Importance of hr planning

Importance of HR Planning in an Organization:

Planning is very important to our everyday activities. Several definitions have been given by different writers what planning is all about and its importance to achieving our objectives. It is amazing that this important part of HR is mostly ignored in HR in most organizations because those at the top do not know the value of HR planning. Organizations that do not plan for the future have fewer opportunities to survive the competition ahead. This article will discuss the importance of HR planning; the six steps of HR planning that is : Forecasting; inventory, audit, HR Resource Plan; Action of Plan; Monitoring and Control.

Definition of HR Planning

It as a systematic analysis of HR needs in order to ensure that correct numbers of employees with the necessary skills are available when they are required.

When we prepare our planning programme, Practitioners should bear in mind that their staff members have their objective they need to achieve. This is the reason why employees seek employment. Neglecting these needs would result in poor motivation that may lead to unnecessary poor performance and even Industrial actions.

Importance of Planning

Planning is not as easy as one might think because it requires a concerted effort to come out with a programme that would easy your work. Commencing is complicated, but once you start and finish it you have a smile because everything moves smoothly.

Planning is a process that has to be commenced form somewhere and completed for a purpose. It involves gathering information that would enable managers and supervisors make sound decisions. The information obtained is also utilized to make better actions for achieving the objectives of the Organization. There are many factors that you have to look into when deciding for an HR Planning programme.

HR Planning involves gathering of information, making objectives, and making decisions to enable the organization achieve its objectives. Surprisingly, this aspect of HR is one of the most neglected in the HR field. When HR Planning is applied properly in the field of HR Management, it would assist to address the following questions:

  1. How many staff does the Organization have?
  2. What type of employees as far as skills and abilities does the Company have?
  3. How should the Organization best utilize the available resources?
  4. How can the Company keep its employees?

HR planning makes the organization move and succeed in the 21st Century that we are in. Human Resources Practitioners who prepare the HR Planning programme would assist the Organization to manage its staff strategically. The programme assist to direct the actions of HR department.

The programme does not assist the Organization only, but it will also facilitate the career planning of the employees and assist them to achieve the objectives as well. This augment motivation and the Organization would become a good place to work. HR Planning forms an important part of Management information system.

HR have an enormous task keeping pace with the all the changes and ensuring that the right people are available to the Organization at the right time. It is changes to the composition of the workforce that force managers to pay attention to HR planning. The changes in composition of workforce not only influence the appointment of staff, but also the methods of selection, training, compensation and motivation. It becomes very critical when Organizations merge, plants are relocated, and activities are scaled down due to financial problems.

Inadequacy of HR Planning

Poor HR Planning and lack of it in the Organization may result in huge costs and financial looses. It may result in staff posts taking long to be filled. This augment costs and hampers effective work performance because employees are requested to work unnecessary overtime and may not put more effort due to fatigue. If given more work this may stretch them beyond their limit and may cause unnecessary disruptions to the production of the Organization. Employees are put on a disadvantage because their live programmes are disrupted and they are not given the chance to plan for their career development.

The most important reason why HR Planning should be managed and implemented is the costs involved. Because costs forms an important part of the Organizations budget, workforce planning enable the Organization to provide HR provision costs. When there is staff shortage, the organization should not just appoint discriminately, because of the costs implications of the other options, such as training and transferring of staff, have to be considered.

Steps in HR Planning


HR Planning requires that we gather data on the Organizational goals objectives. One should understand where the Organization wants to go and how it wants to get to that point. The needs of the employees are derived from the corporate objectives of the Organization. They stern from shorter and medium term objectives and their conversion into action budgets establishing a new branch in New Delhi by January 2006 and staff it with a Branch Manager (6,000 USD, Secretary 1,550 USD, and two clerical staff 800 USD per month. Therefore, the HR Plan should have a mechanism to express planned Company strategies into planned results and budgets so that these can be converted in terms of numbers and skills required.


After knowing what human resources are required in the Organization, the next step is to take stock of the current employees in the Organization. The HR inventory should not only relate to data concerning numbers, ages, and locations, but also an analysis of individuals and skills. Skills inventory provides valid information on professional and technical skills and other qualifications provided in the firm. It reveals what skills are immediately available when compared to the forecasted HR requirements.


We do not live in a static World and our HR resources can transform dramatically. HR inventory calls for collection of data; the HR audit requires systematic examination and analysis of this data. The Audit looks at what had occurred in the past and at present in terms of labor turn over, age and sex groupings, training costs and absence. Based on this information, one can then be able to predict what will happen to HR in the future in the Organization.

HR Resource Plan

Here we look at career Planning and HR plans. People are the greatest asserts in any Organization. The Organization is at liberty to develop its staff at full pace in the way ideally suited to their individual capacities. The main reason is that the Organization’s objectives should be aligned as near as possible, or matched, in order to give optimum scope for the developing potential of its employees. Therefore, career planning may also be referred to as HR Planning or succession planning.

The questions that should concern us are:

a) Are we making use of the available talent we have in the Organization, and have we an enough provision for the future?

b) Are employees satisfied with our care of their growth in terms of advancing their career?

Assignment of individuals to planned future posts enables the administration to ensure that these individuals may be suitably prepared in advance.

Action of Plan

There are three fundamentals necessary for this first step.

1) Know where you are going.

2) There must be acceptance and backing from top management for the planning.

3) There must be knowledge of the available resources (i.e) financial, physical and human (Management and technical).

Once in action, the HR Plans become corporate plans. Having been made and concurred with top management, the plans become a part of the company’s long-range plan. Failure to achieve the HR Plans due to cost, or lack of knowledge, may be serious constraints on the long-range plan. Below is an illustration of how HR Plan is linked to corporate Plan.

The link between HR Plan and Strategic Management

This is the last stage of HR planning in the Organization. Once the programme has been accepted and implementation launched, it has to be controlled. HR department has to make a follow up to see what is happening in terms of the available resources. The idea is to make sure that we make use of all the available talents that are at our disposal failure of which we continue to struggle to get to the top.

For the organization, its ability to attract and retain human capital will depend on its reputation as an employer. The reputation about the organization says something about who you are, what you stand for, and how you relate to others including yours employees. All this is partially formed through the organization’s commitment to the employees and vice -versa.

A sure way of making any organization best place to work in is by showing unwavering respect towards its employees. To gain their commitment, organizations have to smoothen communication channels with the employees, assess their capacity to engage in various initiates’, give honest feedback, and invest in aligning its objectives with employees’ aspirations.

The goal of HRD is to improve the performance of our organizations by maximizing the efficiency and performance of our people. We are going to develop our knowledge and skills, our actions and standards, our motivation, incentives, attitudes and work environment.

HRD and Organizations: A Natural tie up

HRD has a critical role to play in the achievement of organizational goals and helping the organization to achieve and maintain excellence. Good people and a good culture make good organization to achieve and maintain excellence. Good people and a good culture make good organization. HRD has the responsibility of getting the right kind of people, creating and maintaining a culture that nurtures and rewards talent. While HRD department will facilitate the process, the real challenge in modern organizations is to share this responsibility with every line manager.

HRD can give you the tools you need to manage and operate your organizations. Everything — production, management, marketing, sales, research & development, you-name-it — everything may be more productive IF your people are sufficiently motivated, trained, informed, managed, utilized and empowered. In future articles in this series, we’re going to tell you how to do it. Stay tuned.

Every organization needs to enhance the capabilities of its workforce. Given the dynamic environment they operate in, organizations must also get its employees to change and adapt to this dynamism. Increasingly, organizations are creating role called “Chief Learning Officer” or “Knowledge Manager”, whose responsibilities include:

  • Managing tangible intellectual capital such as copyrights, patents and royalties
  • Gathering, organizing and sharing the organization’s information and knowledge assets
  • Creating work environments for sharing and transferring knowledge amongst employees
  • Leveraging knowledge from all stakeholders to build innovative corporate strategies

Need for HRD

As organizations evolve, their infrastructure and approaches to HR development become established. Whilst HR development vocational programs and supporting management techniques, tools, procedures and standards, etc., are essential, they often introduce organizational rigidity.

Also with “maturity” organizations often become too big, have too many management levels and get over complicated. Consequently departments, functions, or divisions do not interconnect well. The result is decision making becomes unclear, information is poorly communicated, projects do not get finished, or are late (and usually over budget) and internal politics creep in, resulting in power bases and pressure groups becoming established.

Organizational paralysis, even chaos, sets in with problems and frustration spreading resulting in falling performance. Within this general confusion and with constant organizational change being a modern necessity, the individual’s role becomes unclear and difficult to execute even to the point of being meaningless.

To be successful in the current rapidly-changing world, we need to maximize the productivity of all of our resources — physical, financial, information, and human. How are we doing?

  • Physical resources: We’ve made major investments in updating our physical equipment, so we can compete with state-of-the-art production tools and facilities.
  • Financial resources: Sure, we’re really capital intensive. But that’s the nature of our production businesses. The money will follow our ideas, our successes, and our productivity.
  • Information and knowledge resources: That’s one of our success stories. The paper industry is more open and cooperative than other manufacturing industries. Tappi has been right at the centre of this. But we have our work cut out for us — to continue attracting capital in competition with other industries; we need to be as good as they are in accessing the new world of information. It’s time to join the Internet. But that’s another story for another time.
  • Human resources: This is the leverage point! Here’s where we can make significant differences in our lives, our careers, and our organizations.

People ask “Why am I here?”, and “I no longer seen to have a purpose, a direction or adequate support”. Consequently they either leave or slide into impotence and so the organization becomes weakened, even unmanageable.

HR development imperatives

  • It is imperative that HR development programs help managers to equip their people with the skills needed to progress self-learning.
  • It is imperative that HR development programs succeed in improving morale, releasing energy and enhancing productivity.
  • It is imperative that HR development programs lead the way in forging an empowered culture that can task individuals and teams in the mission of supporting organizational change and development.

With these HR development aims realized, managers can focus attention on acquiring the essential business and entrepreneurial skills they need to play an effective role in organizational development.

In this context, it is also imperative that HR development programs help managers to become business strategists and agents for leading organizational change.

Only through having a learning culture, with respected HR development programs, can the organizations continue to develop and grow.

Today middle management HR development programs are less concerned with vocational awareness and more concerned with business awareness and continuous improvement. Why? Because supervisor and junior management HR development programs have successfully developed departmental resources that are well able to manage day-to-day operations. Therefore the key challenge for middle management HR development is in developing the skills needed to lead empowered individuals, and teams, in the journey to make the organizations vision and values a reality. This means that middle management HR development needs to focus on environmental management issues, across the process chain, between organizational units and transcending organizational levels, and through effective working relationships with the organizations strategic partners.

It is therefore imperative that middle management HR development programs focus on leadership and change management techniques to foster the attitudes, behaviors and skills necessary to break down and overcome barriers and constraints.

Middle management HR development also needs to develop management ability to cope with organizational demergers, unitization, flatter structures, changes in power bases, etc.

Human Resource Planning defines project roles, responsibilities, and reporting relationships. One key result of Human Resource Planning is the Staffing management plan which depicts how and when team members are added to the team, and how the team members are released from the project, the training needs of the team, and several other key components.

The inputs to Human Resource Planning are:

1. Enterprise Environmental Factors – The Enterprise Environmental Factors that comprise of individuals of an organization interact and relate with one another are an input into Human Resource Planning. Items to considers about enterprise environmental factors involving organizational culture and structure are:

  1. Organizational – Which organizations or departments are going to be engaged in the project? Are there existing working arrangements between them? What are the formal and informal relationships between the departments?
  2. Technical – What are the areas of expertise needed to successfully complete this project? Do these skills need to be transitioned to the supporting organization?
  3. Interpersonal – What types of formal and informal reporting relationships exist among the team members? What are team member’s current job descriptions? What are their supervisor-subordinate relationships? What levels of trust and respect currently exist?
  4. Logistical – Are people in different locations or time zones? What are other types of distances between team members?
  5. Political – What are the individual goals and agendas of the stakeholders? Where is the informal power base and how can that influence the project? What informal alliances exist?

In addition to these factors, there are also constraints. Examples of inflexibility in Human Resource Planning are:

  • Organizational Structure – An organization with a weak matrix structure is commonly a constraint.
  • Collective Bargaining Agreements – Contractual agreements with service organizations can require interesting nuances to certain roles and reporting arrangements.
  • Economic Conditions – Hiring freezes, little to no training funds, and a lack of travelling budget can place restrictions of staffing options.

Organizational Process Assets – As an organization’s project management methods evolve, experience gained from past projects are available as organizational process assets. Templates and checklists reduce the planning time required and the likelihood of overlooking key responsibilities.

Project Management Plan – The Project Management Plan contains activity resource requirements and project management activity descriptions which assist in identifying the types and quantities of resources required for each schedule activity in a work package.

With the proper inputs, the results are going to have a good foundation. Project teams use different tools and techniques to guide the Human Resource Planning process. These three tools and techniques are:

  • Organization Charts and Position Descriptions – Organization charts and position descriptions are used to communicate and clarify team member roles and responsibilities and to ensure that each work package is assigned. Organization charts can have three formats: Hierarchical-type Organization chart, Matrix-Based Responsibility Chart, and the Text-oriented format.
  • Networking – Informal interactions among co-workers in the organization is a constructive way to comprehend the political and interpersonal factors which will affect organizational relations.
  • Organizational Theory – Organizational theory portrays how people, teams, and organizational units behave.

The three outputs from Human Resource Planning are found below:

  • Roles and Responsibilities – Clarification of roles and responsibilities gives project team members an understanding of their own rues and the roles of others in the project. Clarity is always a key component of project success.
  • Project Organization Charts – A project organization chart is a diagram of the reporting relationships of project team members. Project organization charts should be tailored for their audience, they can give a generalize overview or highly granular.
  • Staffing Management Plan – The Staffing Management Plan is an important output of the Human Resource Planning process which establishes the timing and methods for meeting project human resource requirements.

Short-Term Human Resource Planning

Many I/O psychologists work on activities related to designing and implementing programs (e.g., recruitment, selection systems, and training programs) to meet shortterm organizational needs. Such activities generally involve an element of planning in that they are future-oriented to some extent. Even projects for which objectives are expected to be achieved in as little time as a few months have, ideally, been designed with an understanding of how the short-term objectives are linked to the achievement of longer term objectives. For example, an aeronautics company engaged in a recruitment campaign to hire 100 engineers should have a clear understanding of how this hiring goal will help the company achieve long-term goals such as becoming the world’s most innovative company in that industry. This hypothetical company also might have a college recruiting drive designed to find 75 college graduates to enter a trainingprogram in recognition of the fact that a growing company needs to prepare for the middle managers it will need 5 to 7 years hence, as well as the top level managers it will need in 10 to 15 years. As this hypothetical example highlights, in order for a clear linkage to exist between human resource planning and strategic business planning, it is essential that an organization’s top executives have a fully articulated vision for the future, which has been communicated and accepted by managers throughout the organization.

Long-Term Human Resource Planning:

Increasingly, long-term human resource planning (for beyond three years) is becoming critical to the effective functioning of organizations. The rapidly changing and highly competitive worldwide marketplace is causing firms to turn to their human resources for survival and competitiveness. Because there is a greater understanding that an organization’s work force cannot be turned around

on a dime, long-term human resource planning is gaining currency. It is an activity that demands integration of the skills and knowledge of the human resource planner and all the other executives responsible for strategic planning. Although there are many types of long-term planning efforts, we use succession planning as our primary example of the process.



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