Using a Workforce Planning Gap Analysis Template

January 28, 2019 by Josh Hrala

When done correctly, workforce planning can help you understand how your talent aligns with your business goals. One of the most important aspects of this is understanding what gaps you need to fill in your talent strategy to make future goals and achievements possible. This is where a workforce planning gap analysis template can come in extremely handy.

A workforce planning gap analysis template is something that you can use at your organization to thoroughly examine areas that need filled either by new talent, new initiatives, new development plans, or by other things, such as software or consultants.

In other words, it helps you complete your workforce in a way that helps you keep marching into the future without trying to make do with a limited and incomplete plan.

To help with this, we will go over how you can use a workforce planning gap analysis template and what things you should consider in the process. Also, if you’d like to use our workforce planning gap analysis template, you can download it here:

Download Our Workforce Planning Template!

First, What Is Workforce Planning?

Though you are probably already aware of what workforce planning is, it always helps to start with a bit of a refresher so that we are all on the same page.

Workforce planning, in simplified terms, is the act of aligning your talent with your business goals. You need to ensure that you have the right people performing the right jobs to make sure that your business is marching steadily toward success.

To do this, you need to have a firm understanding of what your talent pool looks like, what needs you have, and how your business may change in the future.

Though this sounds like a no-brainer – of course you want to have the right talent to meet your goals – the process can seem incredibly hard for those that have never performed it before. In fact, many organizations say that workforce planning is one of their top priorities and also one of their biggest burdens because they keep putting it off.

What this means for you is that if you were to start workforce planning right now, you’d have a leg up on your competition (for the most part). And, with a plan on paper and some easy to use tools to back you up, the process really becomes quite easy.

You can learn all about the general workforce planning process here.

Now, where does gap analysis and using a workforce planning gap analysis template come into play?

Using a Workforce Planning Gap Analysis Template: The Goals

The goal of any workforce planning initiative, like we mentioned above, is to understand what you need to change inside your talent strategy to ensure that your business meets its goals. You need to have the right people doing the right jobs.

So, when we talk about using a workforce planning gap analysis template, we are discussing a way for you to accurately see the holes in your plan.

For example, say that you plan on launching a new, app-based product, but you only have one programmer and two designers. Of course, you may be able to make it work with this level of development on staff. However, you probably want to flesh out that team more to ensure that every aspect of the app is developed in a way that will create the very best product in the end.

This is where gap analysis comes in. You should work closely with the team you have to help get an understanding what challenges they have and what you can do to path them over. This could mean hiring more people, leaning on a consultant or freelancer, or providing them with new tools to complete the task.

It’s impossible for us to say what this means for your situation, though the takeaway is the same: examine your goal, use the data you’ve collected during the workforce planning process, and come up with a way to meet that goal.

Using a workforce planning gap analysis template can go a long way in this area because it can help you keep track of everything you learn. Like any template, it’s really a way for you to visualize data and use that data to make the correct choice.

Using a Workforce Planning Gap Analysis Template for Other Issues

The product example is always an apt one because so many businesses focus so much of their time on innovation and offering new things for sale. However, there are a bunch of other gaps that come alongside workforce planning that do not specifically line up like this.

For example, retirement. Retirement is one of those issues that we really don’t understand too well, especially since the Baby Boomer generation is redefining what it means to retire by working past the age of 65 and often time taking on another job afterward.

So, you need to understand if you have potential retirees on staff, these can be a gap in and of itself. For these individuals, knowledge retention is vital so coming up with a clear succession plan is mandatory.

The same can be said for recruitment issues. Do you have a diverse workforce? Do you hire people of all the same age? These questions should be pondered and using a workforce planning gap analysis template can seriously help you see these gaps that you may unconsciously be unaware of.

While we will not try to guess what gaps you may uncover for your own organization, it can be a very impactful move to examine your workforce on an analytical level because these issues are not easily uncovered by simply looking around.

Using a Workforce Planning Gap Analysis Template: The Final Say

By using a workforce planning gap analysis template, you can help uncover interesting information about your workforce that you may currently be completely unaware of.

This could be that you need to hire new talent to perform a goal or launch a new product. It could be that you do not have a diverse workforce and that your recruitment strategy needs an upgrade. Or, it could be that you haven’t thought about what to do when people in your organization retire and step down from their long-held full-time jobs.

Gap analysis goes hand-in-hand with workforce planning because workforce planning, in and of itself, is all about correcting flaws and patching holes in your workforce that may be holding your company back from the goals it wishes to achieve.

If you want to learn more about using a workforce planning gap analysis template, download ours below:

Download Our Workforce Planning Template!
Josh Hrala

Josh Hrala

Josh is an HR journalist and ghostwriter who's been covering outplacement and offboarding for over six years. Before pivoting to the HR world, he was a science journalist whose work can be found in Popular Science, ScienceAlert, The Huffington Post, Cracked, Modern Notion, and more.

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