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Workforce planning can be successful without being complicated


The workforce planning connect resources provide practical tips and tools on how to develop and implement a workforce plan for your business. It can be used by people who have never undertaken workforce planning before, as well as those who may have done some workforce planning previously.

The resources were designed for you to step through the process without assistance, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. You may already use a business advisor or access an external support service that can assist you.

  • The process is the same for any size business in any industry.
  • Start with the end in mind. Be clear about what you want to achieve.
  • Data collection doesn’t have to be complex.
  • It can help you retain staff and compete for the workforce you need now and in the future.
  • Workforce planning helps you manage your workforce risk and focus your energy on the right place.
  • A workforce plan is not a static document, you can update it as often as you like.


Below you can find all the resources you need to get started:

  Fact Sheet 1 (PDF, 163 KB) This fact sheet provides an overview of the four stages of workforce planning.

  Template 1 (DOCX, 172 KB) This template will assist you to identify who you should include in your workforce planning activities.

Workforce planning is about planning for the people who help your business deliver its products and services to your customers. It’s about having the right people, with the right skills, at the right time and place, doing the right things to help you achieve your business goals.

There are 5 key steps to workforce planning:

The purpose of workforce planning is not to decide what you will do in the future, it is about determining what you can do now to be best prepared for the future. To maximise the benefits of workforce planning, it should be integrated into your business planning.

These goals can range from growing or selling your business to simply achieving another successful year of operation.

Along with your business plan, your workforce plan will get you and your workforce ready to respond to any changes in your business environment.

Your workforce plan should be regularly reviewed as changes and challenges occur.


A good workforce plan will give you a solid understanding of your current workforce and how to prepare your workforce for the future.

Small business often relies on the knowledge and skills of a small number of employees. The departure of any one of these employees (through resignation or retirement) can be costly and result in the loss of important business knowledge. New opportunities can also emerge for your business that require your workforce to change.

Workforce planning that is integrated with business planning can help your business:

  • respond quickly and strategically to change
  • link your workforce initiatives to your finance and business planning
  • improve efficiency, effectiveness and productivity
  • identify where you are most at risk of productivity and continuity losses,
  • plan for future workforce requirements
  • identify whether or not you need to improve your retention strategies.
  • engage your workforce, increase job satisfaction and foster goodwill through improved employee relations
  • build workforce skills to support business activities and achieve business goals
  • plan for new and emerging skills or roles through specific recruitment, training activities or collaborating with other businesses
  • know who is in your workforce, what they do, the skills they have and the skills they need to develop or improve

Undertaking workforce planning for the first time can feel like a daunting process. It doesn’t have to be. In fact, instinctively you may already be undertaking some workforce planning activities.

Things you will need to consider include:

  • What time-frame you are planning for?
  • Who are you going to include in the workforce planning process?
  • Why you are including them?
  • Who are the key decision-makers? How can they best be involved?
  • How much time can they commit to the process?
  • Will they be committed to supporting and implementing the actions?
  • Make sure you include a mix of people in the business (where possible), including people of different ages, gender, cultural background and declared disability.

It is important to remember that workforce planning does not need to be complicated, but it does require thought and engagement with your staff.

It is important that you consider who should be involved in workforce planning for your business. Your workforce planning team is a core group who will be involved in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of your workforce plan.

If you are a micro business, this may only be two key people. If you are part of a larger organisation this could be senior leaders or HR.


Both the Workforce Planning Connect Workbook and Toolkit are available to assist you in determining who you may like to involve. Download the resource most suitable to your business needs for more information.



Things to consider:

  • Who are your stakeholders, based on the scope and scale of your workforce planning?
  • What is their role in relation to workforce planning?
  • Who are the key decision-makers?
  • How can they be best involved and what time can they commit?


Suggestions on who to involve:

  • a diverse mix of management and employees that represent various business levels, functional areas and locations
  • line managers who oversee areas with critical hiring needs
  • line staff, including both new hires and those employees with more experience
  • a mix of age (including youth and mature age), gender, cultural background and declared disability
  • dedicated and knowledgeable staff
  • those staff with specific expertise needed to implement workforce plan – HR, IT, finance etc.
  • union representatives.

  Template 1 (DOCX, 47KB) will assist you to identify who you should include in your workforce planning activities.

Get started checklist

I understand:

what workforce planning is


why workforce planning is important to small business


who I should include when undertaking workforce planning


key workforce planning terminology


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