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Human Resources Management

Staff Planning

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (Strategic Staffing Plans, June 2002), a staffing plan is a system that works to monitor and control the costs of human capital while creating an infrastructure to support effective decision-making in an organization. The plan uses relevant workload and outcome measures that can aid organizations in assessing current and future staffing needs.

Staff PlanningA staffing plan helps organizations better plan for the future in identifying current and future staffing needs. It helps ensure compliance with state and federal requirements, and assists organizations develop goals and communicate staffing strategies to stakeholders. Moreover, a staffing plan assists organizations in identifying contingency plans, should a gap exist between desired staffing levels and available resources. Furthermore, an organization can better explain or defend its decisions to hire or reduce personnel based on the objective analysis and clear reasoning that a staffing plan offers.

While an annual budgeting process generally requires managers to project personnel requirements for the upcoming fiscal period, this process offers little value beyond influencing the short-term allocations of funds (Workforce Planning: The Strategy Behind “Strategic Staffing”, 2004). A staffing plan transforms the staffing function from a “vacancy-filling” role to one that continually ensures alignment between an organization’s human capital and its strategic goals. The effect of this is improved employee utilization, overall effectiveness, and competitive positioning.

The most important question for any organization is what type of workforce it will need in order to successfully implement its strategic mission. Once this question is answered, the organization can focus on recruiting, developing, motivating, and retaining the number and mix of employees that will be required at each point in time.

Ohio Examples

Staffing Plan, Benchmarks Assists with Balanced Budget
Lakota Local School District

Lakota Local School District has established a staffing plan, which incorporates staffing allocation factors such as state and federal regulations, workload measures, and other leading practices. In general, staffing benchmarks in this plan are calibrated to available general fund revenues, which assist the district in ensuring a balanced budget. Staffing plans can not only be used as guides for determining staffing levels on an annual basis, but aid in determining mid-year staffing levels should changes be necessary.

District Staffing Plan a Valuable Planning Tool
Cincinnati City School District

The Cincinnati City School District has developed a staffing plan that incorporates state requirements, contractual agreements, available resources, and educational goals. In addition, the plan includes central and site-based administrators in the process and serves as a valuable planning tool for the district’s leadership team

National Examples

Police Department Five-Year Plan Guides Deployment, Staffing
Seattle, Washington

The City of Seattle developed a staffing plan for their police department that guides staffing decisions over the course of a five-year period. The staffing plan addresses perceived problems of patrol officer deployment and workload imbalances and response times. The planned increase in patrol staffing is guided by an evaluation of these response times, an evaluation of established precincts, and the implementation of a performance system which establishes a way to evaluate staffing needs. Moreover, the document provides a methodology to justify police staff to the organization’s legislative body (Seattle City Council), and rejects past practice as a way to justify operational decisions.

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