A skills gap is defined as the gap between the skills an employer expects from their employees versus what they actually have.

In a fast-changing world, how can organizations and decision-makers ensure their workforce is ready and prepared for the future? For instance, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a huge shift in the way we work. Transitioning in and out of a work from home setup isn’t easy to do. With multiple lockdowns came multiple recruitment strategies to address workforce needs.

Organizations need strategic workforce planning to keep up with changing business landscapes and an unpredictable environment.

Read on to learn more about how you can build a strategic workforce planning model for your organization.


  1. What Is Strategic Workforce Planning?

  2. What Are The Steps In Strategic Workforce Planning?

What Is Strategic Workforce Planning?

Strategic workforce planning is building an action plan to address future hiring needs. It’s about studying trends in recruitment, what your organization needs to fulfill its short- and long-term goals and how you can build a strong workforce. It may not always be about hiring new employees. Focusing on upskilling, on-the-job and off-the-job training and other learning and development initiatives may serve you well.

What you need to do is assess where your workforce is lacking or whether you need to fulfill a particular department’s recruitment needs. Taking stock of who works for you, communicating with HR and identifying your employees’ specific skill sets are some ways to master workforce planning. A successful strategic workforce planning framework not only accounts for the future but also makes note of the present.

Both your current and future employees should benefit from your workforce planning strategy.

What Are The Steps In Strategic Workforce Planning?

Workforce planning requires inputs from several departments including HR and the concerned teams where there’s a need for filling gaps. Collaborative efforts can help organizations come up with a sound strategic workforce planning framework.

Here are some workforce planning steps organizations trust:

  1. Identify Organizational Needs

What does your organization need to fulfill its skills gap? It may need a more robust workforce that’s geared toward future projects. Or, if you want to set up temporary operations in another location, you may want to start a new task force for it. This can be part of a long-term objective. Whatever your needs, identifying them in time will help your organization stay on track.

  1. Address Current And Future Hiring Gaps

What your workforce is skilled to do today may not be what you need in the future. As with technological advances, organizations too need to move with the times. Addressing future hiring needs will help you succeed in your workforce planning. Strategizing with concerned departments will get high-performing individuals on your team.

  1. Invest In Employee Learning And Development

Current skills gaps need not be fulfilled by external hiring. You can invest in employee development for on-the-job training and upskilling to help your employees keep up. Be it skills like communication, developing a solutions mindset or negotiating with impact, upskilling is the future of the modern workplace. Not only does it help you build a strong workforce but also motivates and inspires employees to achieve organizational goals.

  1. Create A Contingency Plan

The point of strategic workforce planning is to prepare for setbacks and challenges that may occur. The business landscape is unpredictable and if you can future-proof your workforce with upskilling or recruitment efforts, you’ll likely sail through any difficult times. Staying on top of things is essential for organization to power through.

  1. Measure Progress And Make Changes

Even with your workforce planning strategy in place, you still need to monitor progress and measure results. There may be times when organizations have to make changes in terms of upcoming skills and processes to conduct business. Studying trends and making room for changes is an essential step in the strategic workforce planning model.

For organizations to achieve business success, investing in employee development is of utmost importance. As decision makers, the focus should be to improve employee experience and job satisfaction.

Harappa’s 10 on 10 Program is a behavioral learning program to help your employees raise the bar and achieve transformative outcomes. It has been designed to help organizations drive peak performance, address skills gaps and build a high-performing workforce. Some of our in-demand, flagship programs are High Performing Leaders Program, Young Talent Bootcamp and Women’s Leadership Program. Designed to suit specific business needs, schedule a demo today and learn more about what we have to offer!

Explore Harappa Diaries to learn more about topics such as Who is a Project Manager, Must-Have Skills For Leadership, Top Behavioral Skills For Managers, Operational Manager Skills and Managerial Roles And Skills that will help organizations tap into their employees’ potential.

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