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Develop a Departmental Strategic Workforce Plan

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Your Challenge …

Your Challenge
More and more, talent is the differentiator among organizations and their competitors.
However, managers aren’t sure exactly what kind of people they need to give them that competitive edge or how their current staffing line-ups fall short.

Our Advice
Critical Insight

HR can’t do it alone. Strategic workforce planning (SWP) is an extension of the business planning process and business leadership is a crucial stakeholder and participant of the process.
Despite its importance, organizations struggle due to a lack of experience in developing strategic workforce plans. 46% of business leaders consider workforce planning a priority, however only 13% thought it was effective in their organization.


Impact and Result

The SWP process does not need to be onerous, especially with help from McLean & Company’s solid planning tools. With the right people involved (department leader, department management team, and HR) and enough time invested, developing an SWP will be easier than first thought and will definitely be time well spent.
The SWP is the product of a series of exercises that determine the gaps between the current talent in a department and the talent it requires to meet business objectives. The plan provides the high-level human resource direction that every department needs to align with strategic goals and objectives.


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  • 1. Content For the designer, the analyst will enter the following elements: The Infographic Title This is the main title of the infographic. It can be the title of the blueprint, but doesn’t have to be. Ensure the project title is unique enough to identify the specific blueprint. Develop a Departmental Strategic Workforce Plan Project Tagline Insert the tagline of your Blueprint project or create a custom tagline for the infographic. This should be slightly longer then the Project Title, but no longer than 20 words. Don’t get caught by surprise! Meet future talent requirements by taking action now. Member Understanding/Client Pain This statement is used to identify the target audience and the challenge they are trying to overcome. Specifically identify the member/role. It should be adapted from our initial member understanding document. Max length at the analyst’s discretion. It could be a simple statement or it could incorporate survey data or direct quotes from the trenches. The workforce is a much more complex place than it was even five years ago, and as a result more effort must be put into planning who and when to recruit, develop, and retain. More and more, talent is the differentiator among organizations and their competitors. However, managers aren’t sure exactly what kind of people they need to give them that competitive edge or how their current staffing line-ups fall short. Organizations also struggle due to a lack of experience in developing strategic workforce plans. 46% of business leaders consider workforce planning a priority, however only 13% thought it was effective in their organization. (*Source: McLean & Company’s HR Trends and Priorities for 2014) Overall Insight This overall insight is the central idea of the Blueprint. The overall insight should also drive the overall creative vision of the document. A well-crafted insight statement is key here. Try to make this statement short and sweet. Having the right talent in place isn’t a reactive process. Organizations must look ahead to determine workforce requirements and assess workforce trends to meet strategic business objectives. A well-defined Strategic Workforce Plan isn’t just a nice to have, it’s a must have. Sub-Insights Include insights relating schools of thoughts, drivers/trends/change, value creation, etc. Be sure to include data points, complications, unique approaches, etc. that enhance or support the overall insight. Strategic workforce planning (SWP) was ranked 29th in effectiveness out of 31 HR areas. Given how critical it is to have the right talent to meet business objectives, there is a significant opportunity for HR to improve the workforce planning process and impact business success. HR can’t do it alone. SWP is an extension of the business planning process and business leadership is a crucial stakeholder and participant of the process. The SWP process is not onerous, especially with help from McLean & Company’s solid planning tools. With the right people involved (department leader, department management team, and HR) and enough time invested, developing an SWP will be easier than first thought and will definitely be time well spent. Project Steps A set of steps used to solve the member challenge. Our solution to the clients’ problem. These steps should align with the respective project steps and guided implementations. Here again the amount of detail is up to analyst discretion. It could just be a name of the step with a brief (one or two sentence) description or it could be the name of the step with additional insight/info on why that step is important. Step Name Step Insight (or Description if no insight is present) Step 1 Assess Current Workforce Landscape Begin by assessing your current workforce landscape to know your starting point and the influence of internal and external workforce trends. Step 2 Identify HR Implications of Business Priorities Identify future talent requirements as an extension of the business planning process. Step 3 Define Your Talent Blueprint Defining the talent blueprint outlines the elements of the future workforce; much like an architectural drawing does for a house. Step 4 Isolate Workforce Gaps By comparing the talent requirements for the future with those that exist today, gaps are identified that must be addressed. Step 5 Step 6 Build a Workforce Plan Next up, develop action plans to address the workforce gaps and trends. The only way to be ready for the future is to act now. To ensure that action plans are actually put into action, identify who is responsible and when it will happen. Footer Data As a standing element all infographics have in their footer a listing of all the deliverables of your project blueprint (tools, templates, powerpoint) and a listing of Guided Implementation calls that are associated with this project. Footer Metadata – Tools (For use in the footer only) Storyboard: Develop a Departmental Strategic Workforce Plan Talent Assessment – Departmental Review Worksheet Workforce Trends Assessment Talent Blueprint year Workforce Estimate Tool Gap Analysis Tool Project Plan Please insert the name and type for each tool in your blueprint. I.E. Process Assessment – Excel Tool Footer Metadata – Guided Implementations (For use in the footer only) Make the Case Assess Current Workforce Landscape Implications of Business Priorities Defining Your Talent Blueprint Isolate Workforce Gaps Build Workforce Plans Please insert the name of each guided implementation as they appear in the blueprint. Name of Blueprint (For use in the footer only) Develop a Departmental Strategic Workforce Plan Please insert the name of the blueprint as it will appear on the title slide. Visual Theme Creative Vision Describe your vision for what the infographic should look like. Infographics look best in a gallery or thumbnail view if they have a few dominant images. Give the designer a place to start. They will further develop the theme, or they may come up with something different, but the conversation needs to start somewhere. HR as an architect designing a blueprint for the future workforce. Mock Up Insert a mock-up of the infographic here. This should be a relatively simple drawing that blocks out how you see the infographic being laid out. You can use a PowerPoint slide if you are more comfortable with that or you can just draw something out and scan it. It should be “rough” – it’s the designer’s job is to make it look good. This is just a sketch. A starting point.