Over the past few years, the workforce has evolved more than ever. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.25 million people quit their jobs in Jan. 2022, up from 3.3 million in Jan. 2021. And a 2021 report by the Society for Human Resource Management shows more than 40% of U.S. workers are actively seeking a new job or plan to do so soon. To stay resilient in these changing times and be ready for the future, it’s critical that organizations reexamine their human resources (HR) planning tactics. More specifically, organizations must turn to a holistic planning solution that enables data-driven decisions to improve their workforce needs without losing individual focus.

Why HR Planning?

One of the most important parts of HR planning is enabling collaboration and transparency across all teams. Consider a mid-sized company and all the different line managers associated in making salary, incentive and promotion decisions. HR must consider the following:

Performance ratings

  • Who are the top performing employees?
  • How do we retain them?

Staff movement

  • Are there new hires?
  • Who is changing roles internally, and is there a promotion involved?

Salary bill

  • What is the spend for each team and across the organization?
  • What are the increases and bonuses?
  • What long-term incentives can we provide to ensure sufficient lock-in is in place?

Job market data

  • Are we providing equal pay for equal work across race, gender and disabilities?
  • How does our remuneration compare to that of our competitors/industry and the market in general?

Considering all of these factors above, an organization should invest in a holistic, extended  planning and analysis solution to bring together all the data impacting performance ratings, staff movement, planned salaries, job market data, and more in a single, consolidated view. This way, there’s no hidden data, but rather full transparency in the decisions being made – with the help of continuous, integrated planning at the heart of your business.

Governance and compliance in HR planning

Instead of focusing on manually pulling together disparate data in rows upon rows of Excel-based spreadsheets, which often leads to errors in a process that should be foolproof, your organization should look to solutions that can streamline your existing HR planning processes. Within IBM Planning Analytics, for example, you can build and maintain the right responsibility hierarchy and workflow that ensures the relevant managers are planning, reviewing and driving HR planning decisions to the next level.

If your planning processes are audited, having an extended planning and analysis (xP&A) solution like IBM Planning Analytics is a game-changer in tracing precisely who entered what data into which models used in the planning process.

HR planning for longevity and success

HR planning isn’t just about having the right employees; it’s also about recognizing and retaining your performant employees and encouraging workforce longevity and success. Aside from salary, stocks and monetary incentives, training and educational development are key parts of successful HR planning and staffing execution. Many organizations offer employee training programs, certifications, learning hours and more. But how are they keeping track of such metrics? What does continued success look like?

We’ve seen that IBM Planning Analytics can help HR teams better track and measure workforce success factors. In turn, this helps justify the investment in employee training programs and identify the ones best-suited to boost skills and performance. The result can be seen in improved bottom-line performance and ROI for a variety of organizations. With IBM Planning Analytics, you gain insights into performance metrics and employee morale, helping you prevent attrition and turnover challenges using trends that highlight risks much earlier.

Continuous workforce planning

Now more than ever, the steps organizations need to take to develop and enhance their existing HR planning processes is critical to support the entire workforce, which we know to have a significant impact on the success of the organization at large. Employees are the foundation of every business. Having a reliable, integrated planning and analysis tool is key – not only for your first-line managers to make better decisions, but for your entire organization to trust that fair and data-driven decisions are being made. We’ve seen solutions like IBM Planning Analytics help organizations to do just that.


To learn more about IBM Planning Analytics, you can get started today with a 30-day free trial.

I also encourage you to join the IBM Business Analytics live stream event on October 25, to hear more case studies on how others have used IBM Planning Analytics to accelerate decision making.

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