What is the difference between staffing tables and manning charts?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Manning charts/tables are for tracking employment in industrial plants while staffing tables are for tracking employment in other labor environments. Both are used to track and understand present labor distribution and to predict and understand future labor needs.

Manning charts inventory present manpower requirements and schedules. It details each plant operation, the number of workers required by each operation, the number of hours required by each operation; how each worker is classified by experience, limitations, job description, job requirement, replacement training time (manning chart definition, Merriam Webster Dictionary).

With a manning chart, management can see at a glance what production demands are, are not or need to be met; the number of workers and times required to meet the production demand. In addition, future needs for manpower, time, and training can be predicted from the manning chart.

Staffing tables illustrate staffing needs and how staffing needs are presently being met. Some staffing categories are:

  • communications,
  • marketing,
  • accounting,
  • human resources, etc.

Staffing tables show every task within each category, for instance:

  • Communications: direct mail, public relations, environmental communication, etc. 

Staffing tables provide details for every task that is staffed (or that needs to be staffed). Examples of details within tasks are provided below

  • Hours: range of hours; weekly hours; per task hours; seasonal hours; etc
  • Primary person performing task: staff; freelance contractor; consultant; board member; volunteer, etc.
  • Importance to business mission with estimated cost per year: critical; organizational support; relatively important; estimated cost.

When identifying areas where staff is needed, whether because a task is unstaffed or because tasks will combined to reduce positions or because a new task and position will be created, staffing tables detail all relevant requirements of the staffing need. Details needed include:

  • hours required,
  • supervisor,
  • cost to implement and support,
  • advantages gained,
  • priority of staffing need.

Staffing tables provide at a glance knowledge of staffing levels; staff requirements; staffing levels by task and project; types of staff dispersed or needed; staffing requirements across all categories; future staffing needs by priority and cost.