This is a guest post by Fan Bi, the Founder and CEO of Blank Label, a custom men’s clothing brand with locations in Boston, Washington, D.C. and Chicago.
How well do you utilize your employees, either on a daily basis or from year to year?
You probably have employee reviews in place, typically on an annual basis, but can you drill down to know when you’re experiencing lost hours, messed-up projects, or angry customers?
You might rely on old-fashioned systems, such as call reports or sales information. But there’s no reason for your business to sacrifice improvements in processes to what you’ve always done.
Technology has changed the approach to analyzing your workforce in ways that can impact you immediately and in the long-term future.
The official term for gathering and analyzing that data is called workforce analytics.
It helps you make the most out of your employees, and it benefits not only your company but the people that walk in the door every day.
Workforce analytics also helps you do quickly and efficiently what is impossible to do with just one person or group of people. You’re able to take multiple inputs and quickly analyze them for real-world solutions.
But you may have to convince others in your company that workforce analytics really does have revolutionary potential. Here’s an easy way to win them over: There’s very little that’s as helpful to identify automation potential as workforce analytics. It may be a series of small tweaks, but every small step can lead to greater impact.
Scheduling is a complement to automation; schedule your employees more effectively and you’ll be able to improve your efficiencies. But that’s not easy to do—unless you know how people are working and when they’re at their best. Workforce analytics can help do that too.
Data is at its best when it’s about patterns, and patterns at work can help point you to what you’re doing right or what you’re doing wrong. Those patterns may show you what’s working in customer service, or what product changes fell flat for the year.
There are some unexpected ways that data analytics can be helpful too. Take the employees that have potential—but that haven’t revealed themselves. Workforce analytics can help you identify them, by looking at skills and better matching them with needs company-wide.
Although you can do many things with the data from workforce analytics, ultimately you are in charge of what you want to learn and how you want to learn it.
That starts by, as a company, figuring out which issues you need to tackle first.
How do you investigate those issues, and what metrics are absolutely necessary for you to do your job well? That data will show both cause—and effect—in ways that make it easier for you to present your findings to the people—management and decision makers—who need to know, which means you can figure out steps to take in order to implement your findings.
Want to dive deeper into the world of data and specifically workforce analytics? Use the insights in this graphic to get a solid start.