Workforce planning is an important process that aligns your organization’s staffing to your strategic plans, and ensures you have the right people with the right skills to achieve your mission. With studies showing that baby boomers are retiring at a rate of 10,000 a day and attracting younger generations to the public sector continues to be difficult, government, education and healthcare agencies of all sizes face the challenge of recruiting and retaining quality staff. For this reason, workforce planning helps your organization have a better understanding of your workforce structure, staffing numbers and gaps that need to be filled. Harnessing technology like comprehensive budgeting software can contribute to the success of your workforce plan by providing better salary and benefit projections, detailed cost drivers, and fewer broad assumptions. Executing a workforce plan can have a significant impact on the quality of programs and services your organization provides, along with measurable short and long-term strategic outcomes.
The advantages of workforce planning
Workplace planning is defined by The International Public Management Association for Human Resources as “the strategic alignment of an organization’s human capital with its business direction. It is a methodical process of analyzing the current workforce, identifying future workforce needs, establishing the gap between the present and future, and implementing solutions so the organization can accomplish its mission, goals, and objectives.”
As such, workforce or staff planning is essential for helping your public sector agency confront the challenges of recruiting and retaining skilled employees. The advantages of workforce planning include:
The plan forecasts for future workforce needs and how your organization can respond quickly and strategically to changes to funding, program and service usage, along with meeting constituent expectations.
The plan ensures your organization currently has, and will continue to employ, the right people with the right skills in the right position, performing work efficiently and effectively to meet your goals and objectives.
The plan should identify staffing growth and attrition, along with all the education and experience requirements to ensure positions are able to be filled in a timely manner.
Meeting public expectations
With stakeholders scrutinizing how public sector organizations spend money, and the expectation of accountable and high-quality programs and services for their communities, a qualified workforce contributes to your organization’s long-term success.
Retain institutional knowledge
It’s of key importance to identify staff with critical knowledge of business operations and attempt to capture that knowledge with a succession plan for workers who are close to retirement.
Manage staff costs
The plan provides the opportunity to monitor costs and expenses linked to recruiting and retaining staff, in addition to providing training and development opportunities to current employees.
Harnessing technology for better workforce management
Since salary and benefit budgets are the largest expense in an operating budget, how your government, education or healthcare organization plans for staffing can have a significant impact on how you operate fiscally and how you meet your short and long-term objectives and outcomes for the communities you serve. Given that workforce planning involves reviewing the entire employee lifecycle, looking at everything from position market rates to skills development, it can be a monumental task to keep track of each individual employee. For many managers, spreadsheets have been the traditional method of organizing this information. As a result, workforce planning can become a manual, laborious task that takes time away from strategic planning and analysis.
Using a dynamic, cloud-based budget preparation and management software can help your organization execute a successful workforce plan. Budgeting software allows you to accurately calculate staff costs, monitor cost drivers and expenses, adjust staff positions, and create what-if scenarios based on the factors that drive your organizations programs and services. Look for a solution that allows you to easily build complex formulas to understand your organization’s staff requirements. For example, an educational institution should be able to build what-if models for staffing based on the number of students, courses and funding sources; while a hospital will want to look at statistics related to emergency visits, number of procedures and patient bed capacity. And government agencies will need to consider funding and usage levels to determine the impact to programs and services. In addition, budgeting software that integrates with most common financial systems ensures you are working with current data for planning, reporting and analysis. With the time you save using budgeting software, your organization will be able to allocate resources efficiently, evaluate costs, see unfilled positions, and make necessary changes to your workforce structure. This ability to see the big picture is invaluable for putting your workforce plan into effect and keeping your organization on target financially and to meet its mandate.
With a strategic approach to your organization’s staffing requirements, and a budget with accurate salary and benefit projections and detailed cost drivers, your government, education or healthcare organization can make better data-driven decisions for recruiting and retaining staff. To truly transform your workforce planning, an accurate budget allows you to focus on having the right people in the right positions. A budgeting solution takes planning to the next level by identifying how to maximize your workforce, and can measure the affect on short and long-term strategic outcomes. As a result, your public sector agency will be providing the highest level of service to constituents. By implementing budgeting software to replace time-consuming spreadsheets, you can execute an impactful workforce plan that improves the quality of service you provide your constituents one position at a time.
For over 20 years, Questica been working with public sector organizations – governments, hospitals and healthcare facilities, colleges and universities, K-12 schools and non-profits – to better enable data-driven budgeting and decision-making, while increasing data accuracy, saving time and improving stakeholder trust. Our customers are using our Questica Budget suite to drive budget transformation by creating a single source of data truth. Almost 700 organizations across North America in 46 states and 11 provinces/territories have eliminated spreadsheets opting for smarter planning, budgeting, performance measures, management, reporting, transparency and engagement with our software solutions. To learn more about Questica’s products and how our software solutions can help you manage the budget with confidence – watch a product video, read one of our case studies/white papers or request a demo today!