Making sure your people plans keep up with your growth plans

When you are running a business, strategic planning is down to you.

For many that will mean growth. You align your marketing, sales, products – but when you get it right and see business booming, there is one other very important element to align if you want the growth to be sustainable – your people.

In the lead up to its 75th birthday earlier this year, the NHS published its first ever Long Term Workforce Plan. While it may not need to do any marketing to get new “customers”, the NHS certainly understands that it’ll need significantly more staff to look after the growing patient base in the coming years.

So this plan outlines how it will recruit and retain hundreds of thousands more staff over the next 15 years.

Highlights include:

  • Doubling medical school training places to 15,000 by 2031
  • Offering degree apprentices so staff can earn while they learn – by 2028, one in six of all clinical staff training courses will be offered through apprenticeships
  • A renewed focus on retention: with pension reform, greater flexible working options and career development

What is workforce planning?

Workforce planning delivers the right people and skills in your business as it evolves over time. It does not need to be complicated, but done well will make sure you have the right resources within your company to deliver your broader business goals.

You will look at the people and skills you need and have now, and what you predict you will need in the future. Any discrepancies are known as a skills gap. For example, in the NHS’s planning they identified a current gap of 112,000 staff. Their analysis revealed that, without any intervention, by 2037 this would grow to 360,000.

Acting on your workforce planning

When you understand the gap you face, you can start to look at the initiatives which could be taken.

Areas which may be appropriate for you to explore include:

Recruitment strategy 

From what channels you will use, to the onboarding process for new staff as they join.

A premises review 

Will you have sufficient workspace to host your growing team? Will flexible working solutions fit in with your strategy?

Pathways to recruitment 

Do you employ graduates? Can you take advantage of the funding offered by the apprenticeship levy? Are employees with more experience what’s required?

Learning and development 

Do the answers to your skills gap lie within your current workforce, where a training programme can unlock the potential of existing staff?


How well do you currently retain staff? Are there ways in which you could improve this: from offering more opportunity, to improving your employee benefits package?

The role of technology 

In our fast-pace world, how will technological developments such as AI impact the job your team needs to do?

Help with people planning

It is clear that proper people planning is essential for achieving your business goals. When you are working in such strategic areas, enlisting the support of experts is invaluable; ensuring you progress on the right path, avoiding the pitfalls and taking the opportunities.

At The HR Dept, we have years of experience in helping business owners undertake such planning. So if you want to find out how we could help you, get in touch with The HR Dept here.

How can we help?