New HR research papers from IES

Newsletter articles

22 Sep 2015

Just published

Workforce planning: A framework for thinking about your own approach

Workforce planning paperOur new guide to workforce planning claims that the process too often fails because of poor execution. The remedy, according to the author, Peter Reilly, is to keep it as simple and focused as possible. In particular, HR should be sparing in data gathering, but ensure that those data are consistently defined and accurate.

Whilst the pressure may be on to collect as much data as possible, the paper advises stepping back to identify the important business problems and working backwards to decide what information HR needs to plan organisational resources. Specific techniques can then be applied to highlight difficulties or offer solutions, such as career mapping or scenario planning.

Peter draws on IES's 45 years of research, training and consultancy experience in workforce planning to offer guidance to HR practitioners for improving the process, and gives ten practical tips to guide them through it. The paper aims to help those who are starting out on workforce planning and those with more experience who would benefit from some advice, to review current workforce planning processes and identify pinch points.

Workforce planning infographic We have aso produced an the infographic distilling the advice offered in this paper

The HR Essentials series

This paper is the second in our new series of concise papers for busy HR professionals and line managers. The HR Essentials series offers accessible advice based on in-depth research, extensive consulting experience and ongoing conversations with leading practitioners.

The first paper in the series, by Wendy Hirsh, focused on talent and succession management.

The third paper, in which Sharon Varney offers her expertise on Organisation Design, has been published to HR Network members and will be  available more widely from 28 October 2015.


We have various new papers to look out for in the near future, including:

  • Mindfulness: IES Associate, Liz Hall, offers an overview of mindfulness, how to apply it, and the benefits it can bring to your organisations.
  • Presenteeism: IES recently carried out a research study for EDF looking at the issue of presenteeism. Valerie Garrow, IES Associate, has written a report based on the project findings, offering an insight into the concept of presenteeism, and the effects it can have on employees and organisational performance.
  • Behavioural change: At the recent HR Network Directors’ Retreat, we heard from various speakers on the subject of behavioural change. Penny Tamkin, IES Associate Director, has written a paper reflecting on the ideas raised at the Retreat, and different approaches taken by different organisations.

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