The old maxim that an organization’s greatest asset is its workforce has shifted from being a corporate ideal into a critical reality. In the new digital economy, where information is the coin of the realm, the skills and knowledge of an organization’s workforce are vital to its existence.

Managing the workforce effectively and maximizing its value are key concerns for any organization’s leaders. Among their biggest challenges are building a robust talent pipeline to ensure smooth succession among senior managers and top performers; improving workforce skills and competencies and fostering a culture of continuous learning; integrating contingent and contract workers into the skills pool; and introducing cognitive computing systems that mostly support but sometimes replace human workers.

Automated workforce-management solutions are fast becoming essential. Traditional human resources approaches can no longer handle the increasingly complex demands of managing large workforces in the digital economy.

Human capital analytics, which combines big data and analytics technologies, provides organizations with valuable insights into the attitudes, behavior and performance of their workforces. These insights are crucial to effective workforce management.  They enable organizations, for example, to track changes to the mix of skills and competencies in their workforce; more accurately identify and profile high performers; recognize proficiency gaps; select the correct people for training and promotion; devise effective rewards and compensation; and measure subsequent performance improvements.

Human capital analytics addresses all four aspects of workforce management:

Learning: Current-state analysis assesses the training needs of the workforce and identifies workers who should upgrade their skills.  Analytics systems can prioritize training requirements, predict and measure their impact on the business and calculate their return on investment.

Performance: High performance salesforce analytics, for example, can gather and analyze data about individuals, roles, markets and geographies. This enables organizations to develop high performance profiles and models that identify and address key performance differentiators.  Sales personality; sales competency; and sales time and activity can be measured and compared with various high-performance criteria. Coaching and training needs can then be identified and development plans implemented to close performance gaps. Organizations can then measure and monitor the impact of these interventions on the performance of the business.

Rewards:  Analytics systems can assess the compensation priorities of the workforce and identify rewards preferences. This enables organizations to create rewards packages that have a high perceived value among workers, treating their employees effectively as a “Workforce of One”. .

Engagement: Analytics-enabled engagement analysis, incorporating sentiment tracking, is able to measure employee engagement across various segments of the workforce, identify what motivates engagement through assessing the impact of engagement enhancement programs, and assess the impact of engagement on the business.

In my next blog post, I’ll discuss how human capital analytics can substantially improve staff retention.

Until then, have a look at these links. I think you’ll find them very helpful.

The Digitisation of Human Resources: Digital HR Technology Comes of Age

Managing People as a Workforce of One

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