How to Track Workforce Analytics to Optimize Your Team

How to Use Workforce Analytics to Build a Thriving Workplace

It can be distressing when your organization has rising employee turnover rates. It can become even more challenging if you have to manually investigate and discover the reasons behind it. 

Are your competitors hiring aggressively? Could there be workload issues in-house? Are there problems with interpersonal relationships among managers and their teams? Or is there any other reason? 

Identifying the root cause and finding solutions can be effort-intensive and time-consuming. You could lose even more of your valued workforce as you analyze manually. 

Using software tools to perform workforce analytics can help you quickly get answers and mitigate potential problems. You can quickly identify distressing or changing patterns within and outside your organization. 

In this blog, we’ll look at all aspects of workforce analytics and showcase how to leverage them to help you with the process. Using workforce analytics can help you hire the best talent, retain them, analyze employee behavior, manage productivity issues, and make your organization a great workplace. 

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What is Workforce Analytics?

Workforce analytics refers to the systematic collection of data about an organization’s workforce and analysis of it. Workforce analytics often also involves external factors and environments to plan and execute organizational strategies like recruitment, performance, and compensation management. 

External factors include industry salary, surveys, labor market trends, and economic indicators like unemployment, GDP growth, and consumer spending. Internal sources include manager feedback, HR data such as employee satisfaction, the percentage of engaged employees, and employee productivity. 

The role of workforce analytics in HR management 

In the long run, the benefits of workforce analytics include: 

  • Reduced recruitment costs 
  • Optimized process efficiency
  • Tracking employee engagement
  • Mitigating race and gender bias
  • Benchmarking performance metrics
  • Limiting unauthorized overtime worked
  • Better matching of potential candidates with current talent requirements
  • Addressing knowledge gaps and upskilling requirements

What role does workforce analytics play in strategic management?

Adopting comprehensive workforce analytics can provide direction for strategic management. Analyzing numerous data points, such as operational costs with HR motivators and limitations, talent requirements, and geographic factors, can help you effectively manage your remote, hybrid, and on-site workforce.

Workforce analytics also provides the most competent action plans and cost-effective solutions to recruit, up-skill, and train the workforce, including creating a succession planning blueprint. Such strategic insights ensure a well-prepared workforce and support long-term organizational resilience.

It supports risk management by highlighting the organization’s potential compliance and ethical risks. 

Using workforce analytics can help you create a better working environment, enhance employee satisfaction, and elevate the overall quality of the workforce.

Are workforce analytics and HR analytics the same thing?

Not really. While workforce analytics considers the work itself, HR analytics considers the people.

What is HR analytics?
HR analytics uses data and analytics to improve HR functions such as turnover rate, Net Promoter Score (NPS), and overtime hours.
What is workforce analytics?
Workforce analytics focuses on work-related data to improve processes and workforce behavior, such as productivity, absenteeism, and turnover rates.
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Benefits of Workforce Analytics

Collecting the right data and analyzing it can help you get to the root of several workforce-related challenges and resolve them. Here are some crucial benefits of workforce analytics: 

1. Automates tasks

Workforce analytics simplifies work management by automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks such as employee performance tracking, absence and leave management, and compensation benchmarking.

It helps you concentrate on identifying innovative recruitment methods to attract niche skill sets and fostering leadership development through mentorship and coaching programs.

2. Refines recruitment

Workforce analytics, using workforce planning software or workforce analytics platforms, analyzes departmental requirements and the characteristics of high-performing employees to help you screen and select candidates more likely to succeed in the organization. This improves the quality of new hires and reduces the time-to-hire and cost-per-hire.

3. Enables talent management

By mapping skills and competencies available within the organization, workforce analytics facilitates succession planning, crafting personalized career paths, and allocating employees to projects or roles where they can make the most significant impact.

4. Improves job satisfaction and employee retention

By analyzing trends and feedback across various dimensions—work-life balance, recognition, and career advancement opportunities—workforce analytics helps you understand the factors contributing to an employee’s happiness and engagement. Use the findings to deploy tailored strategies directly impacting employee morale and productivity.

5. Enhances cultural alignment and employee engagement

Business leaders and HR professionals can use analytics to examine current organizational culture and areas for improvement. For example, if analytics reveal low engagement scores in teams with high employee turnover rates, this could signal management style or workload issues.

With these insights, you can introduce leadership training to develop more empathetic and effective managers or adjust workloads using paid or free project management software.

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Types of Workforce Analytics

Depending on the type of data available and your requirements, there are four types of workforce analytics: descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive. 

The descriptive method uses historical data to understand workforce behavior over a specific period, while the diagnostic method understands the causes of the behavior. 

Let’s now examine the other two methods, which are more complex and help make strategic workforce-related decisions.

1. Predictive analytics

Predictive analytics uses historical and current data to forecast future trends and behaviors. This data, which includes skills requirements, employee productivity, and engagement, is crucial to improve hiring and reduce attrition. 

By employing techniques such as regression analysis, pattern matching, and multivariate statistics, predictive analytics develops data and statistical models that anticipate what’s likely to happen. Some practical applications include

  • Predicting the outcomes of learning and development activities 
  • Forecasting the state of workspace utilization
  • Pre-empting project report outcomes 

​​By incorporating predictive analytics into workforce management, you can identify skill gaps beforehand, tailor employee wellness programs, and anticipate shifts in workforce dynamics.

Pro tip💡: Choose from ClickUp’s project report templates to document your onboarding, training, and recruitment strategies and track progress over time. 

2. Prescriptive analytics

Prescriptive analytics is the most complex of the four types. It goes beyond predictive analytics and recommends the best course of action.

It helps you make real-time, informed decisions based on predictions and optimize workforce management aspects. These include managing employee shift schedules, creating skill-based project teams, allocating resources, and conducting diversity and inclusion (D&I) based recruitment drives.

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The Role of Technology in Workforce Analytics

Many advanced tools and platforms, such as workforce analytics software, enhance the capability of organizations to gather, analyze, and act on workforce data. Here are four critical technologies required to run workforce analytics:

1. Cloud computing

Cloud computing ensures real-time updates and seamless data integration by centralizing data from HR software, payroll, business performance tools, and external databases on the Internet.

The scalability of Cloud technology eliminates the need for upfront IT infrastructure investments, enabling your organization to grow its analytics capabilities on demand.

Additionally, it helps interface with various data sources and applications, such as CRM systems, BI platforms, and social media. It also automates comprehensive workflows across business functions and consolidates in-depth insights for workforce-related decisions. 

2. Dashboard analytics

Dashboards are essential for democratizing access to workforce analytics within an organization. They visually represent vital metrics and data points in real-time, indicating the health, performance, or status of a business, process, or system.

With essential numbers at your fingertips, you can quickly spot areas of concern, track the impact of interventions, and align workforce strategies with business outcomes.

For example, a project dashboard helps teams view project performance in a central location. 

ClickUp Dashboards present project-related information through charts and KPIs, enabling managers to grasp task progress, track budgets, and communicate with clients on time.

ClickUp Dashboard
Improve your project visibility with ClickUp’s customizable Dashboards, designed for detailed real-time monitoring

3. AI chatbots

Many AI (Artificial Intelligence) tools for HR, including those for applicant tracking, employee onboarding, and bias reduction, have long been in use.

However, AI chatbots are increasingly adopted to improve employee engagement because they provide instant responses to HR-related queries regarding leave balances, payroll information, and even upskilling programs.

Through Natural Language Processing (NLP), AI chatbots can analyze open-ended employee feedback and analyze employee data to discover trends in their sentiments that might not be captured through traditional surveys or feedback methods.

These tools also play a critical role during onboarding, guiding new hires through the necessary paperwork, training, and understanding of company culture.

4. Big data, AI, and Machine Learning (ML)

Integration of big data, AI, and ML has significantly broadened the scope of workforce analytics.

Big data provides the foundation by enabling you to analyze complex datasets from multiple sources, including internal HR systems, social media, employee surveys, operational data, and external labor market information.

AI and ML algorithms build on this by uncovering patterns and insights from the data that may not be immediately evident to human analysts. 

For instance, AI can forecast workforce dynamics, such as changes in turnover rates or the effectiveness of different recruitment channels, by analyzing historical data.

Meanwhile, ML algorithms assess sentiment and morale, enabling you to customize interventions at an individual or team level to improve overall business performance. 

For example, you could identify employees who will benefit from specific training programs or are at a higher risk of leaving the organization.

ClickUp Brain, an AI assistant for HR leaders, helps you use built-in prompts to analyze your data, generate reports, brainstorm questions, and recommend potential improvements. 

For example, you can use ClickUp’s ChatGPT Prompts for HR Template to find questions that would help you create a positive feedback loop during a performance review. 

Leverage AI-driven strategies to level up your HR practices with ClickUp’s ChatGPT Prompts for HR Template
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Challenges in Tracking Workforce Analytics

While the role of technology in enhancing workforce analytics is undeniable, navigating the path to actionable insights is not without its challenges.

1. Operational challenges

Collecting high-quality data and ensuring compliance is difficult. You might face difficulty in:

a. Gathering accurate data

This can be a massive hurdle. Even if you can access employee engagement software or other reporting tools for automated data collection, data might be siloed across different departments, inconsistent, or of poor quality.

Data integrity is essential when deploying workforce analytics, as it directly impacts your organization’s ability to align analytics with its long-term goals and strategic objectives. 

Laws such as the GDPR in the EU and various state laws in the US impose strict guidelines on data collection, storage, and processing for HR processes. You must ensure your analytics practices comply with these regulations to avoid fines and reputational damage.

Data misuse also risks unintended discrimination, which could result in legal action against your organization under anti-discrimination laws.

2. Strategic challenges

Incorporating analytics seamlessly into business planning to drive measurable growth is easier said than done. Here are some tasks that can be challenging:

a. Integration with strategic planning

Aligning technical data with business objectives requires understanding how workforce analytics can contribute to your critical milestones.

However, without a well-established process for navigating differing priorities and overcoming communication barriers across functions, you will likely miss opportunities for growth and duplicate efforts, leading to inefficiencies.

b. Employee resistance

Implementing workforce analytics initiatives can sometimes invite resistance from employees. There could be concerns about data privacy and perceived risks of data mishandling.

Overcoming this resistance requires a shift in company culture, which you can achieve through leadership buy-in, regular workshops, and consistent reassurance that data management practices are ethical and compliant with legal standards.

3. Tech challenges

Deploying and maintaining technology to support workforce analytics can pose challenges in the following areas: 

a. Onboarding experts with advanced analytical skill sets 

Without experts who can translate complex data into actionable HR strategies, you’ll likely miss workforce analytics’s potential benefits. Therefore, having a team of professionals with advanced analytical capabilities is a must to get the desired results.

b. Investing and maintaining robust technology infrastructure

Implementing the necessary technology requires robust IT support, including hardware and software that can handle large data volumes, perform multifaceted analyses, and provide user-friendly access to insights. You must budget to invest and maintain the infrastructure.

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How to Implement Workforce Analytics

Here’s a step-by-step guide to gather workforce data and turn them into actionable insights:

1. Assess capabilities for strategic goal alignment

Understanding your current capabilities and workflows is essential for setting realistic and impactful goals for workforce analytics.

Whether you’re struggling with skill gaps, succession planning, employee management, or anything else, assess your current capabilities. Analyze existing skill sets, tech stack and usage, and workflow efficiencies.

You can perform the following: 

  • Skill audits: Review project outcomes and feedback to determine areas lacking efficiency
  • Employee surveys: Conduct surveys among employees to understand their current skill levels and areas where they feel under-equipped
  • Performance reviews: Analyze job roles and responsibilities to pinpoint mismatches and redundancies 

AI can pick up data from CVs and LinkedIn profiles, identify skills, and then turn the data into a clear visualization for instant insights and next steps. 

Pro tip💡: Use free HR templates to ensure you handle standard HR activities and collect necessary information in a standardized format.

Based on your findings, set Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely SMART goals that directly contribute to digitally transforming the company, such as:

  • Upskilling 50% of the marketing department in data analytics within six months
  • Introducing a digital literacy program across the organization by the end of Q3

You could also start a targeted upskilling program for existing employees or temporarily contract external consultants or freelancers to fill critical roles.

2. Collect, analyze, and integrate data

Once you’ve determined your goals for workforce analytics, you should collect data from various sources, including employee database software, performance tools, employee surveys, and external industry benchmarks.

Create a step-by-step guide with ClickUp’s Data Collection SOP Template to ensure consistency and accuracy across your team and departments.

Create, organize, and manage your data collection SOPs with ClickUp’s Data Collection SOP Template

Use the ClickUp Workload View to reschedule, assign, or move tasks for your team members so that the data collection task gets carried out as planned. To track a task’s level of effort, you can even add custom fields for data source, collection method, and data validation requirements.

ClickUp’s Workload view
Identify capacities and allocate resources efficiently to prevent over and under-utilization of resources with ClickUp’s Workload view

Next, set up a robust framework for analysis. Use data visualization tools and statistical models to identify correlations, trends, and causal relationships within your data.

Before you start analyzing this data, ensure all stakeholders understand how accurate it must be. If the data isn’t good, any analysis you do might not be reliable or could be misleading.

Integrate data across various platforms and systems to achieve a unified and holistic understanding of your workforce. This is essential for advanced analytics, including predictive modeling, to accurately anticipate future trends and workforce needs.

3. Upgrade your analysis prowess with the right tool

You will find many tools that offer advanced analytics features, data integration, and user-friendly reporting capabilities.

For instance, ClickUp is more than project management software; it’s also a perfect mission-control center for workforce analysis management. With fully customizable ClickUp Dashboards, you can access high-level overviews of your work, monitor your goals, and view and distribute your team’s workload through Scrum. 

Incorporate widgets like time tracking, workload, and custom charts to gain insights into employee performance and operational efficiency. With ClickUp Activity View, you can get an aggregated view of employee activity across any location.

ClickUp Activity Views
See updates and actions across your workspace and promote team-building activities by creating custom Activity Views in ClickUp 

Integrate ClickUp with third-party time management apps to accurately capture how employees spend their time on various tasks or projects. The software is customized to fit your organization’s operational pace and optimize workflows.

4. Take action and monitor results

The final step in implementing workforce analytics is taking action based on the insights generated and monitoring the outcomes.

For example, when analyzing data points like employee survey responses, project completion rates, and communication patterns, remote employees in specific departments have lower engagement and productivity levels than their in-office counterparts.

To address this, you could implement a virtual mentorship program, pairing remote employees with more experienced in-office mentors to foster a stronger sense of belonging and leveraging virtual communication tools to facilitate regular check-ins.

Additionally, you could introduce flexible working hours tailored explicitly for remote employees, acknowledging that traditional 9-to-5 working hours may not be optimal for everyone. This flexibility allows employees to work during their most productive hours.

After launching these initiatives, continuously monitor their impact using employee engagement scores, productivity metrics, and feedback from regular pulse surveys.

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Optimize Team Performance and Get Better Results With Workforce Analytics

Undertaking the journey towards data-driven workforce management can be both complex and rewarding.

Sophisticated workforce analytics tools can help you go beyond collecting, monitoring, and measuring employee data and guide you to take appropriate action involving all teams across the organization. 

We suggest you try the platform to discover ClickUp’s benefits up close.

Sign up for ClickUp for free.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the role of workforce analytics in decision-making?

Workforce analytics makes data less overwhelming and helps reveal actionable insights that would otherwise remain hidden in the complexity of raw data. It evaluates workplace dynamics and trends that help you develop more company policies, foster stronger internal communications, and maintain competitive compensation. These improvements result in higher productivity and retention rates, ultimately driving organizational success.

2. Why are workforce planning and analytics important?

Workforce planning and analytics help aid macro-level planning to improve business operations and performance. You can analyze trends, forecast future needs, and identify skill gaps to hire, train, and allocate the resources properly, ensuring that the right people are in the right roles at the right time using workforce analytics software.

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