Feb 20

What is workforce planning and why is it important?

Posted: 10 February 2020

Workforce planning helps you find and keep enough staff who have the right values, skills and experience to provide high-quality, person-centred care now, and in the future.

With a growing demand for adult social care services, it’s more important than ever for employers to think ahead in terms of their future workforce needs.

What is workforce planning?

A workforce plan sets out your future workforce needs to meet your business objectives.

Workforce planning involves many areas, such as:

  • safe staffing: making sure there are enough staff to deliver high-quality care and support.
  • recruitment and retention: ensuring you recruit and retain people with the right values and skills.
  • developing your workforce: identifying the skills required now and over time and developing training to support your workforce.
  • succession planning: identifying and developing existing staff to fill roles in the future.

How do you start workforce planning?

To get started, you need to ask yourself a few questions such as:

  • How many of your staff aged 50 plus, are likely to retire in the next three years?
  • How many of these are care workers, senior carers or managers?
  • What strategy do you have in place to address any workforce gaps?
  • Have you considered your current business plans and where you want to be in the future?
  • What changes do you need to make to make this happen?
  • What does your workforce need to look in the future to support your business plans and trends in your local area?
  • What is your current vacancy and turnover rate?

Once you’ve started to ask these questions, you will see some areas that may need further consideration. For example,

  • If you have a large proportion of staff aged 50 plus, it’s likely that some of them will be thinking about reducing their hours or retiring in the next few years. If these staff are in caring roles, how will this impact on your service delivery if you don’t plan ahead?
  • If you are employing under 25s, are you equipping them with the skills they need to grow within your organisation and become managers of the future?

It’s vital that you understand who makes up your workforce as part of the workforce planning process.

How can ASC-WDS help you with your workforce planning?

If you’ve got an ASC-WDS account, it’s a good way to look at your workforce data, workforce demographics and training requirements. 

There is also a wealth of information on the workforce intelligence site using data from ASC-WDC, to produce reports that look at:

  • local labour market information
  • future demand for care services in your area
  • trends or patterns in worker information such as sickness rates
  • how your turnover and vacancy rates compare with other providers locally, regionally and nationally. 

All of this information will allow you to see current and potential gaps in your workforce and allow you to develop your workforce plan.

Find out more

Take a look at our video with Manor Community care home, an Accolades 2019 and 2020 winner, who talk about how they use ASC-WDS to help with their workforce planning. Sophie Chester-Glyn, Managing Director says:

“ASC-WDS is really helpful in helping us to understand who our workforce is and the profile of our workforce including age and ethnicities”

If you don’t have an ASC-WDS account already take a look at what it can do and sign up for an account here.

Follow our campaign

You can keep up-to-date with our workforce planning campaign here where we’ll add new information, links to useful articles, blogs and resources to help you over the next couple of months.

You can also follow the campaign on social media using #CareWorkforcePlanning