You can see it from everywhere: people are tired. With so many uncertainties still looming, this problem hasn’t gone away and will likely impact more and more people every day.
Many employers address immediate needs proactively, such as employee well-being, giving people paid time off, counseling, and additional company-paid benefits. But it would be best if you did not ignore the long-term employee development and succession planning. And the best way to inspire people is to invest in their personal growth.
As companies shift into Future of Work amidst an ever-evolving pandemic, adopting programs geared towards maintaining a robust and motivated workforce is imperative. Long-term development programs can help ease job security anxiety, stimulate engagement, and retain top employees. Moreover, it also attracts new talents in a highly competitive labor market for skilled and specialized jobs.
Where to find the budget to invest in people without making cuts?
Despite plenty of free apps, webinars, and other self-directed learning tools available, real significant long-term development is expensive and time-consuming. Like freezing C-level pay or cutting out bonuses, standard measures will only cover a portion of profit losses, much less fund employee training, and development.
When you buy a car, you choose a safe kind of car. You are aware of much bigger spending, but you are also confident in investing in your safety and future.
Same as with a car choice, it is worth correctly state a budget and invest it in an effective development program, aiming for high results and knowing that it will meet your expectations.
There are different ways where to find available money for investment in the workforce; e.g., bring in external hires at the right salary levels, forecast attrition to plan for backfills, and understand labor costs by location are just a few ways you can find funds to reallocate into the long-term investment of your workforce.
However, the same as the execution of every strategy, development requires a lot of time, data wrangling, and cleanup to manage. And it doesn’t sound attractive to invest, right? So the solution is data-driven People analytics and AI-based Skill management.
By using HR analytics tools, you can plan in shorter cycles, forecast more accurately, and gain a more holistic view of workforce costs. Below are three ways how you can invest in your people thanks to analytics-driven workforce planning.
How can you invest in your workforce thanks to analytics-driven workforce planning?
1. Shorter planning cycles
As we have already said, the multi-year strategic plans and useless, and a shorter planning cycle is a new HR priority. Work budgets are usually prepared on an annual basis, with a specific buffer to cover unknown expenses such as increased overtime, recruitment peaks, etc. However, when personnel plans are frequently updated, they are based on ongoing activities. It gives time for forward-planning and reduces recruitment costs, enabling efficient cushion management and significantly reduced costs.
To plan “fresher,” it´s better to reduce the time your team spends manually extracting data from disparate systems. A smart, automated, and analytics-based process allows you to identify the number of open positions when they need to be filled and wherein the organization they are most needed while showing flexibility for those positions that can be placed in lower labor cost markets.
2. Accurate forecasting
Thanks to Big Data and an analyzing it smart solutions, you can receive a more accurate forecast of future scenarios within your workforce, e.g., future skills needed in a specific job role, portrait of an ideal candidate, number of people that you need to fire because they will not bring any value and number of new required specialists.
Also, if you have qualified people, start training them early to be productive in their new role sooner–perhaps you can avoid bringing on new hires. By offering continuous training programs, you send the message that you are making people a priority and increasing career opportunities. It will help boost employee commitment in the long term.
A robust analytics platform (e.g., smartPlan), which has all your data loaded, can help you project your workforce accurately, including possible retirements, new hires, closing the skill gaps, etc.
3. Clearer view of workforce costs
Understanding the Total Cost of Workforce (TCOW) is critical. It is the doorway to rich and meaningful ideas for funding programs and employee incentives because it gives you an understanding of what changes in costs mean and whether certain cost reduction measures (such as hiring employees from select geographies where the cost of living is lower or playing out the cost of furlough vs. a hiring freeze) create funds for other programs.
Most organizations have no clear picture of TCOW. Typically, HR stores certain data (e.g., headcount and salaries), while the finance department stores the rest of the cost data. This data is often stored in separate systems that do not communicate with each other, making TCOW calculation a tedious, manual process.
Instead of having to develop your model for TCOW and go through the process of aligning all of the data points from HR and Finance systems, you can bring all of your data together in one source and map it to an analytics and workforce planning platform that has already been configured and is customizable.
This is where modern analytical solutions, in which knowledge and experience are incorporated into technology, are a great benefit.
By the way, we have already explained how to measure HR effectiveness with 10 HR metrics!
Reasons for investing in your employees
To do business, you need to make many different types of investments. You invest your money and resources in advertising, research and development, social networking, partnerships, technology, security, and much more. In return, employees invest their time, energy, talents, and the best of themselves in the success and vision of your business. Here are the top reasons why investing in your employees is right for them—and your company’s bottom line.
- Employees are expensive to replace
- Poor communication costs money
- Ongoing training retains motivated employees
- Employees who share the company’s values expect less compensation
- Engaged employees create a better brand through better customer service
- Investing in employees builds you a solid reputation in the marketplace
“The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay” – Henry Ford
So, what’s the line on this?
Some researchers claim that investing in your employees is the smartest business decision you can make. (And it is almost right! The next smart decision is to use an automated app.) Even though your organization is continually dealing with factors outside of its control, people need to feel that you are seeking solutions for things that concern them the most: company stability, job security, and career growth.
Remember the rule: Happy employees, even happier customers.
As leaders in People Analytics, we support the working world with smart solutions for complex issues across the globe. We are here to answer all your questions on how your business can benefit from Strategic Workforce Planning, People Analytics & Talent Development, and Market Intelligence in the context of Digitalization.
Specifically, to foster the successful employee development process, HRForecast offers you a skill platform smartPeople, that enables upskilling the workforce and revolutionizing talent mobility. It helps infer and identify skills and skill gaps for development.
Like the end-to-end career development platform, smartPeople assess the employees’ skills, match them to jobs, projects, tasks, or mentors, and facilitates the creation of personalized career paths. The platform links the disciplines of AI-based recruiting, Big Data-predefined succession management, and L&D together.