Operating in the New Normal requires businesses to focus on resilience rather than efficiency, making the employee experience a priority. This will positively impact organizational growth and help you perform better than the competition.
However, it’s not possible to create great experiences for your people without access to relevant data. Here’s where workforce analytics comes into play.
With this in mind, here are the top three reasons why I believe workforce analytics will be crucial for businesses in 2021.
In the past, the model of business operations revolved around efficiency, which manifested itself in making employees working faster or completing more tasks.
It’s a good approach when the market you operate on is reliable. However, in times of rapid change pushing for efficiency can be an erroneous approach. What organizations need to embrace is something that I like to call the efficiency & resilience continuum. The question should no longer be about how you can do things quicker; it should be about how you can adapt faster AND at a higher quality.
Adaptation requires intelligence and is about empowering people. Your company needs to perform as an organism rather than a machine. When people in the frontline don’t feel empowered, your organization risks losing a lot of data about your customers. Employees at all tiers need to be provided with access to data about the market, their responsibilities, and role at the company. Shortly said – make them great at what they do, and empower them to react and make decisions. In times of uncertainty, the efficiency model can often cause errors, while resilience helps you become better than your competition and cut the costs.
Here are a few best practices from Accenture’s “Future Workforce” report which illustrate this approach nicely:
If you want to attract the best people you need to provide them the best employee experience. When I spoke with a CHRO at a gaming company, they said that employee experience is a driver for everything that happens in business: innovations, performance, and quality. This can be achieved by a variety of things, including:
Does your company measure these things? Do you continuously work on making things better?
When you measure experiences, you can act fast. The hardest part in modifying experiences, however, is doing so on a larger scale – and doing it ethically. This is something you can achieve by using a solution like Network Perspective.
Among others, it allows you to collect team-level insights on the workload, time spent on meetings, learning & development experiences, whether the leader treats all subordinates equally, etc.
Gaining access to this data is a great starting point to discussing the employee experience with your people.
In 2020, Accenture interviewed and surveyed 3,200 business and HR executives, and asked them about their work-related needs on something they called the “Net Better Off” framework. It entailed questions about six dimensions crucial to employee well-being. The study revealed that companies that prioritize their employees’ well-being witnessed revenue growth of 5% in 2020, despite the GDP dropping by over 4%.
How so? Let’s refer to the efficiency & resilience continuum mentioned in the first point. When you think about efficiency, you measure the process and have an improvement loop, which leads to people doing things faster. However, if you want to perform better in the resilience mode of operation, you should focus on a continuous feedback loop to investigate how people experience the workplace and what’s going on on the frontline. Also, what is the situation on the market? Are your clients’ needs changing in any way?
To summarize, your feedback loop should include:
Feedback from employees + insights from the market + an open discussion of your findings on a team level.
This will allow your business to become more adaptable.
If you want your business to persevere in unstable times, such as the ones we’re experiencing during the pandemic, you need to create a dramatic shift in your executives’ mindset. Namely, they need to move their focus from efficiency to resilience, with the latter helping you adapt the business to the changing market.
To achieve this, it’s crucial to focus on the employee experience which requires data. If you’d like to learn more about embracing the right workforce analytics strategy for your business, reach out. I’d love to shed more light on the subject!