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Continuous workforce planning: turning theory into practice

Infographic summarizing the key findings of a Forrester Consulting Study: Continuous Workforce Planning Navigates Future Uncertainty

Published by Orgvue 

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Forrester surveyed 209 senior decision makers at large enterprises in North America, Europe and the United Kingdom to evaluate the state of workforce planning today.

They found that continuous workforce planning is fast becoming essential to achieving business outcomes. But the way organizations approach workforce planning is holding them back. And these businesses know it.

  • 90% say the pandemic has been a catalyst to needing more frequent planning cycles
  • 88% say shifts in the talent market have created a need for more regular planning
  • 87% say they’re moving to planning being continuous rather than periodic

Continuous workforce planning drives business outcomes

Organizations need to make workforce planning more frequent and more strategic.

  • 66% say they plan to invest in or upgrade their workforce planning technology.
  • 87% say they need greater in-house capabilities to manage continuous workforce planning

Addressing the challenges of continuous workforce planning

Organizations struggle to create an effective workforce plan spanning people, data and processes. The problem of departmental misalignment HR and Finance don’t share ownership for workforce planning activities and for the most part, don’t think this needs changing.

  • 46% say this leads to HR and Finance metrics that won’t reconcile when it comes to reviewing value.
  • 45% claim it results in frustration between HR and Finance.
  • 42% say this increases delays in the time it takes to recruit new staff.

The problem of data

Over half of businesses rely on 6 or more systems to access people data, most of which weren’t designed for workforce planning.

  • 94% experience issues as a result of using spreadsheets to model data from multiple systems.
  • 43% have difficulty aligning data across different regions and geographies.
  • 40% say spreadsheets slow down access to the insights they need

The problems with processes

Organizations need to conduct workforce planning more frequently to respond to accelerating market changes.

  • Just 46% address current workforce demand/supply gaps more frequently than biannually.
  • Just 47% identify focus areas/value-generating activities more frequently than biannually.
  • Just 46% manage their existing headcount costs more frequently than biannually.

Recommendations

Continuous workforce planning is an enabler for resilient, adaptive organizations. In association with Orgvue, this Forrester survey raises important recommendations:

1

Rethink your workforce planning approach

From overdependence on manual planning and inadequate
technology choices, it’s clear businesses need to change their approach.

2

Plan continuously to stay competitive

Given constant business shifts, leaders must treat their workforce plans as live roadmaps that change as new challenges arise.

3

Invest in technology

Organizations should invest in software tools that can create adaptable, flexible workforce plans and which reduce human error and manual planning processes.

4

Build in-house capability for workforce planning

Collaboration across functions, particular HR and Finance, is essential to ensure plans reflect organizational goals and objectives.

How Orgvue helps

The Orgvue platform is designed to accelerate your move to continuous workforce planning.

With Orgvue you can:

  • Get a clear view of how your organization looks today
  • See what your future workforce looks like from both a supply and demand perspective
  • Manage the gap through organizational modeling and building a workforce plan
  • Analyze and monitor your progress against the plan, targets and budget line


Data source: All data is from a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Orgvue, November 2021.