Government figures reveal that at the start of 2016 there were over 5.5 million small and medium-sized enterprises operating in the UK. SMEs employed 15.7 million people in total, that’s 60% of all employment in the private sector. That’s a lot of competition. However, the millions of workers employed also means that SMEs have at their fingertips a wealth of data on which to draw to improve their workforce management and become more competitive.
What is workforce analytics?
Workforce or ‘HR analytics’, is the use of data for the people management side of business. The data will be your ‘people-data’ – for example, information collected by HR systems ie. payroll, absence, etc. – or other business information such as operational performance data, or a combination of the two. When analysed together, the data is a powerful tool for highlighting trends, problems and hopefully successes. SMEs typically collect vast amounts of data whether it be via spreadsheets, manually or using time and attendance systems.
How can analytics help in workforce planning?
SMEs spend a significant chunk of their outgoings on staffing costs. It makes sense to take advantage of the latest methods to improve all elements of workforce management. In fact, business experts predict the growth of analytics in 2017.
SMEs can use analytics to:
- Learn more about their business – do you know which HR policies are working for your businesses, where recurrent problems are cropping up and where things are working well? Small businesses can use their people data to learn more about their workforce, and business operation.
- Inform your decisions – use your data to inform the decisions you need to make to take your business further. You may have a hunch about high levels of absence or low staff retention rates and analysing clocking in data will reveal overall patterns and problems areas. It is then easier to design improvements armed with the objective evidence collected.
- Take action to save money and time – after collection and evaluation the next stage is… taking action. The analytics insights enable you to assess and deploy your human resources in the most efficient way. For example, is manual clocking-in taking too long and proving too laborious to input to payroll systems? Analytics may provide you with the evidence needed to make changes so that your business saves time and money, ultimately, becoming more profitable.
How can businesses improve their analytics?
To make the best use of analytics in workforce planning businesses should re-think how they gather data. Rather than manually-created spreadsheets or error-prone paper records an automated workforce management system is ideal. Not only can data be far more easily and accurately collected through time and attendance systems, it can be shared with line managers and other relevant staff e.g. HR and Finance teams. The increasing adoption of cloud-based software makes data sharing even easier.
uAttend is a market-leading cloud-based SaaS (Software as a Service) employee management system that helps businesses save time and money, freeing them up to spend more time on getting new business.