3-3-Workforce Management

Workforce Management

Workforce management ensures the appropriate level of knowledge, skills and abilities are available in the agency to carry out its critical activities today and in the future.

What is Workforce Management?

Workforce planning is defined as “the organization's coherent framework of human capital policies, programs, and practices to achieve human capital requirements that are directly tied to and supportive of the goals, objectives and outcomes of the agency's strategic plan. It is the planning mechanism for assuring that the organization has the right people, with the right competencies, in the right place, at the right time.”4

Workforce management includes: the development of new job descriptions aligned with critical needs; deployment of programs related to employee compensation and rewards; succession planning; leadership development; and training programs to develop soft skills and cultural competencies, as well as cross-training.

How Does Workforce Management Support Capability-Building?

Workforce management creates and develops the human resources needed to carry out the strategies, goals and objectives of the agency. By actively incorporating workforce management, the agency has the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to deploy its most critical activities today, and quickly respond to future human capital needs.5

Ten key DOT workforce needs are:

• Attracting and retaining talent
• Retooling the workforce to meet evolving business needs
• Developing the next generation of leaders
• Downsizing
• Preserving institutional knowledge
• Employee conflicts and performance issues
• Outsourcing
• Organizational change – reengineering and reorganizing
• Improving HR efficiency and effectiveness6

By employing workforce management, transportation agencies can reflect on the gaps created by these workforce needs and create additional capability in these areas.

What Does Workforce Management Look Like in Practice?

Workforce management refers to activities engaging in:

• Strategic workforce planning
• Recruitment and retention practices
• Ensuring seamless transition of processes, roles and responsibilities
• Supporting staff engagement
• Developing talent
• Strategic outsourcing to build specialized skills or handle temporary needs

Table 3.2 below includes examples of the subcategories within workforce management, along with the associated activities and mission critical capabilities that are built through workforce management.

Table 3.2 Workforce Management Strategies

Strategy subcategorySample ActivitiesCapabilities Addressed
Strategic workforce planningSummarize likely future retirement trajectory for key position typesAligning Skills to Needs
Technology Adoption
Operations Focus
Recruitment and retentionModify position descriptions and job postingsAligning Skills to Needs
Attracting & Retaining Workforce
Technology Adoption
Operations Focus
Succession planningIdentify critical positions and potential successorsAligning Skills to Needs
Agility & Resilience
Technology Adoption
Operations Focus
Employee engagementEmployee satisfaction surveysAttracting & Retaining Workforce
Agility & Resilience
Professional developmentLeadership trainingAligning Skills to Needs
Attracting & Retaining Workforce
Agility & Resilience
Technology Adoption
Operations Focus
OutsourcingIdentify functions to outsourceAligning Skills to Needs
Agility & Resilience
Technology Adoption
Operations Focus

California Statewide Workforce Planning

In 2013, the Department of Government Operations started an initiative to understand and modernize the civil service system in California. updating human resources processes, websites and other tools to consolidating obsolete job titles and update processes. As part of their ongoing Civil Service Improvement effort, California conducted an evaluation of challenges and trends. The results are summarized in the 2016 Statewide Workforce Planning Report, which details a number of issues related to its workforce, including:

• Inability to recruit qualified candidates
• Complex civil service hiring process
• Lack of essential competencies
• Lack of diversity
• Retention issues
• Lack of advancement opportunities7

In response to the report, the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) developed a Statewide Strategic Plan and required agency plans. Since then, CalHR has developed a comprehensive set of workforce planning tools to help the state’s agencies, including the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans), manage workforce and succession planning.8

Their Workforce Planning Toolkit for State Supervisors and Manager includes:

• Strategic Workforce Plan
• Strategic Succession Plan
• Guides and templates
• Statewide Onboarding Program
• Articles
• Leadership competency model
• Mentoring Handbook

They also provide a set of tools by category to assist practitioners in:

• Analyzing workforce data
• Reviewing noteworthy practices in other states
• Implementing a workforce plan
• Evaluating a workforce plan
• Networking with other HR professionals
• Understanding current workforce trends

By incorporating statewide workforce planning, California has increased their agency capability to recruit and retain staff with skills needed for the future, developed capability to manage workforce change and incorporated a workforce management system to facilitate the capability to create and support a learning culture.