Workforce planning is all about making sure your company’s HR efforts match up with your business goals. To make this process easier, HR teams use workforce planning tools to highlight strengths and address weaknesses within their workforce. This way, HR teams are able to operate more efficiently and effectively.

There are different workforce planning tools out there, each designed for a specific task — like predicting hiring needs or managing workloads. This article will guide you through the various types and help you pick the best ones for your organization’s needs.

Types of Workforce Planning Tools

Here are the 6 most common workforce planning tools used by HR teams. We’ll discuss each one in more detail in the next section: 

  • Organizational charts
  • Strategic workforce planning map
  • 9-box grid
  • Compensation and benefits analysis
  • Scenario planning
  • HR dashboard

Workforce Planning Tools, Explained

When properly used, workforce planning tools can help you be more efficient with how you plan and manage your workforce. Let’s talk more about each tool in detail:

1. Organizational charts

Organizational charts are visual aids that map out your company’s structure by highlighting the roles of the individuals, their position in the company and their relationships to others within that company. HR teams use these org charts to manage reporting relationships and plan future staffing changes efficiently. These charts can also determine which departments are in need of employees or conversely, may be overstaffed.

There are many ways you can create org charts, such as Google Docs, PowerPoint, or even just pen and paper. However, specialized tools like Organimi can make the whole process much easier and allow you to create detailed, customizable, and dynamic organizational charts in just a few minutes.

Try a free trial of Organimi

2. Strategic workforce planning map

A strategic workforce planning map is a vital tool that helps align your team’s current capabilities with your company’s long-term goals. It acts as a blueprint that shows your goals and how close you are to reaching them.

This tool provides HR teams with a clear roadmap, highlighting potential gaps in talent or resources that could hinder progress. It helps them identify key roles that need to be filled, recognize areas with potential skill shortages, and strategically plan for employee development or recruitment.

3. 9-box grid

The 9-box grid is a versatile tool used to evaluate employee utilization in a company by mapping performance against potential. It uses a grid format, where one axis represents an employee’s current performance and the other represents their potential for growth.

This grid helps HR teams identify standout performers, emerging leaders, and employees who may need further training or support. You get a comprehensive overview of where each employee stands, which helps drive more strategic decision-making for promotions, succession planning, and development efforts. Ultimately, a 9-box grid makes sure that you’re investing in the individuals for the benefit of the company.

4. Compensation and benefits analysis

Compensation and benefits analysis helps HR teams determine whether salaries and benefits are competitive and fair by evaluating industry standards and internal equity. It helps HR come up with compensation packages that attract new talent and retain top performers. This is important for maintaining employee satisfaction and motivation, preventing turnover, and positioning your company as a desirable place to work. 

It’s also often used in conjunction with the 9-box grid as the performance and potential of the employees play a big part in determining if said employees are being overpaid or underpaid. More than just balancing the books, it also makes sure your team feels valued and properly rewarded for all that they do in the company.

5. Scenario planning

Scenario planning allows HR teams to visualize and prepare for multiple future scenarios that could impact the workforce by developing strategies to navigate these challenges effectively. This proactive approach is crucial in dynamic and rapidly evolving industries, where sudden shifts can significantly affect staffing and operational needs. This tool helps keep your organization remains agile and capable of adapting quickly to new circumstances, keeping it at a competitive edge.

6. HR Dashboard

HR dashboard takes all the important workforce metrics — employee turnover, hiring rates, performance levels, and more — and aggregates them into a clear and comprehensive dashboard. Effective dashboard provides HR with impactful insights at a glance, allowing them to spot trends, track progress toward HR goals, and identify areas needing attention.

To Sum It Up

Workforce planning tools can be game-changers for HR teams. When used effectively, these tools help HR streamline processes, make informed decisions, and align their workforce strategies with business goals. It doesn’t just simplify daily HR tasks. When you look at the bigger picture, these tools don’t just simplify daily HR tasks — they also help improve the overall operational and financial health of the company.