Measuring the Success of Your Workforce Planning Strategy

This is the final blog post in a series of blog posts and podcasts talking through the recent GovLoop Guide to Workforce Planning. Be sure to take a listen to the podcase below and view the guide. You can find more HR resources by visiting the GovLoop Guide to Workforce Planning Homepage.

Measuring outcomes of any program is important, as time and budgets are tight for government, every program should be looked at with a critical eye. Outcomes for the program should be clearly known, so proper adjustments can be made to meet the needs of the organization.

There are many ways to measure success of a program. One way is to look at all the data that you previous collected, and update the data to periodically measure against past success. Once that data is collected, an organization can look at programs and policies that impacted the data, and what the outcomes were and what needs to be modified.

This section of the guide looks at materials produced by the North Carolina Office of Personnel and provides some great information on how to assess your workforce development program. The guide states:

“Successful workforce planning is an active and continuous process. On-going evaluation and plan adjustments are the keys to continuous improvement and to achieving your targeted goals. You must continue to monitor and refine approaches to meet the demands of your workforce. North Carolina Office of Personnel identifies the following questions as great starting points for you to evaluate your workforce:

  • Did the action plan accomplish what the organization needed?
  • Do adequate staffing levels exist?
  • Has turnover been reduced?
  • Are the skills of employees being developed quickly enough to become effective?
  • Are you able to recruit for the talent needed?
  • Has the hiring process improved?
  • Has the selection process improved?
  • Do new hires possess needed competencies and skills?
  • Has overall organizational performance increased?
  • Are you able to appropriately plan for succession replacements for retirements?
  • Are you able to successfully transfer knowledge?
  • Are you able to build internal leadership capabilities?
  • Are employees more engaged in their work?
  • Have employee barriers and obstacles been removed?
  • Have internal processes been streamlined to be more effective and timely?”

Finally, the guide concludes with a quick checklist on with some practical tips and best practices to get you started with your workforce planning initiative. Be sure to take a look at the checklist, which is a great synopsis of the guide and the content provided throughout the report.

Oracle offers an optimized and fully integrated stack of business hardware and software systems that helps organizations overcome complexity and unleash innovation.. Check out their Optimize with Oracle group on GovLoop as well as the Technology Sub-Community of which they are a council member.

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Joe Sanchez

Pat, enjoyed reading your post.

A workforce planning strategy’s goals should contribute to the organization’s larger strategic goals. You recognize this by one of your questions: “Has overall organizational performance increased?” Some of these larger public sector organization goals might be to “Improve customer satisfaction,” “Decrease benefit errors,” “Reduce IT infrastructure costs,” and “Increase revenues,” to cite a few examples.

A good way of showing these contributions is to establish cause-and-effect relationship hypotheses between workforce goals and the organization’s larger strategic goals.

One track’s relationships might seek to know if “Improved recruiting” and “Reduced turnover” leads to “Adequate staffing levels.” Another track might focus on “Streamlined internal processes” leading to “Removed employee barriers and obstacles” leading to “Successful knowledge transfer” that leads to “More engaged employees.” Together then, do “Adequate staffing levels” and “More engaged employees” lead to “Decreased benefit errors?”

Obviously this is a high-level example and would require more detail such as the assignment of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to these goals. Additionally, while it may be very challenging to prove definitive cause-and-effect relationships, it may be possible to establish correlations between these goals. It’s important to emphasize that these cause-and-effect models should evolve and improve as the organization’s knowledge about their use improves.

The insights gained by such an approach can help the organization learn what factors, more than others, contribute to the achievement of its goals. This learning and resulting knowledge can enable the organization to target investments that it knows will have a positive impact on outcomes. This in turn leads to improved budgets and greater fiscal accountability. It really is about connecting the dots!

Glad to have this opportunity to contribute to your excellent post.

Pat Fiorenza

Hey Joe –

Thanks for your great and insightful comment! I really like how you mapped out how you can start to develop KPI’s as an organization. I can imagine proving the cause-and-effect relationship is challenging, but I think taking the time to invest in your organization, understand what determines success, and you get there – is an underlying benefit. Goes a long for a team to commit to KPI’s, and show some flexibility to adapt and reform.

Thanks again for the comment!