Manpower Planning in Human Resources Management

Posted by | May 28, 2020 | blog

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Manpower planning, sometimes referred to as Personnel Planning, HR Planning, Workforce Planning or Human Capital Planning, is a form of supply and demand management aimed at reducing the incidence or risk of either surplus (which could result in inefficiency or shortage and therefore ineffectiveness) of relevant kinds of workforce in an organisation.

Manpower Planning is the overall planning process that ensures that the right number and quality of people are anticipated for use at the right time and job positions. It is about having the right number of employees, with the right talent and skills at the right jobs, at the right time performing the right activities (Lynch 1968).

Bennett (1995) further defined Human Capital Planning as an attempt to forecast how many and what kind of employees will be required in the future, and to what extent this demand is likely to be met. Oriloye (1999), says Manpower Planning is a strategy for the acquisition, utilization, improvement and return of “ the enterprise’s human resources”.  

Manpower Planning estimates the (uncertain) demand for each grade and skills of employees; estimates the (uncertain) supply of labour of the appropriate grades and skills and where there is discrepancy between demand and supply, takes appropriate measures that will reduce demand or improve the supply.

It should be understood that Manpower Planning is not done in isolation but in tandem with organisational long and short goals and with tremendous imputs from the departments and other components of the company. It is a futuristic activity.

Ojo (1998), says the objectives of manpower planning can be divided into two broad objectives:

a). To provide for the present and future personnel needs of an enterprise both quantitatively and qualitatively; and

b). To ensure the optimum use of personnel currently employed.  

Organisations as a matter of fact, through its periodic appraisal programme, are expected to have knowledge of present skills available within the organisation, in terms of adequacy and otherwise and bear in mind time and future targets, so as to have idea of skills required in the organisation.

On the strength of this, action plans are put in place to replace skills that are obsolete, trainings are organised to correct the skills-gap with a view to keeping optimum level of skills for present and future requirements.

Manpower planning process entails:

– Analysing current manpower in the organisation in terms of adequacy, deficiency, or surplus skills;
– Forecasting future manpower needs;
– Analysing sources and availability of supply of skills;
– Drawing up plans to match demand to supply; and
– Monitoring implementation of plan

Supply and Demand Forecast:

Supply and demand forecast of labour, requires skills and there are several methods that could be used to make estimates:

– Statistical method
– Delphi technique
– Constant measures (arithmetic method)
– Expert opinion
– Computer use

Genuine Manpower Planning will:

– Ensure recruitment and retention of required quantity and quality of human capital;

– Assist management in forecasting labour turnover, minimize it and improve employee welfare;

– Ensure appropriate improvement in the standards, knowledge and abilities of employees;

– Give appropriate/ exact profile of workers with regards to their ages, sexes, tribes, location etc;

– Give accurate statistics of manpower at the macro level and enable government plan for the employed and unemployed in the society;

– Aid in succession planning;

– Anticipate the impact of technological changes and make plans to upgrade existing and future skills needed;

– Provide information necessary to meet diversification;

– Allow for easy replacement of employees who retire, die, resign or are dismissed from the enterprise;

– Assess shortages or surpluses of labour and also reconcile same;

– Assist in manpower budgeting;

– Ensure optimum human resource utilization;

– Foster cordial industrial relations;

– Minimize the incidence of non-availability of the required labour force for the organization.  

Manpower planning is a dynamic process and it requires continuous adjustment since the goals and objectives of organizations are not stable and its environment are uncertain. Proper labour planning assists organisations generate very useful data that enables her manage and utilise her human resources for optimal performance.

Adequate implementation of Manpower Planning will result in tremendous improvement in the bottomline of organisations as the Human Resource is the fulcrum on which every other factors of production revolve. 

Contributed by Agolo Uzorka Eugene, CEO/ Lead Consultant, Eugene + George Consulting Limited (www.eugenegeorgeconsulting.com)

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