Use people analytics to develop an effective workforce management strategy

Employee Benefits Connect 2017: Organisations should utilise people analytics to understand changing employee expectations in the future world of work and to create an effective workforce management strategy.

Delivering the conference session ‘Leveraging workforce planning and people analytics for smarter decisions’ at Employee Benefits Connect 2017, Adam Gibson (pictured), strategic workforce planning leader at the Metropolitan Police, explained that as the nature of work evolves, employers will not be able to rely on past strategies and approaches for workforce planning if they wish to maintain business growth for the future.

This means taking into account employees’ changing expectations, such as the value staff place on truly flexible ways of working.

Gibson said: “This is about true flexibility. Because that’s what people want, they don’t want to be pigeon-holed. They want to feel that they can be part of something that’s truly flexible; working hours that match demand, not just matching working hours that seem to make sense.”

Other trends that are likely to influence employee expectations include the transparency provided by websites such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn, a move towards contingent labour and an increasing number of boomerang employees, and the need to offer a varied reward package to meet the diverse needs of employees with different working patterns. Using people analytics to understanding how these trends are impacting an organisation’s workforce will enable employers to develop an effective workforce management strategy, explained Gibson.

Gibson said: “People analytics will allow [employers] to connect the dots. People analytics is very different from HR analytics. HR analytics focuses purely on HR data; people analytics is about bringing together HR data, finance data, sales data, performance data, bringing that all together to understand people better.”

For organisations to be ready for the future, employers should also embrace inclusivity and build trust among the workforce, added Gibson. He said: “Focus on values and building trust. Not only does it tie in to inclusivity, but it ties in to so many different parts of how [to] get [an] organisation to work. If [the] business [focuses] on values, on building trust because it’s going to empower [the] workforce, those who leave will want to return, those who aren’t there will want to join, and actually [the] challenges around having a workforce for the future, [the] challenges around aligning supply and demand, will all resolve themselves.”