Workforce Analytics: An overview

Measure people behavior, by using statistical data and software in order to make better workforce decisions.


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What is Workforce Analytics?

Workforce analytics is defined as the use of tools and methodologies to measure the behaviors and performance of your employees, along with your employee processes. It helps in optimizing an organization’s human resource management and present data about employee aspects such as performance, engagement, morale, productivity, etc.

HR analytics provides a valuable, decision making, and productive information of a company. To achieve business goals, the HR leaders must strap up technology and business insights in which staff analytics plays a vital role. This data analysis tool gives you workforce performance and improvement report, analyze staffing, recruitment, training, development, and other benefits.

HR Analytics does not mean buying expensive software, workforce analytics tools, setting up a huge team, or lengthy processes. You can start small - have conversations with employees and record their responses. The next step would be to add managers in the loop, involve various functions as necessary, make a plan, and commit to it. Sharing the data is crucial, but you need to do it with the right and relevant managers and HR professionals. Employee data is confidential and sensitive and needs to be handled as such. Tools provide options where you can give access to a select few people or limit what other managers see. Use the data to drive initiatives, remedy any existing problems, and bring positive changes in the organization. HR Analytics will help you monitor and improve your employee engagement, employee retention, employee wellness, employee productivity, employee experience, and work culture.

How to turn your Workforce Data into Actionable Insights

Every company looks for cost savings and productivity gains, but how can they achieve within the budget? Here is the solution where they have to perform and look into it. Measure and analyze the workforce data from HR analytics and look over the performance, productivity, cost, overtime, and other factors of employees. It doesn’t require any human input; it’s an actionable tool for sound business.

Workforce analytics is presented in other forms, which include predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics, which helps in giving detailed information about the workforce.

Predictive Workforce Analytics: By this data, the company focuses on future operations like which workers having the highest potential of success within the organization and which weren’t. The predictive analytics data also gives you information about the employees who are likely to leave the organization.

Prescriptive Workforce Analytics: This analytics data provides a plan for a company that helps to develop and retain key workers of the workforce, which are uncovered from the predictive people analytics.

Workforce Analytics Software - QuestionPro Workforce

Analytics XO is your one-stop shop for understanding what exactly your employees are experiencing at the workplace and, most importantly, how these experiences are affecting the employees.

With Analytics XO, you can now gauge overall employee Net Promoter Score, employee engagement, employee retention, and willingness to put in efforts to improve themselves at work. The most effective workplace analytics are those that not only talk about “what” but also “why.”

It is more than numbers on a page. It’s your culture, your organization, and its people!

Here is how your dashboard looks like, once you receive your data from the employee surveys you have deployed.


Using Workplace Analytics to maximize Workstream Collaboration

Gartner describes workstream collaboration as a market of products that are utilized to organize, coordinate, and execute projects involving teamwork and cross-collaboration. These tools are conversation-centric and promote a collaborative environment to execute projects with higher efficiency. Organizations that utilize workstream collaboration record 21% more productivity and higher business success.

With a geographically and demographically diverse workforce now being the new normal, it has opened up the workforce to a lot of changes. We see a lot more adoption for cloud-based applications and various other tools. Workstream collaboration platforms are now commonplace, either being introduced by team managers or by the IT team.

Usage and adoption pose the biggest challenges here, mainly due to the fact that all employees will have a different understanding, need, and level of comfort. It gets difficult to get all the employees to agree to which collaboration apps to use, how, and when. Organizations, however, need to understand these apps are necessary to ensure higher levels of staff performance and output.

According to a blog on ItsWorthMore, 3 out of 4 American workers use a company-mandated chat software when at work, and 33% confessed they were actually distracted by its notifications.

We also need to understand collaborations, and the use of technology can hamper productivity, too, and increase inefficiencies and errors. So, how do we understand, track, and measure productivity and efficiency? Workplace analytics is the answer. It can help monitor each employee and understand their strengths and weaknesses and help improve your organization’s human capital management.

Advantages of Workforce Analytics

HR Analytics helps your organization become more strategic; data enables you to tackle current issues and also plan better for future activities. Let’s look at some of the benefits that HR HR Analytics offers:

  • Improve your hiring process: Talent acquisition is a critical element of your HR process; it is an all-year-round activity. Be it hiring for a new function, a larger team, or a new role altogether, your TA team is always busy. Finding the right candidate is still a task, and when they do, one can only hope everything goes well, and they join the organization. How many candidates join, how many drop-off at what stage? What job boards work the most for you? How many candidates do you need to reach out to close a position? These are just some questions that you could look at resolving through analytics. This data will help you see the bigger picture and fill in whatever gaps that are causing delays.
  • Reduce attrition: Employee retention is becoming harder every day, especially with the younger workforce, not afraid of switching jobs frequently. Conduct exit interviews, gather data, look at the reasons, patterns, and find a way to arrest employee churn (EX). HR Analytics here will go a long way in identifying what the factors contributing to attrition are and what remedial measures can be taken to avoid it in the future.
  • Improve employee experience: Managers and HR reps must meet with employees regularly to understand what factors are affecting employee experiences in positive and negative ways. This is a crucial step in improving the employee experience (EX). Many organizations fail to realize that employee experience starts at hiring. Your first interaction with a candidate before recruitment is equally crucial to any other HR-related process. EX is the summation of experiences that your employee goes through on their journey. Every behavior, step, and experience counts.
  • Make your workforce productive: Productivity levels will always go up and down, and there are a host of factors affecting that. This ranges from office infrastructure, work environment, managers and team-mates, and job satisfaction, among other things. Gathering data on what’s affecting productivity will certainly arm you with data to take corrective actions. Engagement is a significant aspect affecting workforce productivity; look at improving it. You can start by implementing a few employee engagement ideas and activities to boost the rate and build on that further.
  • Improve your talent processes: Talent processes are not only about pre-hiring, hiring, or annual performance reviews, but they are also much more than that. You need to consider training, recreational activities, and counseling, among others. While each organization is unique, some processes should be standard; these could be regular one-on-ones, skip-level meetings, etc. HR should always be monitoring their talent processes, identify challenges and bottlenecks if any, and then work on them. It’s ideal to meet with employees; however, we understand this may not always be possible or feasible. Conducting employee surveys is a good idea; get their feedback and inputs and work on them; let them know they are heard. Employee surveys don’t always have to be exit surveys, do it to see what they feel about employee benefits, how employee experience is at your organization, what changes they would like to see for improving it, etc.
  • Gain employee trust: Thanks to HR Analytics, you have access to data that lets you see what’s happening in the organization and how employees perceive it. When you are armed with data, it enables you to fix what’s supposedly broken and improve future processes. You can see what’s working and what’s not. When you bring about changes to procedures to make them better and introduce new ones, your employees take notice. They know their feedback is valued, and the management team will act on it. This is crucial to build and maintain employee trust, a critical element to high employee engagement, employee success, and employee retention percentages.

6 key trends in Workforce Analytics - 2020

When it comes to Workforce Analytics, here are a few trends that we see getting big in 2020.

  • Real-time analytics: Organizations have heavily relied on old analytics, gathered only once or twice by systems through yearly or half-yearly reviews. The trend is now changing, and with it, so are the processes and various types of statistical models. Organizations are looking to have information as and when things happen and not after the fact. Systems and methods will now look to have real-time data access so that they can take action at the right time.
  • It’s not one-time: Staff analytics is not just a one-off project. Most of these projects start as a one-time consultation. However, only with a few reports and analytics, you cannot fathom how your workforce is feeling. Don’t get me wrong, a one-time effort is excellent, but have you ever thought it might be better to develop ways to gather more frequent employee feedback?. Survey practice is changing, and so should your approach towards analytics. The more common methods used by organizations are as follows:

    - Traditional surveys are being replaced by frequently used 360-degree feedback surveys, bi-annual employee performance surveys. - Weekly, monthly, or quarterly pulse review survey to gather frequent and more feedback. - Monitoring continuous real-time employee morale and organizational mood. - Weekly, monthly, or quarterly pulse review survey to gather frequent and more feedback. - Monitoring continuous real-time employee morale and organizational mood.

  • Transparency is key: The overview of workforce data collection cannot be complete without the mention of federal regulations like GDPR and FedRamp. Here transparency is the key. GDPR is fuelling a lot of positive developments, about what kind of data needs to be collected, how to judiciously use this data, and how algorithms and analytics are used to make decisions for your workforce. Again all that glitters is not gold; there is a downside to GDPR. It has created a lot of uncertainty about what kind of data processing is acceptable. Employees can ask companies to erase their data, and they have to comply with it. The maximum fines imposed on not being able to follow the process induce restraints to take the next step forward in terms of analytics.
  • Focus on employee productivity: Most of the traditional problems in an organization are solved by recruiting new people. However, most organizations forget this leads to several issues. First, you are losing your well-experienced employees; second, your modern workforce is yet to adjust to the organization’s culture and working process. These new people will take a while to come to speed. Here you hamper the overall productivity. Using people data, you can pinpoint the characteristics of top-performing employees and the conditions that facilitate top workforce performance. These findings can primarily be used to improve productivity and also hire new candidates with similar characteristics.
  • Analytics should be employee-centric: A severe lack of trust can affect people analytics in many organizations. How do you rise above this? Stop asking what is in it for me? Instead, start making it more employee-centric. Focus your concentration on how my employees are going to benefit from the data we have collected. Your analytics dashboard should reflect meaningful data that will help you make excellent decisions for your workforce. Remember, employees are your assets, treat them likewise.
  • Change your approach: The usual tendency is a top-down approach, and most traditional organizations believe this is the right approach and is most common. HR finds it difficult to approach issues differently. Performance management is an excellent example. To change the performance management process is considered a challenge organization-wide. Employees are now playing a more active role and taking initiatives to register their timely feedback, whether about organization culture, managers, or overall workplace concerns. If you, as an organization, can gather appropriate data and make use of analytics, your employees will benefit from the changed approach.