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Step 3. Plan for the future

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SHWPF Process for step 3

In this step, you will review the workforce characteristics identified in the gap analysis from step 2. Examine the gaps in workforce capacity and capability, composition and design, sustainability, diversity, culture, wellbeing and performance. You will need to prioritise these gaps, identify potential solutions to address each one, and develop workable strategies to fill them.

Your workforce strategy should be achievable – and may not be exhaustive in terms of filling all the identified gaps. You should target enhancements in a few high-priority workforce areas – areas which will have maximum impact on the organisation’s ability to deliver results in line with its key strategic and service priorities. Additional strategies can always be added later on.

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  • After completing this step, you will have:

    • a workforce strategy with a 5-10 year timeframe that:
      • outlines the health service organisation’s workforce priorities (and their strategic origins)
      • ­identifies the objectives and strategies to be pursued in each workforce priority area
      • ­specifies the outcomes to be achieved and the performance measures that will be applied
    • action plans linked to each of the strategies, with clear accountabilities, time frames and measures.
  • Activities that you should consider during this step:

    • Review the workforce characteristics described in the gap analysis from step 2. Organise these into workforce priority areas that are clearly linked to organisational and system priorities.
    • Formulate objectives and strategy options to close the gaps. Evaluate the strategies in terms of feasibility, risk, resourcing and likely efficacy in supporting the achievement of the organisation’s priorities.
    • For each objective and set of strategies, describe the desired outcome and develop performance measures that may be used to assess the outcomes.
    • Engage and support the business to develop action plans to operationalise each of the strategies.
    • Implement the action plans, monitor progress and periodically evaluate the effectiveness of the strategies against the established performance measures. Implement required changes in subsequent planning cycles.
    • Adjust actions where required and continually review priorities, strategies and actions to ensure that they are appropriate and relevant to the health service’s evolving priorities.
  • The following information sources may be helpful in completing this step:

    • workforce profile and scenario planning outputs from step 2
    • gap analysis from step 2
    • strategy costings.
Last updated: 2 September 2020