An Effective Approach to Workforce Planning – Data Analysis – Part II

See Part I
In the last blog post, I discussed the need for strategic workforce planning.  Analysis is necessary to identify gaps and focus on solutions to improve organizational and people capabilities.
This month I will share some thoughts on the quantitative data analysis.  I try to keep the work simple and easy to understand.  Otherwise, business units will glaze over the data if it becomes a thesis paper.  As typically, you’ll loose people’s interest if things get too complicated.

Employee Life Cycle
First consideration is employees joining the organization, their development and matriculation within the enterprise, and eventually, how exiting the corporation.  Having employee data through each phase of the employee life cycle is important to building successful organizations, forming teams, from the business group to division and ultimate enterprise levels.

One of the first elements of data needed is current headcount levels.  You can capture enterprise level data all the way down to business unit headcount detail.  Other cuts of headcount can include geographical (regional, country) and job levels.  The amount and level of detail depends your analysis needs.

Next is ascertaining the “life-span” of employees in the organization.  This is important to gain insight on strength of foundation and leadership pipeline (i.e., succession planning) planning.  The more senior level people in the enterprise will enable organizations to inculcate culture, getting new projects started up faster.  A team of lesser tenure need to focus on developing culture and values, to setting foundation.  Implicit in tenure is employee turn-over and the ability for an organization retain.

Time in Grade
In addition to length of stay, knowing the strength and depth of experience is needed to understand how people progress through the organization.  You’ll be able to understand the average promotion rates and identify bottle-necks.

Management Levels
This set of data focuses on the leadership pipeline for the organization.  The data will help to identify the current availability and readiness of the organization’s internal talent pool.  HR leaders can use this info to identify hi-potentials for enhance training opportunities.  Business leaders can easily identify gaps in leadership pipeline and work to close gaps.

Level of Detail
For the sake of brevity, I did not get into a discussion of various levels of details of analysis.  Additional insight can be gained from analysis including gender, age, and performance.  The data set can be drawn for enterprise level analysis.  And, one can cut the data to a business unit level for grassroots action.

While there has been a lot of discussion on workforce plan the application have been difficult carry out.  The data demonstrated here are starting points to begin the analysis of supply and demand of talent, ensuring that the organization has the right people in place to execute its overall business strategy.

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