Also found in: Dictionary.
manpower planningthe process of determining the demand and supply of labour to ensure that the organization (or national economy) has the right people with the right skills at the right time. The starting point for manpower planning is consideration of the demand for labour required by the organization. Then a stocks and flows analysis should be undertaken:
- stocks, the number of existing staff and their profits in terms of age, skills etc.;
- flows, the movement of people through the organization, especially those out of the organization and those within the organization, for example promotions, transfers, etc.
By using wastage analysis (see LABOUR TURNOVER) it should be possible to forecast what the employment numbers and the profile of the workforce will be in the future. Any gap between this and the labour requirements of the business strategy will need to be filled by RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION of new staff, TRAINING etc.
Manpower planning fell into some degree of disrepute during the early 1980s because the future was viewed as so uncertain that reliable forecasts were difficult to make. However, some planning is better than none and generally speaking those organizations which undertake some measure of planning are better situated to respond to future developments than those which do not. The shortage of school leavers in the UK in the early 1990s and the need to find ways of covering potential shortfalls in employee numbers has given a renewed respectability to manpower planning. Sophisticated manpower planning does not concentrate exclusively on the future, however. It aims to identify weaknesses in and upgrade the quality of the current workforce. See HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT.