Workforce Management

Building the right workforce for today & tomorrow

Strategic workforce management to deliver on your goals

People are an organization’s lifeblood. Yet, while the workforce is a source of competitive advantage, they’re also a significant line item in your organization’s budget.

For leaders, it’s never been more important to create an agile and efficient workforce able to implement your organization’s business strategy today and tomorrow — at the right cost. But it’s also never been harder to find the right people, given the global war for talent.

Rapidly evolving technology needs new, equally fast-evolving skill sets currently in short supply. An aging workforce is creating imminent skill and talent shortages across industries. And changing employee expectations make it harder to engage and motivate people.

This is where strategic workforce management can help. We show your organization what talent you need and how you can find it, so you can deliver on your goals.

Workforce Management insights

FAQs about workforce management

What is workforce management (WFM)?

Strategic workforce management optimizes employee productivity by ensuring that that the right people, processes, tools and technology are in the right place at the right time. The goal is to ensure that employees have the right skills and competencies to satisfy the organization’s job requirements.

Similar to workforce optimization and workforce planning, workforce management takes into account recruiting, budgeting and forecasting, employee scheduling, performance, development and training, workload management and employee empowerment. It helps leaders understand whether they have or can obtain the talent they need to execute their business strategy. It also helps HR teams reorganize, shape and deploy the workforce to deliver on their company’s business objectives.

What is workforce planning?

Strategic workforce planning is the practice of mapping an organization’s people strategy to its business strategy so they work together in sync. It gives leaders confidence that they can deliver on their strategic objectives both now and in the future in the most efficient way possible.

Workforce planning also enables leaders to define, track and measure their investment in people, reviewing and improving approaches continuously, just as they would for any other investment.

Korn Ferry’s strategic workforce planning consultants help organizations plan for the future in five ways:

  • We turn strategy into specific skills, identifying the roles and capabilities that are critical to an organization’s success.
  • We optimize the workforce for today using an in-depth analysis of employee workload, productivity and cost.
  • We forecast the workforce of tomorrow using advanced scenario-planning tools.
  • We make the change happen by closing gaps between the workforce an organization needs and the people they currently have.

What are the principles of strategic workforce planning?

When done well, strategic workforce planning helps to ensure that organizations have the right workforce, today and tomorrow, at the right cost. But workforce management is complex, making it difficult to execute.

At Korn Ferry, we organize strategic workforce planning around what we call the five “RightS” framework:

  • Right size: We blend ability with agility, building a right-sized staff that avoids waste and achieves strategic goals efficiently.
  • Right skills: We identify gaps in your workforce’s skills, so you can plan your future talent acquisition strategy.
  • Right shape: We look holistically at your organization, creating structures that motivate and enable.
  • Right site: Continued positive growth requires putting the right people in the right places — and having the right places to put them.
  • Right spend: It’s essential to invest good money in great people.

The result is better resource utilization, stronger operating performance and greater confidence in hiring-related decisions.

What are the steps in strategic workforce planning?

We partner with our clients to understand their values and goals, risks and challenges, products, customers, structure, decision-making processes, capabilities and current workforce planning activity. This allows us to custom design the optimal plan to strengthen your business.

Our approach consists of four steps:

  • Defining the skill set: We focus on identifying the key people issues and drivers, strategic capabilities and roles critical to the success of your organization.
  • Getting your workforce ready for today: We optimize your workforce by conducting a current workload and cost analysis, defining standard productivity ratios and designing your optimal workforce.
  • Getting your workforce ready for tomorrow: We engage in workforce scenario planning, identifying your job families, building a workforce supply and demand model and simulating scenarios and testing policies.
  • Making the workforce solutions happen: Finally, we start the action planning and implementation stage, developing a change management plan, creating solutions and an implementation plan and guiding you throughout the implementation process.