When assessing business operations, many owners and managers focus on the supply and demand of goods, services, and resources, much like economic consulting firms do.
This takes care of analyzing external factors; companies should pay the same type of attention to metrics from within the company to ensure smooth business operations. This can be done utilizing workforce analytics.
Defining Workforce Analytics
Workforce analytics are a way of measuring the behaviors of people (both employees and potential ones) to gain a comprehensive look at workforce performance. Using data analysis tools and metrics, this information can help improve not only a business as a whole, but the people within it.
Workforce analytics look at things like recruitment, staffing, training and development, personnel, and compensation and benefits. They also look at standard ratios that consist of time to fill, cost per hire, accession rate, retention rate, add rate, replacement rate, time to start, and offer acceptance rate.
This information drives better workforce planning, analysis, and management.
Setting Your People Up For Success
In terms of what it can do for current employees, it helps with employee retention. Workforce analytics can prevent people from quitting by predicting personnel turnover, gauge what employee policies are most effective (and which are not), and optimize the employee experience.
Do you give employees ample opportunity for training and improvement? Providing proper onboarding and upskilling will not just benefit the individual, but the entire business, and workforce analytics will show if you’re lacking that area.
Hiring the Right People
This gathered workforce data can help managers make better hiring decisions by predicting a candidate’s success. The data helps identify characteristics of top performers, which will directly affect the company’s productivity overall.
This in turn helps the company, as it can determine the HR team’s effectiveness at sourcing, recruiting, and managing employees.
Long-term employees are more cost-effective than those who do not stay, causing more company resources to be put to use to find replacements.
Data Gathering Methods
Getting what you need from employees to help inform these analytics can be done simply by sending out surveys.
A classic annual or bi-annual survey provides a deep dive and overall look. This will be more involved for the employees to take.
Weekly, monthly, or quarterly surveys are also an option. These are shorter and gather more frequent feedback. You can also vary the questions on each survey so employees are not answering the same thing over and over again.
Make some surveys adaptive so that they ask employees to elaborate on certain answers, particularly if the answer is leading towards an unsatisfactory experience for the employee.
Collecting Data the Effectively
A lack of trust can influence many workforce analytics efforts. If the focus is primarily on efficiency and control, employees will doubt if there are any benefits for them.
When putting out surveys to collect this data, see it from the lens of “How will employees benefit from this effort?”
Doing this makes employees more susceptible to participating if they know it will directly help them in the long run.