Appendix 1: About workforce planning

Workforce planning in Crown Research Institutes.

Workforce planning, in general, encompasses a range of activities. These include:

  • identifying current and future workforce needs;
  • creating both short- and long-term recruitment and retention strategies;
  • developing the existing workforce to meet organisational needs through training, education, and mentoring; and
  • establishing new ways of working − for example, distance working, flexible working, or using technology to support better ways of working.

Some factors to consider when workforce planning

Because each organisation is unique, the particular factors influencing workplace planning will vary between organisations. The following is a sample of factors that organisations should consider when workplace planning.

Changing workforce demographics

Demographic trends should be considered in workforce planning, while recognising that demographic trends will fluctuate over time. Current long-term demographic trends suggest a large group of workers approaching retirement. With this scenario, there will be fewer younger workers, and middle-aged/older workers will make up a greater proportion of the workforce. This means that initiatives to develop staff and share skills, as well as considering different ways of working, are critical to ensure that institutional knowledge is retained.

Recruitment and retention

Recruiting and retaining workers is a critical aspect of workforce planning. Good recruitment policies ensure that the right people are employed, while retention strategies mitigate the risk of losing institutional knowledge. Recruitment and retention contribute to the capability and capacity of an organisation. Recruitment and retention can be affected by factors such as work environment, opportunities available within the organisation, pay, and working arrangements.

Career pathways/professional development

Increasingly, employers are expected to cater for a range of employees’ career and development needs. An organisation’s provision of different career options and professional opportunities contributes to its capability and capacity. It allows people to gain new skills to meet new demands and can help staff retention because people do not need to leave the organisation or sector to seek further opportunities. Additionally, professional development opportunities can make an organisation attractive to potential employees.

Work environment

Organisations with positive cultures attract, support, and retain their staff. Demonstrating that staff contributions are valued can create a sense of loyalty and commitment for employees, and encourage them to consider that they have a future with the organisation. A well-equipped, well-resourced work environment that provides opportunities for development and growth is also important in recruiting and retaining staff .

Broader influences to consider

Broader internal and external influences can also affect workplace planning. Figure 13 lists some of these influences.

Figure 13
Influences on workforce planning

Internal influences External influences
commitment of organisation, senior management, and individuals to workforce planning

funding and resources

abilities of the human resources team

data quality
government legislation and policy

funding and resources

professional registration requirements

skills of the available workforce

global trends
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