People analytics is a relatively new way of understanding human capital within an organization. This understanding not only comes in terms of people and talent but also in terms of the software and programming that helps support the analytics side. This type of analytics is quickly becoming an instrumental piece of HR support and structure when it comes to building a company’s workforce and planning labor and staffing.
People analytics is most broadly defined as “talent analytics or HR analytics…[the] method of analytics that can help managers and executives make decisions about their employees or workforce.”
The power of people analytics for Workforce planning
Here are some of the ways to use people analytics to solve workplace planning issues.
Identifying and filling talent gaps
One of the main benefits of people analytics is that it helps businesses look at the performances of each department and better understand what’s missing.
Would adding a manger to one team help give it the structure it needs to be able to be more productive or understand the expectations more readily? Is one employee consistently achieving unsatisfactory review ratings?
Being able to see information like this in a database can help businesses understand what talent they might need to bring on board or what changes might need to be made across departments to bring up performance.
Solving labor issues
If your teams are constantly racking up over time, people analytics can help you effectively track this and help your organizational leadership understand if it would be more cost effective to hire more staff instead of paying out over time. It can also help indicate if certain times of the year, seasons, or promotions are causing labor spikes that you can prepare hand beforehand – perhaps by upping regular production expectations so that overtime during a busier season will be less necessary.
Similarly, people analytics can help to solve workplace staffing issues by helping businesses understand their levels of productivity and profitability as it relates to the number of people working on tasks and projects.
Is the number of salary dollars required to use this team going to be a worthwhile investment based on revenue projections? If a project in the pipeline is likely going to cause a burden on the current staff and hinder their ability to keep up with other work, can you get ahead of the project and hire temporary employees in the interim?
People analytics help you see potential problems ahead of time and make workforce planning decisions accordingly.
Employee satisfaction and engagement
Employee retention is a huge priority in modern HR. While some companies use regular employee feedback as a way of measuring satisfaction – and surveys and forums are certainly part of many analytics metrics – it is also important to analyze other objective employee engagement data, like sick days, productivity, and turnover.
Are people problems originating from specific departments, related to certain times of the year, or consistently happening with people who report to the same supervisor? Having indicators like this helps businesses identify trouble spots that might otherwise go under the radar.
Data is an important driving force of business operations, strategy, and growth, mostly by understanding patterns that prompt you to ask questions that require solutions. Many salespeople and marketing teams already rely on analytics to help them understand the ROI on their efforts and the success of their strategies. This is one reason that HR teams are working to more closely align themselves with data-oriented strategies, like using people analytics to help answer questions about performance and employee influence and contributions.
Strategic workforce planning is posed to be the future of how HR works to organize their staffing decisions and new position approval. People analytics offer businesses a wealth of information to help them make better decisions about hiring and utilizing staff to help meet their corporate goals.