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Workforce Reshaping

Planning a Strategic Approach

How to Create a Workforce Plan that Supports Mission Accomplishment Using Human Capital Analytics

Conducting Workforce Planning

Workforce planning is the foundation for managing an organization’s human capital and furthers an agency’s ability to hire qualified individuals to pursue its mission.  It is a systematic process for identifying and addressing any gaps between the workforce of today and the human capital needs of tomorrow.  Through this process, agency leadership identifies the human capital required to meet organizational goals, conducts analyses to identify and close competency and skills gaps, develops strategies to address human capital needs, and assesses the effectiveness of the organization’s structure.

The more effective the development and execution of human capital planning as part of strategic planning, the more the organization is able to accomplish its strategic goals. Human capital planning is addressed in statutory requirements for human capital systems, standards, and metrics; the role of Chief Human Capital Officers; agency training programs and training plans; strategic planning; and performance planning. Human capital planning is also a critical part of the Federal budgeting process.

To prepare for your human capital planning as part of your strategic planning process, and to support your understanding and knowledge, visit the following helpful sites:

Using Human Capital Analytics

When used effectively, human capital analytics allow agency leaders to more effectively manage the workforce and drive organizational performance.  Analytics can be used in a descriptive way to describe the state of the workforce and also in a predictive way that helps agency leaders to anticipate changes.  

Agencies have access to quantitative and qualitative data, including:

  • Personnel data
  • Position descriptions and job analysis
  • Employee Viewpoint Survey and other employee surveys
  • CHCO Manager and Applicant Satisfaction Surveys
  • Focus groups
  • FedScope

To be useful, data has to be evaluated and turned into action.   A workforce analysis may include an evaluation of measures such as:

  • Position information:  occupations (including whether it is mission-critical), grade level, full performance level, geographic location, supervisor ratios
  • Current and projected employment trends:  headcount, retirement eligibility, separations, hiring, retention rates
  • Competency assessments
  • Industry and labor market trends

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Workforce Planning and Classification Principles

Agency leaders have broad authority to organize work in an efficient, effective manner, and they are responsible for optimizing resources to carry out the missions of their organizations. Agencies use position classification standards to determine the proper pay plan, occupational series, grade level, and position title. Compensation in the Federal Government is largely reliant on the effective operation of an organization’s position classification system.  Under the General Schedule system – which governs white-collar occupations – and the Federal Wage System – which covers trades, crafts, and labor occupations, the determination of a position's correct grade directly translates to a prescribed rate schedule for basic pay.

The concepts of organizational design and position management are closely related to position classification. Position management entails a carefully designed position structure that blends the skills and assignments of employees with the goal of successfully carrying out the organization's mission or program. Sound position management strikes a logical balance between employees needed to carry out the major functions of the organization, as well as those needed to provide adequate support, between professional employees and technicians, between fully trained employees and trainees, and between supervisors and subordinates.  The need for and size of groups and teams should be based upon a sound analysis of the supervisor’s span of control (i.e., supervisor-to-employee ratio) and the costs and the benefits of the resulting structure in regards to meeting organizational requirements. 

Supervisors and managers should structure positions to clearly delineate assigned duties and responsibilities within the framework established by official statements of organization and functions and avoid conflict or overlap with other positions; they should use the structure as an effective tool for recruitment, workforce planning, training, advancement, and evaluation of a quality workforce.

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