It would be hard to find anyone in a modern workplace who doesn't believe that technology is having a noticeable impact on daily working life. While there's plenty of debate about whether or not that impact is positive, the fact is it's happening. One perfect example of this is the changing nature of workforce planning. As a result of analytics and other types of technology, this practice is becoming much more dynamic. What this means for HR professionals is it's becoming possible to see what type of impact changes have as soon as they're implemented.
Although most organizations now have a ton of data at their disposal, that doesn't mean they're all getting full value of it. In fact, plenty of organizations are at a point where they are trying to figure out exactly how to harness all of the data they're collecting and translate it into an actionable format that will help to move the business forward.
HR is one of the departments that's in an ideal position to take the lead on showing exactly how data can be put to use. By making the leap from only using data as a reporting tool and harnessing it for the purpose of making decisions & planning, HR can reap all the benefits that go along with fact-based decision making. Since taking this approach to implementing new strategies and tactics allows those changes to be measured, savvy departments can move much faster than if they were trying to do everything without having access to data.
As mentioned in the previous section, just because organizations have access to lots of data doesn't mean that they know exactly how to use it. But thanks to the fact that many HR departments are taking the lead in terms of really utilizing data, it's possible to look at some concrete examples of data in action.
A great example of this type of analysis and action occurred within an organization of 4,500 employees. By tracking mid-career level new hires and internal promotions, it became clear that aggressive new hiring practices were blocking many internal promotion opportunities. Since that was causing established employees to leave and subsequently creating a talent gap, HR was able to recalibrate some of its strategies to boost retention.
The big takeaway from this example is making this type of notable decision in a large organization was only possible as a result of collecting data, analyzing it in a meaningful way and then using the findings to set the course for new policies.
While the relationship between data and organizations will continue to evolve over the coming years, HR professionals that start emphasizing this focus now will be able to establish a lasting competitive advantage.
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