managing the modern workforce

BI, Analytics & Reporting

- 4 min read

A guide to effectively managing the modern workforce with the right technology

Human Resource (HR) leaders today face an uphill battle when faced with the complexities of managing the modern workforce. Maintaining employee efficiency, effectiveness, and happiness during a period of market uncertainty and competitiveness is a particular barrier to overcome. In the wake of COVID-19, HR professionals now face a constant balancing act in helping to drive organizational performance. They must rethink their daily activities and find new ways to work smarter. 

At the core of this idea is digital transformation in the HR function, a journey that organizations must undertake to optimize processes, enhance the employee experience, and ensure that the right people and skills are in the right place at the right time. By embarking on such a transformational journey, HR leaders can shape and support the workforce in line with corporate goals and become strategic consultants for the organization.  

This article explores the issues and modern needs of the HR function and provides insight into why technology is essential to manage the modern workforce effectively. 

HR professionals must become more digitally savvy 

The HR role has shifted in recent times to involve a more strategic position within the organization. HR leaders need to understand the organization’s overarching goals and play a part in seeing these goals come to fruition. By driving effective workforce and talent strategies, while also having one eye on the bottom line and another on the business growth from a workforce perspective, HR can begin to meet this demand. On top of this, the modern workforce is growing ever more agile, with remote working becoming a regular aspect of professional life, necessitating transparency across employee productivity from HR’s perspective. 

All-in-all, this series of items to monitor and guide requires embracing technology to ease the workload and provide the proper insight for HR to work smarter. The right solution will enable a holistic view across both personnel and the wider organization, aiding HR to identify where skills lie and how the current workforce contributes to corporate goals. 

Data is the lifeblood of business decision-making 

The importance of data is not a new concept. It may just be the single most crucial resource for any business. The more companies can utilize their data, the more insight they will gain to drive strategic, information-backed, reliable decisions. This is as true for HR as it is for finance, operations, marketing, IT, and any other department in the enterprise.  

HR activities today are still incredibly reliant on manual processes, a painstaking observation when the right solutions (as discussed above) are here to help. People-related data is typically held across several spreadsheets and HR systems – meaning HR teams have to work much harder to pull insights and consult on business decision-making. Maintaining this legacy way of working will hinder the overall effectiveness of the HR department; HR teams need a way to consolidate data efficiently and quickly. Having a singular view of all information makes data more accurate, reliable, and understandable so it can be leveraged for effective strategic and operational decision-making. 

Multiple factors impact employee experience 

The demand for enhanced, improved employee experience has grown over the last ten or so years. Recruitment and employee retainment are incredibly competitive as workforces develop new expectations in the modern age. With remote working being more prevalent and the lines between work and personal lives blurring, new employment opportunities are critical to attracting and motivating the right people.  

HR leaders need to understand the multiple factors impacting employee experience. However, being able to gather this information and analyze it to lead decision-making is challenging. The same issues of disparate data leading to time-consuming tasks around collating information, or just a general lack of person-data in the first place, culminates in inefficient and ineffective analysis. Instead of happening sporadically, as it will when these issues remain, analysis must be continual – supplying HR with a clear view of employee happiness that ties directly into business drivers. Investment in the right decision-making technology that enables this is critical. 

Utilizing technology for predictive analytics capabilities 

Reskilling employees has become another key focus for HR teams. With markets changing rapidly, business priorities and goals shift, exposing gaps in the skillsets of their workforce. The expectation sits with HR to navigate these shifts in focus and ensure staff with the right skills are in place to continue business operations as usual. However, the key challenge for HR is a lack of visibility and understanding of the right skills, putting them on the back foot. 

To overcome this, HR professionals need to monitor existing skills in the organization’s workforce and identify where the gaps are, both in real-time. Technology can deliver this while also helping to fill the gaps quickly and drive enhanced operational efficiency. On top of this, technology should also enable predictive analytics; to forecast and anticipate demand across the workforce. With this in place, HR has an advanced warning about what requirements may be required and can plan ahead. 

Workforce analytics cannot be run on legacy spreadsheets 

As the demand for HR to perform at an increased pace rises, legacy working methods must be put to rest. Manual data entry and guiding employee analytics from static spreadsheets have no place in the modern, digitally-led HR function. HR leaders need access to workforce analytics technology to provide a 360° view of employees across everything, including: 

  • compensation rates to skills 
  • performance 
  • sentiment levels 
  • attrition. 

Armed with better visibility, HR can understand what is happening and where improvements are required. Then, with workforce analytics taking this to the next level, HR teams have instant insights and alerts to make decision-making more effective. Only with this information to hand in real-time can HR leaders ensure they are truly maximizing the workforce’s potential at any one time. 

Employee wellbeing is essential for efficient workforces 

The happiness of employees is, of course, a paramount concern for HR. Unhappy employees are less productive and risk increasing levels of attrition within the organization. If HR leaders are to achieve operational excellence, they must adopt a holistic approach to identifying, analyzing, and improving factors that contribute to the happiness of workers. Adopting the right technology is a critical way to enable this. 

Additionally, HR leaders can use the same digital platform to drive improvements across the function and the workforce. For example, automating manual tasks and processes to ease the workload, enabling better collaboration or information sharing, or providing greater transparency into performance are just some of the ways to increase employee wellbeing. Sometimes, even a seemingly minor change can make a huge difference. 

The faster the pace of change, the faster HR teams need to adapt 

Each point above links together with the idea that the adoption of technology, which gives HR a transparent view across the workforce and guides decision-making with intelligent and reliable insight, is critical for the success of the modern HR function. As is apparent in the business world today, change comes at a rapid rate. The faster the pace of change, the faster HR teams need to adapt, react, and flex employee skills and structures to suit organizational requirements. 

Aligning HR strategies with other functions is essential but only truly achievable (at the rate HR teams need) when introducing the right technology platform to lead decision-making. Legacy, manual processes are not up to the task, and HR professionals will surely fall behind their company’s needs if digital transformation across HR is not adopted. Only in doing so and achieving a single, consistent view of data alongside the capability to leverage it for planning and analysis can HR leaders keep up with the pace of change. 

Six key HR trends and how technology can help you keep pace  

In such a period of change, exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19, HR leaders must rethink their daily activities and find new ways to work smarter. Digital transformation is at the heart of this, helping to optimize processes, enhance the employee experience, and ensure that the right people and skills are in the right place at the right time. Download this eBook to discover six key trends impacting modern HR management and how technology can help you keep pace. The eBook covers: 

  • The shifting role of HR 
  • Digital HR 
  • Employee experience 
  • Reskilling 
  • Workforce analytics 
  • Employee wellbeing. 

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Six key HR trends and how technology can help you keep pace

In a period of change exacerbated by COVID-19, HR leaders must rethink their daily activities and find new ways to work smarter.