While improving efficiency and building relationships are critical, HR leaders must also be able to think strategically. This means understanding not only the strategic challenges and ambitions of the organization but also the implications of those challenges and ambitions for HR. Tools like strategic workforce planning (SWP) can help HR managers understand how actions taken within HR can support such strategic goals as improving efficiency through digitization or through reorganizations and redeployments.
4. Anchor HR strategy in strategic workforce planning. The need for this approach in the public sector is growing, but putting it into practice requires a comprehensive strategy that includes accurate modeling of labor supply and demand. (See “The Hallmarks of Successful Strategic Workforce Planning.”) SWP ensures that HR policies in recruiting, training, mobility, and retention within and across agencies, among other areas, are in line with the future needs of the organization. At the same time, it allows HR decisions to be closely linked to the organization’s overall strategy. SWP can lead to a reevaluation of an organization’s geographic footprint, for example, so that offices are located where critical talent is most available.