FAQ: Integrated Planning
Integrated planning is central to a healthy organization that attracts and retains competent, committed and engaged employees. A sound integrated plan aligned to the organization’s business lines and direction can help organizations secure the right people, build a supportive work environment and develop the capacity to ensure its success.
The following document was prepared to support and guide senior management in their integrated planning so that their organizations have the skills to meet future needs.
- What is integrated planning?
- How does an organization prepare an integrated plan?
- Who prepares the integrated plan?
- What are the benefits of integrated planning?
- What are the benefits to managers for having an integrated plan?
- What are the benefits to employees when their organization has an integrated plan?
- What kind of information should I consider to help me start my planning process?
- How can my organization’s demographic information be used to maximize decision making?
- How can I prepare an integrated plan in instances where it is unclear what my annual budget will be?
- How can my organization build on the momentum achieved through a good planning exercise?
- How can integrated planning ensure that my organization has the skills of the future?
1. What is integrated planning?
Integrated planning ensures that deputy heads have the ability to maintain capacity to achieve organizational goals while having the flexibility to adapt to changing government priorities.
An effective planning exercise goes beyond planning for staffing needs. It should allow an organization to ensure that it has the right skills for current and future needs:
- Forecast the skills and competencies that it will need to develop within its workforce to meet its future demands;
- Identify the organizational and classification requirements needed to ensure that the organizational structure corresponds to current and future priorities;
- Ensure that the workforce is representative and that linguistic duality is respected; and
- Develop a better understanding of employees’ career interests and plans, including retirement.
2. How does an organization prepare an integrated plan?
Integration means human resources management is aligned with the overall strategic plan of an organization. It is a five-step process:
- Review business goals: Have a clear understanding of where your organization is heading.
- Scan the environment: Identify the external and internal factors that could affect your organization’s capacity to meet its objectives.
- Identify the gaps: Assess any shortages in your workforce, both currently and for future needs.
- Develop an integrated plan: Set priorities and develop strategies to close the gaps and align the required resources.
- Measure progress: Review your organization’s efforts and make adjustments where necessary.
Please see the Five-Steps of Integrated Planning fact sheet for more information. (insert hyperlink)
3. Who prepares the integrated plan?
Although every manager is responsible for planning within his or her own area, integrated plans are often prepared at the branch level and then rolled up into a bigger departmental plan that the deputy head approves.
Managers should work with their human resources planners and advisors in the preparation of their organization’s integrated plan.
4. What are the benefits of integrated planning?
In the long term, integrated planning ensures that deputy heads have the ability to maintain capacity while having the flexibility to adapt to changing government priorities in real time. Integrated planning ensures that key information required for sound decision making with regard to an organization’s workforce is kept up-to-date and relevant.
5. What are the benefits to managers for having an integrated plan?
Being able to respond quickly to changing priorities is critical to achieving business objectives. An integrated plan equips managers with knowledge and a good understanding of their workforce— from demographics to skills and competencies. Being able to link their business needs and objectives with their workforce complement will adequately position them to assess potential impacts on their work and ensure business continuity even through times of change.
For example, if retirements are impacting a specific area for which it is difficult to recruit new employees with the required skill sets, succession planning and learning strategies may be needed for the next two to three years to ensure that the business objectives are met.
6. What are the benefits to employees when their organization has an integrated plan?
If the organization has developed a long-range vision of where it is going and the human resources it will need to get there, it allows employees to have a better idea of the type of skills and experience needed now and in the future. It also provides a better understanding of the reasons behind the staffing decisions that managers make.
By knowing this information, employees have the ability to create a career plan that is based on something tangible and that better positions them to be successful within the future context of the organization.
7. What kind of key information should I consider to help me start my planning process?
The key information that organizations should consider includes:
- departmental and government business priorities, e.g. Report on Plans and Priorities, Departmental Performance Report, Clerk’s Report;
- workforce composition, including the demographic profile and assessment of skills, competencies, knowledge and education;
- corporate risk profile;
- people management issues affecting the workforce (sources include Public Service Employee Survey and People Management Dashboard);
- estimation of short- and long-term human resources needs, including numbers of employees and their required skills, competencies, knowledge and education; and
- labour market data to better understand where departments will be recruiting future employees.
8. How can my organization’s demographic information be used to maximize decision making?
Knowing the demographic information of an organization is critical to making informed, strategic decisions quickly. Understanding the composition of your workforce allows you to identify gaps in your organization and be better positioned to identify and prioritize your human resources challenges. Key information includes:
- total population
- age distribution
- linguistic composition and abilities
- retirement eligibility and patterns
- attrition rate
- employment equity and official languages gaps
- occupational groups
- information broken down by region and organizational units
The demographic analysis must link to business objectives, and the information needs to be analyzed in the bigger context. For example:
- Break down the information by group and level or function when looking at retirement eligibility to better understand how the impacts of retirement will affect specific areas of your organization.
- Encourage managers to have meaningful discussions with employees about their future career plans, including retirement plans, and direct them to useful resources, such as the Public Service Pension and Benefits Web Portal.
- Identify the skills, including official languages requirements that will be needed to meet your future business needs—considering the links between tasks and functions—which will also assist you in identifying the qualifications to consider should you need to undertake a selection for retention and layoff process in a workforce adjustment situation.
9. How can I prepare an integrated plan in instances where it is unclear what my annual budget will be?
An integrated plan has to be based on an organization’s priorities, and provide the ability to adjust based on future needs.
10. How can my organization build on the momentum achieved through a good planning exercise?
Revisit the integrated plan on a regular basis and make adjustments as circumstances change.
Keep the plan realistic and communicate updates of the plan to employees. Ensure that priorities and objectives identified in the plan are manageable.
By continuing to update the demographic information of your organization, monitoring the progress of identified strategies and providing timely information on performance measures, you will be able to continue the momentum of a good planning exercise.
11. How can integrated planning ensure that my organization has the skills of the future?
The Government is always attracting, recruiting, training and retaining talents in a highly competitive national and international context.
There is a risk when managers only consider current needs when hiring. This means that every manager in the Public Service must plan for his or her business and for the associated people requirements; know existing and forecasted talent strengths and gaps; effectively align resources (including people) to deliver results; and use planning to engage employees and achieve traction.
- Report of the Expert Panel on Integrated Business and Human Resources Planning in the Federal Public Service:
Canadian Labour Market information
- Population estimates and projections
- Provincial and local labour market information
- 2006 Census data products
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