This story is a guest contribution from Align HCM, a team of human capital management experts who are passionate about making customers' lives easier.
In today’s digital age, organizations have unprecedented access to a wealth of employee data. Workforce management solutions can help employers gather this extensive data and translate it into actionable HR insights that, when harnessed effectively, provide organizations with valuable information to propel business success.
HR plays a crucial role in identifying the tools to collect employee information and is best positioned to analyze, understand, and deliver meaningful business insights gleaned from different points along an employee’s journey.
Collecting HR insights from hire to retire
From the moment an employee is hired until the day they retire, HR leaders should review, analyze, and translate the vast amounts of employee data they encounter. However, this is not a simple task. The analysis of data and its relevance to the business is not a one-time determination, but an ongoing and essential part of an organization’s strategy. HR professionals must carefully select which data to analyze and understand how it can contribute to the overall success of the business. Moreover, the department must constantly consider not only the insights provided by the data they have, but also the data they lack, as these missing pieces could be crucial to solving the puzzle.
During the application process
When applying for a position at a company, individuals provide personal information including their name, address, date of birth, contact information, and social security number. Additionally, preferences are often captured through the recruiting process that can help an organization understand employee work styles and culture needs.
It’s critical that while employers are filtering out or eliminating applicants from roles, they also identify the reverse – what roles are being filtered or eliminated by stellar, potential applicants? By analyzing this data, organizations can gain insight into potential gaps in their hiring process and make necessary adjustments to attract the right candidates.
As part of onboarding
As an employee moves into a role at a new or existing organization, HR is immediately tasked with getting to know the employee and getting the employee up to speed. HR insights such as department, role, level, and manager are valuable data points. Leveraging automated workflows not only speeds up the onboarding process but also ensures that every interaction is consistent, seamless, and recorded.
By analyzing the information shared and received during the first few months of employment, HR departments can identify patterns that may lead to turnover. Year over year, statistics show that the first few months are the most impactful to retention and weeding out hires that may not be the best fit, so HR should stay apprised of what’s working and what’s not. Strategic analysis of retention and turnover, combined with other data points, can help organizations improve their onboarding processes and increase employee satisfaction.
Gathering scheduling and time data
When it comes to scheduling and time data, HR can learn valuable information about its employees’ availability and preferences. Time captured working, attendance information, absenteeism, and accrual data should be routinely analyzed with a focus on employee training opportunities and retention needs. Additionally, HR can leverage scheduling and time data to gain valuable insight into the most efficient hours for productivity and scheduling times for certain shifts.
By considering factors such as location, job type, task, start and end times, breaks, and employee productivity metrics, organizations can make smarter decisions that optimize productivity, reduce compliance risks, and improve employee health. This is certainly an area where HR insights can immediately and quantitatively affect the bottom line.
Insights from performance reviews
Regardless of the methodology implemented for performance reviews – 360-degree, annual, formal, or informal – an employee’s performance can and should be reportable by your organization. This is not to say that performance reviews are for the sole benefit of an organization, but rather data collected across the employee’s lifecycle should be able to be viewed from a broad lens. This data can help inform actions like promotions or improvement plans, but looking outside of the obvious, performance metrics can predict or prevent managerial issues, drive revenue, reduce compliance risk, and improve employee engagement.
Thinking about succession planning
Whether leveraging formal or informal tools and techniques, succession prioritization is a critical element to a business’ effectiveness. Based on data collected on hires, employees, promotions, and churn, HR should have a strong grasp on the impact of the departure by a key member of the organization. Analyzing people data is key for succession planning and can fast-track an organization through an essential transformation, such as the introduction of new strategies, a merger or acquisition, market shifts, or cultural changes.
Harnessing the power of HR insights
An overabundance of data can be overwhelming for employers, but thinking critically about data can help the business make better and faster decisions. Harnessing the power of employee data empowers HR to be a strategic leader with the key to drive business outcomes through collaboration with lead decision makers, informed by actionable insights, details on strategy, and continuous iteration.