workforce gaps should be prioritized in the next 1–2 years? Over the next 3–5 years?

  12. Identify recruitment challenges:
    • Are your recruitment efforts reaching and appealing to a diverse (gender, ethnicity, age, disability, veteran and criminal record status) audience of career seekers?
    • Are your recruitment efforts resulting in a qualified and diverse pool of candidates for positions?

  13. Identify development challenges:
    • Are current employees offered training and education to help them meet your organization’s current and future skills competency needs?
    • Are training and education opportunities communicated consistently and effectively with current employees?
    • What is the quality of training and education opportunities offered?

  14. Identify retention challenges:
    • Are a significant number of current employees unsatisfied or not engaged?
    • Are opportunities for career growth within your organization clearly communicated with current employees?
    • Is there significant competition for employees in your industry?

  15. Identify institutional knowledge transfer barriers:
    • Complexity in communicating highly specialized knowledge
    • Organizational silos
    • Knowledge hoarding
    • Lack of a structure to encourage knowledge sharing
    • Lack of communication about leadership expectations regarding knowledge sharing

  16. Outline workforce planning tactics that support your workforce strategy (see workforce plan implementation grid below):
    • Assign each plan element and set deadlines
    • Identify who or what department will own the workforce plan and develop a structure for ensuring its ongoing implementation
    • Note challenges you anticipate in implementing the plan and how you will overcome them

  17. Outline how you will communicate about the development and implementation of the workforce plan to employees (see workforce plan communications grid below):
    • Will you communicate with all employees at once or communicate with groups based on level of leadership, type of position or some other factor?
    • Who should communicate with each group of employees?
    • What are the most effective means of communication?
    • How often will you provide updates on the development and implementation of the plan?