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What does Workforce Analytics bring to the table for HR?

 

What does Workforce Analytics bring to the table for HR?

Dr.Umut KÖKSAL

                                                                                                                   

As a  management consultant and at the same time as an university lecturer, I have been dealing and teaching issues that  are directly related with a term, a very well-known term ‘'performance''.

Performance is such a concept that has components like motivation,competency and organizational design.

With techonology, with digitalization, a fourth component called analytics has become also a part of this main set.

For a long time, as a profession, HR has been accepted as a social and  interpersonal communication focused area. But this perception has changed since discussions like strategic touch to HR were underlined.

In today's world, it is so crucial that fostering analytics and giving importance to decision-making processes based on facts play an important role in building bridge from corporate strategies to HR(1).

For success, rational decision-making is a must. Decisions based on facts and analytics open a door for new opportunites to the organizations for sustaining corporate performance.

 Effectiveness and Efficiency are two other terms, that I believe,need to be integrated as part of workforce analytics framework. Efficiency is the relationship of input and output.But effectiveness is the degree to which the organization achieves its goals.

For efficiency,effectiveness and in sum,performance discussions, workforce analytics  focus became important:

·         Because the rules of success game changed. Old methods,old perceptions are not valid now. The way of sustaining Competitiveness in the market started to differentiate.

·         Discussions like flexibility,mobile citizens,innovation,digitalization,AI and Big Data.

·         Talent wars… Talent wars…Talent wars…

Paradigms started to change both in organizational design and also in HR(2):

‘'Companies need to form/design strategic positions in their organizations that are found within strategic capabilities''

Workforce analytics acts like a building block between organization's strategic management and organization's HR policy and practices. It is such a model or an understanding that helps organization's executives to collect information about different ‘'organizational potentials'' and develop a strategy of fostering these skills/competencies for new business related areas and execution of organization's strategies.

 For a better understanding of workforce management, workforce analytics is a main actor.  Workforce analytics deals with predictive analysis and this is so good, cause(3):

‘'With predictive analysis,it is possible to deliver better business results than our organizational decisions today''

Moreover, with predictive analysis in terms of workforce management, competition is outperformed.Decisions are made five times faster, project executions result with more succes while other organizations fall behind due to ‘'analysis paralysis''(4).

Workforce analytics deals with future,not past. It is not the synonym of HR Metrics. HR Metrics usually deals with past and the context is a little bit less-detailed. But together, they form ‘'Voltron''.

‘'But what does Workforce analytics bring to the corporate performance table for HR?''

·         It makes it easier for HR to understand or to perceive what kind of ‘'wind'' blows inside the organization

·         With the help of Workforce analytics, HR Professionals may have a chance to decode the position of internal communication.

·          HR Professionals at last have a chance to find a, not empirical but practical bridge to HR as strategic partner motto  that has been discussed for many years.

·         People costs offen approach %60 of corporate variable costs,so it makes sense to manage such a large cost item analytically(5).

·         Performance,in other words,corporate performance is achieved via talents,workforce analytics brings science to talent decisions(6).

·         At last,Workforce analytics puts the missing pieces of the ‘'HR Puzzle'' in terms of recruitment and selection,training management,workforce planning, job design, job analysis,wage decisions etc. in terms of fostering an analytical and strategic approach to way of doing business.

 

References

(1)      Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning,Thomas H.Davenport,Jeanne G.Harris,Harvard Business School Press,2007

(2)     https://di.dk/SiteCollectionDocuments/LUPRO/HR/Huselid%20for%20DI%20Masterclass%20-%20V1.pdf

(3)     http://www.pciaa.net/docs/default-source/meetings/hr-0424-1100-roberts.pdf?sfvrsn=2

(4)     https://www.cornerstoneondemand.com/sites/default/files/thank-you/file-to-download/csod-br-predictive-analytics.pdf

(5)     Dr. John Sullivan,How Google Is Using People Analytics to Completely Reinvent HR, TLNT, February 26, 2013

 (6)       http://www.talentanalytics.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/2016-Roundtable-Exec-Summary.pdf.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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