worforce metrics blog

Why Workforce Planning Teams Must Measure Themselves

The Institute for Corporate Productivity's (i4cp) latest report, Workforce Planning: Data Choices for High Performance, outlines solutions to various obstacles that workforce planning teams encounter when deciding which metrics to use and which technologies might capture them most effectively. However, even as workforce planning teams concern themselves with carrying out their objectives and providing meaningful insights into workforce issues, so, too, must they be cognizant that their own function must be tracked and its outcomes gauged for effectiveness.

The Data Choices report turned attention to internal measures and found workforce planning teams lacking. Two-thirds of the business and planning leaders surveyed by i4cp admit that their organizations don't measure the effectiveness of workforce planning efforts. That figure rises to nearly three-quarters among lower-performance organizations. Even among respondents representing high-performance organizations (HPOs), 63% say they don't measure planning effectiveness.

However, the 37% of high-performance organizations that do gauge their planning efforts’ effectiveness spoke to the measures they employed. Decreases in the number of vacancies and number of open positions top the list of metrics. Other measures these companies use to monitor workforce planning effectiveness appear in the adjacent sidebar.

Organizations are even more remiss when it comes to measuring return on investment in workforce planning. Only 8% of all respondents, as well as both high-performance and low-performance organizations, say they explicitly measured ROI of workforce planning.

The ability to demonstrate effectiveness and ROI of any organizational function is crucial in winning and retaining ongoing support for that function, and workforce planning is no exception. More than half of survey respondents from both high- and lower-performing companies say they would need greater senior leadership and organizational support to improve the business impact of their planning functions. But achieving that widespread support will be a difficult task if planning teams aren’t able to clearly demonstrate their function’s value. That makes it incumbent on workforce planning teams to pay greater attention to measuring their own effectiveness and documenting planning’s ROI.

A complimentary excerpt of the report is now available on the i4cp website and i4cp members have exclusive access to download the full report now.

Carol Morrison
Carol Morrison is a Senior Research Analyst and Associate Editor with the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), specializing in workforce well-being research.