Free Workforce Planning Templates

Smartsheet Contributor Joe Weller

February 6, 2019

In this article, you’ll find the most useful templates and information for supporting your planning process, including workforce assessment, report, and dashboard templates in Microsoft Excel and Word, PDF, and Smartsheet formats.

Workforce Development Plan Template


Workforce Developmental Plan Template

Use this template for career development planning for individual employees, or modify it to create plans for different sections of your workforce. Once you’ve identified skill gaps, use this template to create an action plan in order to reach target competencies within a certain time frame. List goals, training to be completed, associated costs, and target dates. Track the results and adjust the plan as needed to reach your development goals.

Download Workforce Development Plan Template

Excel | PDF | Smartsheet

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Workforce Profile Template


Workforce Profile Template

Use this workforce profile template to analyze your current workforce and compile information about staff characteristics, skills and competencies, growth, turnover rates, and more. Once you have collected this data, you can evaluate the strengths and weaknesses in your workforce and get a clearer picture of what changes you need to implement in order to address issues and move toward future goals.

Download Workforce Profile Template

Excel | Word | Smartsheet

Workforce Gap Analysis Template


Workforce Gap Analysis Template

Designed for finding and addressing the gaps in an individual employee’s skills, this template can also (with minor modification) identify skills gaps in the overall workforce or analyze other types of gaps altogether, such as those concerning geographical or retirement issues. This is a basic Excel spreadsheet, including columns for describing the needed skill, the current and desired skill levels, and an action plan that addresses the gap. If you’re dealing with multiple gaps, you can also assign a priority rating to each one for greater efficiency.

Download Workforce Gap Analysis Template

Excel | Smartsheet

Strategic Workforce Planning Template


Strategic Workforce Planning Template

This workforce planning report template provides an outline for creating a comprehensive plan. It includes sections for each stage of planning: determining strategic direction, identifying supply and demand gaps, formulating appropriate solutions, and evaluating progress. Using a workforce strategy template can help guide the planning process and organize complex information in a clear report for easy reference.

Download Strategic Workforce Planning Template - Word

Workforce Forecasting Template


Workforce Forecasting Template

This workforce planning template is available as an Excel spreadsheet, Word document, or fillable PDF file. It focuses on forecasting workforce requirements and includes a future workforce profile and a gap analysis to examine the discrepancies between the capabilities and needs of your current workforce and those of your future workforce. The template also offers a detailed outline to help drive your strategic planning and analysis.

Download Workforce Forecasting Template

Word | PDF


Workforce Transition Plan Template


Workforce Transition Plan Template

Transition plans are particularly important when planning leadership changes. These plans help ensure that an organization will continue to operate smoothly when a CEO or other executive steps down, but they can also ease the process of any role change. This template includes sections to list accountabilities and expectations, create knowledge transfer plans, and make a checklist for implementing the transition. Choose from Excel, Word, or PDF formats to create a thorough plan.

Download Workforce Transition Plan Template

Excel | Word | PDF


Workforce Succession Planning Template


Workforce Succession Planning Template Tracking Spreadsheet

This template is designed for succession planning and tracking. For each position you are tracking, list the priority status, potential successors, retirement timeline, training requirements, and other details. The template provides a quick overview of the staff’s readiness to fill a particular role as well as existing gaps that you need to address. Organize the template by status to see which roles you need to focus on first, and keep your workforce strong by planning ahead.

Download Workforce Succession Planning Template - Excel

What Are the Benefits of Workforce Planning?

Workforce planning allows an organization to reach its goals by training executives to proactively acquire or develop the talent they need, rather than react as issues arise. Strategic planning helps businesses anticipate future needs based on market changes, growth potential, staff retirement, and other changes. It is a systematic approach to aligning your workforce with the strategic direction of your organization. Having the right people in the right roles will help any business run smoothly. Workforce planning can help determine employee potential, develop staff to move into future roles, address changing business priorities, and resolve gaps in employee skills and competencies.

One aspect of workforce planning is scenario planning, which involves imagining future scenarios that may impact your business, such as regulatory changes, new technologies, an uncertain political climate, or a natural disaster. Assessing the impact that these scenarios might have on a business can help you prepare for such events and determine what impact they might have on your workforce needs. After identifying potential scenarios (which may be based on internal or external changes), prioritize them based on the impact they would have on your workforce and the level of uncertainty they carry. Then, analyze the scenarios that present the most impactful and unpredictable challenges and develop strategic resolutions. This is a complex process, but it can provide vital information to help mitigate future issues.

The 6 Stages of Workforce Planning

Whether you are focusing on a particular issue that you need to address, such as projected budget cuts or market changes, or using workforce planning as an ongoing method for ensuring that your workforce is on track for meeting business objectives, the process usually involves six stages:

  1. Organizational Strategy: This is an opportunity to clarify the direction in which your organization is heading in the next three to five years and look closely at strategic drivers. What are the short and long-term goals? How are market trends shifting, and what is your competition doing? What policy, economic, or workforce challenges will the organization be facing? This stage serves two purposes: to clarify the broader organizational strategy in order to make sure that HR strategy aligns with it, and to identify issues that may impact your workforce.

  1. Workforce Supply Analysis: Examining your current workforce situation and projected changes over time involves creating staff profiles and compiling employee characteristics, such as age, location, salary, employment type, skills and competencies, worker satisfaction, turnover rates, numbers of employees at different levels, and pending retirees. The goal is to understand how well your workforce currently supports your business strategy, what skills it has to offer, and how you expect it to grow or decrease in the near future.

  1. Demand Analysis: The information in a demand analysis consists of what type and amount of work an organization performs and what kind of changes it anticipates. Here are some questions to ask when analyzing workload demand: How much work do you expect to have each year? How many employees do you need to execute that work? What is driving the work changes — increased efficiency or other changes? Does the current workforce supply match the forecasted demand?

  1. Workforce Gap Analysis: A gap analysis identifies the gaps between your current workforce supply and the future demand. After locating the gaps, such as skills, workforce numbers, or new roles needed, you can decide which ones take top priority based on how critical they are to reaching strategic goals. Creating an action plan for addressing gaps occurs in the next stage of planning.

  1. Formulating Solutions: Now you are ready to find solutions for closing the critical gaps you have found. There may be several gaps that you need to resolve, leading to a multifaceted approach. As you formulate a plan, consider what variables might affect success, such as policies or financial resources. Create a timeline for implementation that includes specific activities for addressing the gaps, such as training employees to increase skill levels or hiring new talent.

  1. Monitoring Progress: Once you have implemented a workforce plan, how will you measure progress? Determine what metrics you will track and which factors you will use to indicate success. As time passes and changes continue, you will need to revise the workforce plan accordingly. Indicate how your staff should handle revisions so that they can smoothly record and implement those changes to the plan.

Overall, workforce planning helps an organization create a strategic framework for making staffing decisions. Analyzing workforce data can lead to informed staffing decisions, which can help a business reach or exceed its goals and quickly handle problems when they do arise.

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