Workforce analytics have become the decision-maker’s best friend when it comes to improving engagement and productivity. Like never before, HR professionals can connect talent management to learning and development activities.
Additionally, data produced from this powerful practice can help organizations out-perform competitors. Yet, there seems to be a significant gap between intent and action. It is as if some organizations are unclear on how to get the most out of the abundance of information.
Frankly, this advanced set of data analysis can seem intimidating if strategic planning is not used in conjunction with data analysis tools. Metrics deliver a comprehensive measurement process for workforce performance.
Where necessary, analysis of staffing, training and development, and recruitment provides a broader view for building stronger workforces. In a nutshell, in-depth analysis of the workforce:
- Addresses the strategic role that HR must play to overcome human capital challenges
- Seeks to position HR for driving business strategy based on hiring, retention and replacing employees
- Strives to overcome hindrances because of technical and skill-related deficits
The importance of workforce analytics is not lost on many executives. However, making a clear connection between use of the data and organizational improvements is the main challenge.
Educating decision-makers on how much there is to gain will hopefully reverse that line of thinking.
Use Analytics to Define KSAs
Every organization needs a firm understanding of the knowledge, skills and abilities its current workforce brings to the table. Otherwise, management is incapable of making smart decisions for placing its most valuable assets in the right positions.
This also hinders effective recruitment strategies to recruit, hire and retain top industry talent. Any gaps are filled through either internal mobility or external hires. Thus, workforce analytics is useful to do accomplish two things.
First, HR is strengthened to retain valuable talent. Identifying top performers and having retention plan will keep MPVs highly engaged and motivated to achieve organizational goals. The organization ensures operation continuity while activating space for future growth.
Second, performance evaluations are paired with actual data linked to departmental needs. Organizations can distinguish between low performers and high performers. Management gains insight on closing performance gaps.
Compensation, rewards and additional training is applied evenly and effectively.
Determine Strategies When It’s Time to Retrain or Reduce the Workforce
Another effective way to take advantage of analyzing data regarding employees is by improving the approach to making tough decisions. When an organization needs to rethink its staffing processes, collecting past and current information about employees is very beneficial.
In some situations, the organization may need to retrain employees on the use of new software in the industry. Other situation may require unfortunate reductions in the workforce. Strategies are easily developed with a clear view of which changes will have the least impact on operations.
Additionally, concerns about the impact of layoffs or a loss in the intellectual capital of employees can also be minimized. For starters, HR will use data collection to:
- Emphasize the importance of collaborating and sharing of knowledge within and across departments
- Ensure critical knowledge is retained before layoffs go into effect
- Develop career paths and succession plans to hold onto institutional knowledge
- Show senior management that minimizing productivity losses from departures is a critical investment
More activity towards reassignments, reallocation of resources and retraining move higher on the priority scale. Eventually, acknowledgment of the importance of using analytics partnered with planning and implementation builds a stronger workforce.
Further, organizational productivity improves as the network of connecting parts become visible to all decision maker.
Understand What is Happening and Why
For many organizations, workforce analytics is the answer to strategic questions such as:
- Have we aligned our people strategy with our corporate goals?
- Have we hired the right talent? If so, have we put them in the right places?
- Where can we improve talent deficits?
- Do we have a plan to develop the next generation of leaders to take our organization forward?
- What segments of our workforce are at-risk of leaving the organization?
From a strategic standpoint, these are powerful questions that provide illuminating answers when viewed through the prism of analytical data. Correlating data from multiple streams into one location helps to make strategic decisions easier.
Organizations are empowered to hone current business strategies. Use of this data identifies leading indicators of which areas are most effective. In areas where deficits may exist, HR and management can formulate action plans for the organization can achieve its business goals.
Analytics takes the guess work out of trying to determine how labor costs affect profits. Empirical evidence is used to improve profitability with workforce decisions. HR can develop targeted initiatives that will move the needle in the right direction.
Relevant pain points for each manager is identified so they can map out an approach to improving areas of concern.
Other Uses for Analytics
In addition to the aforementioned solutions, workplace analytics answer many other operational issues. All or most are directly related to how decisions will affect the talent pool.
From improving the leadership development program to improving safety at work locations, the organizational environment is headed for great improvements. That is because this data collection process gives the organization what it needs to make the right investments.
Analytics assists with talent acquisition by gathering a significant amount of information on candidates. Data such as employment history, education, social media activity, and more open up unstructured data sources.
With this information, the organization has a holistic view of a potential employee before ever making a job offer.
Coupled with new areas of social science about emotional intelligence and what motivates certain employees, HR can unlock new insights into making the best hiring decisions.
Integrating such disparate data with traditional recruiting data helps in making more informed decisions. Possibly, the same data can enable HR and management to predict attrition rates.
Having a significant amount of data when an employee is hired is beneficial in making talent investment decisions. Intended outcomes improve as organizations uncover the relationship talent acquisition intelligence has with hiring practices.
HR and managers can use the data to create customized development plans that help to increase retention and engagement. Eventually, successful analysis becomes a win-win for the organization and its employees.