Leveraging data analytics to address workforce challenges

Human resources professionals are under intense pressure to use the wealth of employee data they have available to address a variety of workforce issues, from compensation to finding the right people. Yet many struggle with where and how to start the analytics process. There’s a temptation to look at external data as a starting point, but looking at what your competitors are doing provides just one view to consider in order to achieve your organisation’s workforce goals.

To get analytics right, you need to start by identifying the high-value workforce issues — those critical to your organisation’s success — and look at the relevant data you already have before venturing outside to see what peers are doing. Here’s a suggested approach for getting your analytics programme on track.

Start with the problem

Understanding your fundamental business issues will help you define your workforce issues

Your analytics programme should be closely linked to your organisation’s business goals. These goals differ based on industry, location and talent needs, so by understanding your fundamental business issues, you will be able to define your workforce issues.

Let’s say you are in the IT industry and your organisation is facing a business problem common to many tech companies: gender imbalance. Your business leaders tell you they want to reverse this situation and achieve gender balance within the organisation, but they may be having a hard time attracting and keeping female employees. This then becomes a workforce issue.

Use internal data to analyse the problem

With a clearer understanding of the wider problem, your next step would be to look at your own data for clues on how to solve it. What patterns within your employee population support your company’s goal? More importantly, where are the gaps that don’t?

Through internal analysis, you will be able to uncover why your organisation tends to hire more men than women. Perhaps it has to do with unconscious bias that can be addressed through training and education programs.

Create a hypothesis about where you need to intervene to close the gaps

Once you have pinpointed the gaps, you can start developing theories on how to close them. In the context of achieving gender balance, what changes need to be made to your workforce programmes to achieve it? The answer could include more flexible work schedules, better training or development programmes, a change in your attraction and recruitment strategy, or others.

Look at external benchmarks for confirmation of the hypothesis

After your recommendations have been developed, check them against the market to see if they are competitive, or if you need to make adjustments before implementation. To access data for benchmarking, you could try the 2016 Workforce Analytics Report – Asia Pacific

Create your dashboard and monitor progress

With your analysis completed and your theories confirmed, you are now ready to turn those fresh insights into action to address your workforce issue. A dashboard can help you measure the progress against key milestones, course-correct as needed and keep your project on track.

About Sambhav Rakyan

Sam Rakyan leads the Willis Towers Watson Data Services business in Asia Pacific. He has over ten years of experien…
Categories: Analytics, Leadership and Talent | Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *