Your people are your greatest asset, and in today’s turbulent times, they are the key to business continuity.

That makes it crucial to pay close attention to their wellbeing, engagement, and loyalty. It also means you need to plan effectively for changes in your workforce, such as promotions and departures.

The changing external forces of today’s business world have driven home the importance of maintaining flexibility in your business and preparing multiple plans for the future. This is why when it comes to workforce planning, savvy HR leaders are now preparing a selection of plans to address different potential needs.

To get your preparations up to speed and ensure that your business will have the talent it needs as it evolves, take advantage of our workforce planning templates below. They have everything you need to get you started, whether you’re building a wider workforce strategy or preparing for more specific periods of role transition.

(And if you’re wondering, “what is workforce planning?” check out our handy guide first.)


What is a workforce planning template, and why do you need one?

A workforce planning template is a tool that poses the right questions to enable you to shape a clear and achievable workforce strategy. It encourages HR leaders to precisely assess their future workforce needs and to identify gaps in their current teams.

A workforce planning template might, for example, help you identify a suitable candidate for a new position before that role becomes available and keep this decision linked to the longer-term needs of your company.

Spotting skills gaps before they occur can mitigate the knowledge loss when a senior team member leaves, helping you lay the foundations for information transfer and effective succession planning so that people can succeed in relevant roles.

Fundamentally, an effective workforce plan will allow you to guide your company closer to its future form in service of your overarching business objectives. Workforce planning templates, integrated with modern HR tech, allow you to track workforce planning metrics, for example, via a headcount planning template, and make data-driven decisions about your workforce. They are a crucial element of your HR toolkit.

<<Download and print these templates to build a comprehensive workforce strategy>>

Our workforce planning templates

Explore our free workforce planning templates below and find those most suited to your specific uses.

Strategic workforce planning template

Workforce planning processes are far simpler when you have a tried-and-tested model to get you started. Our strategic workforce planning template takes you through the key steps needed to build a comprehensive plan for your future people needs.

It helps you outline your intended direction of travel, identify key workforce gaps, build a workforce planning solution, and assess progress.

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Workforce development plan template

Developing your people not only helps you fill future staffing needs but also increases the happiness and loyalty of your teams. Use this template to identify key goals and steps for supporting talent development.

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Workforce transition plan template

Workforce transition plans help you deal with big changes in your business, and particularly those which affect your management or leadership teams.

When a senior leader is promoted, moves on to another business, or retires, it can be quite a disruptive period for any organization. Similarly, changing business needs can trigger changes to team structures or working arrangements. In both cases, it’s important to prepare for moments of transition, gathering a list of responsibilities and expectations, and planning for knowledge transfer.

Use our template to help you get started.

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Workforce gap analysis templates

Identifying gaps in your workforce’s skill sets is an important data-gathering step as you plan for your business’s future needs. It’s important to look at both the big picture and the fine detail, as you assess how well prepared your people are for the changes that are likely to affect your business in the future.

Using our templates can help you to identify gaps in your workforce: The first allows you to analyze an individual’s skill set and can help you to drive appropriate learning and development (L&D) programs, while the second is aimed at assessing whether your teams have the right capabilities and headcount to tackle future challenges.

1. Individual skills gap analysis (with example)

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2) Workforce-wide gap analysis

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Using workforce planning templates to implement your workforce plan

Once you’ve identified which workforce planning templates best fit your needs, next up is putting in place the work needed to carry them out.

Generally speaking, there are three main steps to follow:

1. Gather the team

A large project like workforce planning requires clear leadership. Identify an HR team member who can organize the project and help keep things on track, and assign additional resources to match their needs.

2. Set clear goals

Drawing on your existing internal data, it’s important to first chart the big picture before drilling down into the details. Identify where you are now and where you want the business to be, and associate these with a timeline and specific metrics, such as headcount or skills gaps that you need to fill.

With these criteria in place, it will be possible to create a detailed workforce plan with tangible—and achievable—steps.

3. Repeat, repeat, repeat

With times and business needs changing so rapidly, your workforce plan also needs to stay up to date.

A truly adaptable workforce requires a regularly evolving plan. So it’s important to implement regular meetings to keep things up to date. That way you can feel confident that your strategy remains sound, and that you’re truly prepared for all potential outcomes—and unforeseeable challenges, too.

Workforce planning: The devil is in the details

Workforce planning is a key element in your strategic arsenal as you prepare your business for an uncertain future.

Building resilience and agility in your teams and preparing succession plans is the best way of instilling confidence that you will be appropriately resourced. It’s also the best way to ensure your organization will have everything—and everyone—it needs to overcome the challenges ahead.

With our free workforce planning templates, it’s easy to get started laying the foundations for your future success.