Strategic health workforce planning processes should be underpinned by robust leadership, engagement and governance arrangements. When put in place at the commencement of the planning process, these mechanisms will provide a strong foundation for successive planning cycles to operate.
Where appropriate and effective, leadership, engagement and governance arrangements should be integrated with other strategic planning frameworks, such as those for capital works, and digital and medical technology. For example, shared governance committees provide for better integration of planning processes and outcomes, and multi-purpose engagement channels can reduce duplication of effort, minimise resource wastage, and help to avoid stakeholder fatigue.
Senior management leadership of strategic workforce planning is a key foundation element for the process and an important success factor. Strong, positive leadership steps include:
- endorsing the role and importance of strategic workforce planning to the organisation
- championing the strategic workforce planning process with managers and staff
- driving the delivery of planning outcomes by ensuring robust governance and accountability arrangements are implemented (e.g. regular performance reporting).
Effective stakeholder engagement is a key workforce planning success factor. This starts with a detailed stakeholder matrix and a well-considered consultation and engagement plan. Engagement processes include tailored and targeted messaging that enhances clarity and stakeholder commitment.
Successful planning teams engage key stakeholders to take ownership of the process and to lead strategy development and implementation. In this way, responsibilities and successes are shared.
Governance frameworks should be robust and transparent providing clear accountabilities and delegation arrangements. It is essential to establish a formal committee structure with well-defined roles, responsibilities and processes. Clear mechanisms for consultation, integrated planning, reporting, decision-making and the escalation and resolution of issues will facilitate a smooth and efficient planning process.
Strategic workforce planning teams agree upon expectations and monitor activities related to implementing actions, risk and resource management, and measuring and reporting outcomes.