A workforce strategy is a form of asset management, the sum of actions taken to acquire, retain, develop, motivate and deploy human capital in the service of an organisation’s mission. This asset-based (i.e. treating people as an asset) approach is more than a suite of HR policies, talent management, succession planning and workforce planning (supply and demand forecasting), ad hoc HR initiatives, etc. It’s a whole-of-workforce plan that extends over the employment life cycle. 

Australian HR Institute News Site (2016)

1. Strategic Planning

When thinking about workforce in the strategic domain, consider what data you need to analyse in order to inform your strategic planning and decisions. Below are just some examples of areas to think about when working through the strategic planning domain:

Workforce environment: legislative changes, standards of practice and compliance, workforce profile data and strategic direction for desired culture.

Workforce and service user experience (past, present and future): your organisational culture and leadership structure. What matters to clients/staff/? Do changes need to be made? If so, for what purpose?

Capacity (leadership, culture and organisation design) of paid and volunteer workforce, best practice.

Alignment of workforce strategy and organisational strategy.

2. Operational Planning

Areas to think about when working through the operational domain include:

What critical workforce needs have you identified based on data analysis and strategic decisions? How did you get your information? What are you intending to do with the information?

Roles: what roles are in the organisation? Where are the roles? Who fills the roles?

Staffing needs: number, locations, movements and diversity. Do you have enough staff to provide quality and timely client led service provision?

Capabilities and skills: needs and gaps now and into the future. What skill sets are required for different roles now? Will you need different skill sets moving forward?

How and when are operational planning processes reviewed? Who is involved in the process?

3. Organisational Development

This domain is about considering the organisation through the lens of organisational effectiveness and organisational performance. Questions to reflect on and consider when working through the organisational development domain include:

In your organisational structure and design: (including change management), i.e. what organisational structures and designs are adding value to your workforce and what needs changing to achieve organisational goals?

What are your change management strategies and initiatives? How ready is your workforce for change? What impact will changes have on the workforce, and how can you engage the workforce in the change?

Culture: is there clarity about what matters to the workforce? Do you schedule regular check ins with staff such as staff surveys or through team meetings? Do you have targeted culture programs in place?

Leadership and management capacity: priorities, issues that leaders and managers are facing and support they need/get.

4. Employee Lifecycle

What are the strategies and initiatives required across the employee lifecycle to achieve your identified needs and objectives?  These may include:

Acquisition: how are you recruiting? What are your recruitment processes once applications are received and who is involved in the process?

Onboarding: onboarding sets the tone for the relationship between the new employee and the organisation. How is your onboarding delivered? Who is involved with the process? How often is the process reviewed?

Performance: what strategies and documentation is in place for measuring employee performance?

Development: what does your training and development strategies and practices look like?

Career planning: what are your processes for career planning discussions? How are the discussions documented?

Succession: what succession planning strategies do you have?

Departure: do you undertake exit interviews? At what point are these undertaken? What information do you collect and for what purpose?