WORKFORCE ANALYTICS: Need of The Hour


No dimension of an enterprise is more important than its people. It is the most decisive and the most important factor for success. Any product in reality is the sum and substance of intangibles – human ideas, transformed into something tangible- a commodity.

Workforce analytics is the comprehensive and continuously assembly and evaluation of data on “who is doing what?” and “how well” in an organization across the country and around the world. It is a strategy implemented to extract maximum out of the workforce. It is not only about monitoring the performance but also about analyzing and motivating it. It is a technology to gain visibility into the organization’s largest single expense- the flexible workplace. Workforce analytics enables companies to identify human capital needs before they even arise and efficiently allocate the resources to projects.

For any business function to perform outstandingly, it is important to match goal of the organization with the goal of that function. Any organization looks forward to earning maximum returns on minimum investments. In workforce analytics, data is used to find out effectiveness of particular investment made in some strategic moves.

Some of the strategic advantages are as follows

  • Monitoring various performance initiatives
  • Measuring returns on particular initiatives
  • Identifying critical business matrices
  • Procuring accurate data with ease

Determine critical Outcomes:

An organization must first determine the top two to three most critical outcomes on which to focus. For example, outcomes such as productivity, turnover and customer satisfaction are the most commonly desired ones- but these are not end of the list. Financial indicators, costs and safety related data are all outcomes that can be connected to employees.

Create cross functional data teams:

Next, the need to identify various owners of outcome data shall arise. The data owners become the key members of cross functional data teams that needs to be organized. This team should consist of measurement experts and HR leadership.

Analyze data and Build Programs:

Analyzing includes finding statistical relationship between various components. It can include structural equation and modeling.

This component includes 3 step

  1. Understanding the relationship between employee initiative, skills, behaviors, attitudes and meaningful business outcomes
  2.    Prioritizing types of intervention
  3. Calculate expected ROI to determine levels of investment and returns

Measured and adjust:

In the last step, re-measurement to assess progress and calculation of actual return on investment is important. Business leaders understand the importance of goal setting and measurement. They also understand the importance of creating a culture of measurement and accountability. Like other organizational decisions, leaders should make slight adjustments to initiatives along the way based on regular measurement.

Understanding the often shifting requirements of human capital and their relationship with long-term business strategy is a senior executive conversation and one that should be couched in a rigorous, fact based analysis of workforce performance. This could well prove to be challenging for most HR professionals since only small percentage are currently using sophisticated analytics to assess human capital performance.

An economy that has never been more complicated demands a more comprehensive commitment to measuring the most fundamental ingredient in the success or failure of any enterprise: People.

(This article has been written by Sandesh Chindarkar, a first year management student at SIMSREE)

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