Who Needs Workforce Analytics?
These days, it’s not enough to just be operational – you also have to be efficient. Companies can’t afford to answer only the question “Are you working?” To thrive, they also need to be asking, “HOW are you working?”
That’s where workforce analytics software comes in. Any company can benefit from workforce management software like workforce analytics. Whether your employees are working remotely or in an office, you still need to evaluate operational efficiency and workflow — and that can be especially challenging to do with remote teams.
Fortunately, workforce analytics is perfect for companies striving to:
- Create baselines for productivity, recognizing high performers.
- Learn how and when employees are using applications and collaboration tools.
- Perform productivity management on individuals as well as teams.
- Make offsite work as productive as onsite work.
A History of Workforce Analytics
The Difference Between Workforce Analytics and HR Analytics
Before digging into the specifics of workforce analytics, let’s discuss its relationship to HR Analytics and how the two differ.
Sometimes, workforce analytics is referred to as HR analytics or people analytics. However, each phrase has a different scope and offers different resources to organizations, and they’re slowly starting to diverge in scope and usage.
HR analytics is really specific to HR departments and the information HR professionals they need. They tend to ask questions like “Are we retaining our best talent?” and “Who is at risk of leaving?” When HR professionals use workforce analytics, it’s through the lens of identifying top performers. Today, many managers across departments want to understand how to improve performance at an individual, team and enterprise level. They care about team productivity and employee engagement too! So, workforce analytics has grown into a larger operational tool.
Using workforce analytics as a means to understand a workforce’s productivity, engagement and collaboration for both employers and employees is the new normal. While it’s historically been part of the HR division, more companies now see the service as a valuable part of operations management. If the team utilizes computers to complete work, they can benefit from Workforce Analytics software.
How Does Workforce Analytics Help?
With workforce analytics, you can seamlessly gather data and insights from user activity. This information will shine a new light on current practices, letting you see room for increased operational efficiency. You’ll have a level of internal visibility that will empower you to uncover and understand behavior patterns, see opportunities for improvement and take action to boost productivity like never before.
Overall, workforce analytics can help you find and fix:
- Inefficiencies and productivity
- Processes that aren’t working
- Poor collaboration/communication
- Other reasons for high employee turnover
Advantages of Workforce Analytics
Workforce analytics can offer huge advantages to your organization, giving you a leg up on competitors. It gives you the power to:
- Chart individual as well as team productivity and gaps.
You can look at productivity rates by day, time, team or individual. This information can be helpful in rewarding high-performing employees and in coaching employees who may not understand critical processes.
- Improve employee engagement and reduce attrition and turnover.
See if some team members have unbalanced workloads and are at risk of burning out. Note whether other team members are abusing social media. Study team performance and find processes that could be streamlined.
- Analyze trends using monitoring data and external information.
Export data and dive deeper into it. Use Data Connect to create reports on app usage, productivity, compliance and more.
- Optimize company resource usage and trim costs where needed.
Set limits on certain apps or websites, see if any of your team’s resources are redundant and get a better understanding of which programs are getting work done – and which ones aren’t.
- Study cross-team collaboration, even with remote teams.
Observe whether employees are spending too much time looking for information or programs. Find out which apps are the most helpful for remote teams’ communication and workflow. Note productivity gaps and trends, even among teams with different work schedules.
While it’s quite powerful, workforce analytics is also versatile and scalable. Its screenshot and video recording and playback capabilities let you document compliance issues in real time, letting you investigate them further or address them immediately. And with color-coded charts and data that can easily be displayed visually or exported, ActivTrak makes it easy (and colorful!) to analyze reports and identify trends.
Disadvantages of Workforce Analytics
Implementing a workforce management software program may cause pushback from concerned employees. This is why it’s essential to be open and honest about the program, what it’s intended for and what it’s not going to do.
Is employee monitoring software legal? If you are providing computers for your employees to use at work, it’s legal for you to monitor their usage. Privacy Rights Clearinghouse points out that “your employer can monitor most of your workplace activity unless there’s a policy or agreement (employee handbook, company memo, union contract, etc.) stating otherwise.”
However, rules vary from state to state; and if you perform work across international borders, you will need to be mindful of the laws and regulations that apply. For example, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) states that anyone in the EU must consent to personal data collection.
Before installing employee monitoring software, we strongly recommend you:
- Seek out legal advice on state, federal and international laws.
- Create an Internet Usage Policy and make sure all of your employees understand and sign it.
- Make a list of your company’s goals and research whether workforce analytics software can help you reach them.
Learn about the difference between workforce analytics for HR and workforce analytics for productivity measurement and to improve operational efficiency.
Learn how Workforce Analytics can be leveraged to manage remote teams more efficiently.
Learn How to Gain deeper insights into your team's productivity with ActivTrak's NEW ActivConnect.