(Click here for Part 1 of the blog series and to learn more about the importance of HR planning and step 1 “Leverage sales/financial planning to establish strategic HR goals“)
2. Prepare HR Planning
The second step is to prepare the HR planning process to determine who will be involved, who should contribute, and so forth. As noted in the first blog post, there are two basic approaches to this process: centralized, where the HR department or manager takes responsibility for the process across the organization or division; or decentralized, where each manager or designated team members contribute to the planning for their team. After you determine who contributes, you establish the number of lines to be planned for.
The two most important lines are headcount and full-time equivalents (FTE). Some people mix these terms up, but headcount is indivisible, while an FTE may be a percentage (e.g., 50 percent, 25 percent). In some cases, where the planning is very lean, HR planning only addresses these lines.
Consider that case: A company has 1,000 employees. Strategic planning has shown that costs need to be cut by 10 percent, so HR planning determines which organizational teams will have to cut staff to comprise the 10 percent. In other cases, many more lines are incorporated in planning. These could include wages and salaries, parameters by region (e.g., insurance plans, retirement plans, employee type), or non-wage labor costs (e.g., company cars, car allowances, transportation cards, social expenses).
The point is there is no single approach for every company and every planning process. It could be appropriate for a company to have only two lines; another may have 30 lines. It depends on the fit within the individual company. One caveat: it’s not having the highest amount of granularity (i.e., the amount of data) that is critical; it’s having the right amount of data that is critical to having an effective HR planning process.
How Jedox Technology supports the process
Providing actual figures is about having interfaces to existing systems – getting access to enterprise databases. This is where the Jedox Integrator comes into play. With this user-friendly and powerful tool, users have the opportunity to combine all database systems with the multidimensional Jedox OLAP server – and thus quickly and easily integrate BI/EPM applications with Jedox into existing IT landscapes. This ability enables users to have important data wherever it is needed.
Security is also an important issue here. Because HR data is typically confidential, companies don’t want to give all employees access to the wages and salary information on individuals. So being able to define or restrict users is an important function that Jedox provides.
3. Collecting Data
The third step of the process is bringing in the actual data. Typically when doing HR planning, a company knows most of the people working next year are resident this year, because staff is largely stable year to year. Over the course of a year, a company may lose several people, may add to fill those losses; but the majority of those who will be onboard are already there. So the organization knows their names, wages, managers, etc. This data is the basis for planning.
For people to contribute to the HR planning phase, they need to submit actual data in a useable form. Once the strategic goals are established, the planner must focus on individuals:
- Whom do I need to keep?
- What function or functions do I need to add to the team?
- When should this happen: Q1 or Q4?
- Is there a lengthy process in finding qualified personnel?
It might be that you can’t add until Q4. The answers to such questions impact costs, but they also impact productivity. Contributing on the planning level is a major step. Usually with workforce management you talk about individuals; but with new hires, you don’t know an individual. You do, though, have a personality or profile in mind (e.g., experience, education, salary level).
Good planning systems provide “delta planning,” so instead of having to punch in all the data, you only enter the changes. For example, you may have several people on board and one is leaving. So there will be an increase in salary to fill that position. In a good system, you put in the increase but not the total wages before and after the increase. This process is much more efficient: taking over existing data and only putting in the changes, rather than re-inputting everything.
How Jedox Technology supports the process
This step is where Jedox’s Web technology provides significant advantage by delivering streamlined forms that save time and effort by allowing users to inspect actuals as well as input planning data online. Particularly when HR planning is distributed, this process involves a potentially large number of contributors who typically don’t do HR planning as a primary function. So the input forms must be convenient, self-sufficient, and readily understandable, or the planning will lose momentum.
Jedox supports and sustains momentum by providing online forms that meet those requirements, and participation is further supported as planning managers need only send out a simple URL for users to access everything they need to contribute effectively. There is no need to install an application on every computer. Additionally, there is no need for training, as the forms are intuitive.
You want to kick-start your HR planning with an easy to use, prebuilt planning model? Discover the Jedox Model for HR professionals and test-drive the application in the Jedox Marketplace (no download required):