Take Action! Use Workforce Data to Make Strategic Decisions
The smartest leaders realize the benefits of using workforce data to make better business decisions. In the past, it took a great amount of time to gather data from a number of different surveys and processes. Today, however, using advanced workforce analysis applications, businesses can quickly pull information from a number of sources to generate meaningful reports.
Workforce data management is based on facts
HR can respond well to this type of practice because it simplifies and makes decisions clearer. By using the reporting features built into workforce data analysis applications, leaders can make decisions without all the complex information being thrown out there randomly.
How workforce data can be used by HR
Workforce data applications allow Human Resource leaders to gather, combine, and run comparisons of raw data. Oftentimes this means presenting it in graphical format in order to see more clearly historical trends and to generate scenarios based on alternate factors. For example, a company may be in the process of forming a new division to handle a specific project. The company can pull employees from other departments, or hire new employees for this goal. By plugging this data into a “what if” report, the outcome, and impact can be viewed before any movement takes place.
Data presented in this format can help all departments understand the impact that certain factors have on hiring decisions, Personnel costs, employee development programs, and business risk management. Managers can use this information when placing Talent into specific positions. Instead of basing decisions on reactionary gut feelings. Workforce data provides the facts and evidence needed to move forward with strategic business decisions.
Dealing with talent shortages and succession planning
Workforce data management allows human resources to go beyond standard reporting and to get a deeper insight into the organization. It allows the HR team to see what is working and what isn’t working. It can also establish clear connections between HR programs and business results. So, when presenting a potential new approach to a common personnel problem, data can be used to demonstrate without a doubt the direct, predictive impact that any decision can make – helping HR to take a seat at the decision-making table.
Workforce data provides specific actionable information that can identify any potential efficiencies or gaps in an organization’s talent. This can help with recruitment efforts because HR can then focus on hiring talent in these areas. Workforce analytics is powerful because it can be used with succession planning as well as understanding how to manage the increasing number of employees who are nearing retirement age. It can also support more proactive hiring of passive talent and the development efforts of millennials.
Making use of good data
With some workforce analytics products, it can be difficult to determine what data is good and what is useless to the organization. It can be easy to simply start pulling data from all sources, hoping to piece it together in some useful way. Instead, organizations must focus on good data that is collected from targeted surveys, feedback, performance, and other valid sources. A strong workforce data product has the ability to allow HR to upload information from these good sources.
Examples of workforce analysis for decision-makers
What are some of the types of workforce data that HR can use to make decisions? There really is no limit to the types of custom reports that can be generated from workforce data, but there are some specific examples that one would benefit from the most. Here are some examples of workforce data at its best:
- The Society of Human Resource Management produced a report in 2016 that showed the increasing levels of employee engagement in workplaces was up by a large percentage. This data was powerful and used by many in HR to show that programs that drive engagement are working.
- The Deloitte Millennial Survey from 2016 focused on how the largest generation of workers feels about the companies they work for, allowing HR to gain more insight into ways to improve corporate cultures and retain them.
- Global Workplace Analytics publishes annual data on the state of telecommuting around the world, data that companies can use to form their own remote employment policies and programs.
As you can see, there are many many ways of harnessing workforce data to create meaningful reports. Human Resource practitioners can get behind this data and use it for making decisions, running scenarios, and proposing changes in their organizations that can have a positive impact for years to come.
A final note – when selecting a workforce data solution for your business, it’s critical to work with a provider that understands your organizational goals. Knowing how you plan to utilize the data you have, how to strategically report on your findings, and how this can integrate with your current practices are the keys to a successful long-term relationship with the right vendor.