5 Benefits of Workforce Analytics that Improve Employee Engagement



Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: March 4, 2021

Tapping into potential from within is a challenging project and resource managers face alike. With several promising projects in the pipeline awaiting the right skills and experience levels, finding the right people on time is the key to seizing opportunities that align strategically with your enterprises’ objectives.

With most managers hard pressed for time, guesstimating staff deployments happens more often than anyone would admit out loud. After all, it’s a question of staffing ongoing projects in such a way that you can stick to your promise and deliver quality projects. In reality, however, relying on unscientific means to rope in manpower pushes you further away from this goal.

You end up overworking existing resources by allocating them work that takes up hours far beyond their weekly quota. Worse, you lose track of qualified staff on the bench and overlook what they could offer. As a result, you end up outsourcing project components haphazardly rather than assessing your staff’s ability and availability to work on them in-house.

Workforce analytics lets you assign work schedules from the resourcing perspective. Simply put, you’re aware of task overlaps and stay informed of those non-core activities that stream into your staff’s billable hours. Consequently, you can shuffle tasks by their priority and ensure that your staff’s commitments aren’t derailed by sudden disruptions. It predicts imminent risks affecting your employees’ focus and lets you rectify scheduling imbalances across the enterprise while keeping your projects optimally staffed with the right capacity. This begs the question:

How Exactly does Workforce Analytics Improve Resourcing Conditions?

For starters, it lets you take a proactive approach to manage a gig workforce. Given that tasks don’t conform to a uniformity in terms of the hours and knowledge needed, a cost-efficient route is to onboard different resourcing types alongside regular hires.

Workforce analytics lets you collate a list of tasks within individual projects that require hyper-specialized skills. This way, you can communicate briefs to freelancers and meet deadlines. Further, it files away information on temporary hires contracted in the past such that you can check their availability and quality of work before deciding to expand your bandwidth.

Top benefits of workforce analytics are as follows:

1. Control over Unconditional Visibility

Having the right information before you not only save time but also lets you assess project feasibility objectively. After all, without a complete overview of your projects and people how would you commit the best minds on the force to feasible work?

While every project looks doable on paper, taking stock of your resources’ skills, confidence, physical location, and subject awareness let you take on only those projects that return high business value while offering a learning journey for your staff to draw knowledge from.

Unconditional visibility is a window into how your resources are occupied during the date range of your choosing. It extends to your risk register as well. Not only does it let you identify and categorize risks by their type and extent of damage likely to be unleashed but also lets you pull the plug on projects impossible to execute.

Your staff is then prevented from investing their efforts into projects that risk several scope reruns and modifications, overrun costs and deadlines. Based on year-long availability reports, you can then optimize your resources’ next set of deployments.

What’s more, visibility generates resource data on the people who worked on previous projects plus the ones you’ll need for ongoing and future work. It profiles your resources by the department they fall under as well as their geographic flexibility, preventing you from placing them on projects out of their local niche. With the added visibility you can achieve a clean match between experienced hires and junior recruits with newer market-ready skills.

Paring down your resource search criteria by relevance reduces the manhunt from several hours to several minutes!

2. Distributed Rescheduling

Workforce analytics indicates if schedules are under or overloaded, letting you reassign your resources on parallel briefs or taking them completely off tedious tasks. It lets you compare their commitment and utilization levels such that qualified staff idling on the bench are onboard to support their colleagues and lighten existing tasks.

With a reduction in the bench-time clunk, your staff’s productivity scales balance themselves out. Your projects, in turn, are optimally staffed with resource additions in the right places. Moreover, with a schedule that’s reasonably programmable, your employees become adaptive and are better equipped to understand urgency rather than withhold important information from one another. They would take ownership of cross-functional tasks spilling over to other departments and support their colleagues with their field knowledge, qualifications and ability to reorient.

Rescheduling work balances competing for interests by prioritizing the task sequence for execution. This way, extenuating circumstances or unaccounted absences won’t negatively impact the performance of the remaining team members. Color-coding your schedules creates a resource heat map that predicts which set of resources are likely to experience overwork in the financial year. You can reset their schedules accordingly such that work finishes within realistic deadlines.

3. Optimal Resource Health

Workforce analytics provides you with actual resource numbers, which lets you maintain optimal levels of resource health all year long while getting you better acquainted with your staff. In other words, by looking at all the hours they’ve been booked for versus the actual efforts invested in multiple projects, you’d instantly remedy resourcing imbalances.

While team conflicts can’t resolve themselves overnight, the right employee engagement programs prevent you from dismissing real concerns revolving around project tools, strategy, execution, and final delivery.

Workforce analytics gives you your resource pool’s strength by department and availability, which lets you fit 1 on 1 and group sessions amidst busy times. These sessions let you know how your staff is faring at an individual and team level and what can be done to improve resourcing conditions.

For example, you can standardize communication protocols across the enterprise, thus letting your resources know how to get their requests and requirements to your desk. Consequently, you can reward exceptional performances by customizing your incentives to suit the role, seniority, and areas for improvisation.

With the right training schemes handpicked to enable upskilling, your staff gets to broaden their learning and improve their efficiency. It not only gives them a reason to improve their performance in forecasted project undertakings but also lets them document their learning sojourn while using secondary skills.

4. Objective Performance Appraisals

Remaining objective while appraising team and individual performances are crucial to breathing transparency into your hierarchical governance. The first step to doing so is actively hobnobbing with your employees.

Once you know where your employees’ interests lie, you’ll know how and where their potential can be maximized. You’ll even know if your staff’s current engagements are being leveraged in the right opportunities. This way you’ll know if any outdated skills remain in excess that won’t benefit from upgradation attempts. Subsequently, you’ll be able to restructure your enterprise with resources whose skills stand the test of time with the requisite training schemes.

Your appraisals can factor in marked usage of training-centric knowledge and lets you know how your teams fared as a whole. Making the effort to touch base with your employees regularly establishes a connection with them prior to strategically reshaping your projects with modified staffing specifications. You can accordingly take decisive steps to correct and resolve issues and include your findings into objective year-end performance appraisals.

5. Charting Your Demand Curve

Workforce analytics predicts the type, scale, complexity, and nature of pipelined work that is likely to convert successfully into live projects. In other words, you’ll scope out your pipeline based on the project portfolio feasibility and impact studies before confirming the exact number and type of people needed to take it up.

What happens otherwise is your resources face the prospect of never getting to deploy their experience and skills on to the right projects. The uncertainty revolving around project activities risks throwing your resources off guard when a project suddenly comes in and they’re not sufficiently oriented around what needs doing beforehand.

You’ll be doing your staff a huge favor by screening your projects based on opportunity. This way, you can assess if the benefits far outweigh the risks associated with the project and commit to projects that utilize different but relevant fields of expertise. Committing to projects that are out of your staff’s knowledge scope increases frustration levels because of the expectations levied on them to absorb vital information within the triple constraint of time, costs, and scope. Added to which is the practical feasibility of project strategy implementation.

Bottom Line

By knowing the kind of work you can safely undertake, you can hire more people externally or source staff from other departments in-house. Your staff is informed of the strategic direction of the firm as and when it changes and can understand how their work packages would deviate and/or differ.

Moreover, not only will the lessons learned to be documented more thoroughly but your project reviews will also capture different points of view holistically. Your current staff can reconstruct the project scene such that your next roll of employees get the tactical advantage of being informed of previous roadblocks and the corrective steps taken to overcome them. They’ll adapt to adversities once they know what to expect in future endeavors. After all, forewarned is forearmed!

Did these 5 benefits make you reconsider an effective resource management strategy? Let us know in the comments section below!

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