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Benefits of Data-Driven Workforce Planning

How a data-driven workforce plan disrupts the norm and maximizes success through implementing predictive analytics in both tactical and long-term planning initiatives.

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The workforce you have now likely has different roles and skills than your organization will need in the future.  

HR leaders face the challenge of preparing the corporate workforce for new strategic priorities by proactively developing and shaping the future workforce. Getting caught flat-footed by evolving skills needs could leave you lagging in your industry. 

One study by CIPD found 46% of employers use data to identify skills gaps in their workforce, and even fewer—31%—collect data on future skills requirements. 

Keeping up with trends, tracking self-reported skills, and maintaining an updated skills inventory are time-consuming tasks. 

How can your company avoid being caught behind the curve on talent management? The answer is in the data. Combining verified skills data, advanced analytics, and the predictive power of AI can help you plan for and create the workforce you’ll need in the coming years. 

Data-driven Workforce Planning Is The Key

HR leaders can streamline their workforce planning efforts. That enables them to make faster, smarter decisions on training initiatives, hiring plans, and other key matters. 

Here are four benefits that data-driven workforce planning provides to companies. 

1. Improve talent management 

Data-driven workforce planning provides HR teams with real-time insights into skills development and career progression, enabling them to manage their talent pools more effectively. Data is essential to shift to a skills-based talent management strategy. 

Analytics that take advantage of third-party, verified skills credentials can help leaders identify top performers and track their performance, career progression, and skills learning over time. These insights can also help L&D managers provide personalized development plans that align employee objectives with organizational goals.  

Having data about employees’ verified skills allows you to identify individuals who possess different or unique skills that may complement other teams or provide additional value to the organization. AI-powered analytics can identify skills gaps across your organization and aid you in developing customized training programs to fill those gaps. 

The result of these data-driven processes is a more productive and agile workforce—the workforce your company needs as it moves into the future. 

2. Increase productivity and efficiency 

AI-assisted analytics can help identify areas of inefficiency and inform data-driven decisions that maximize productivity and improve workforce management. It can help you see where reskilling or upskilling could improve performance and efficiency, which in turn makes it easier to make the business case for targeted, strategic L&D programs. 

With a real-time view into workforce capabilities, HR leaders can forecast talent requirements, determine optimal workforce size, and strategically allocate resources to reduce staffing costs, minimize waste, and improve productivity.  

Real-time data collection and analysis detects trends in resource use at all levels of the organization. That can help optimize standard operating procedures and encourage best practices from individuals, teams, and departments.  

This level of insight not only reduces inefficiencies but also enables leaders to respond proactively to changes in demand or market conditions. That positions the organization for long-term success. 

3. Boost engagement and retention 

You can create engaging career paths and use real-time data analytics to deliver more personalized employee experiences that include better targeted training as well as tailored recognition and compensation systems.  

Incorporating personalized development plans within standard training hours can lead to higher employee engagement and increased retention. Opportunities for skills development is a top priority for workers—sometimes even more important than compensation and benefits. When employees get to learn new skills and try out different roles, they feel more engaged and accomplish more.  

On the flip side, insights into which employees aren’t engaged can also be helpful in identifying organizational problems. Inadequate training, poor management, and other problems can reduce the effectiveness of talented individuals who are otherwise a good fit for their roles.  

Identifying those issues and resolving them, often through targeted training and skill building, can prevent them from escalating into bigger issues that drive turnover. These initiatives improve employee engagement, increase job performance, drive collaboration, and foster a more positive workplace. 

By leveraging real-time data insights to identify areas for improvement, and then addressing those areas, HR leaders create a more engaged and motivated workforce better equipped to meet the needs of the organization today and in the future. 

4. Aid succession planning 

Data-driven workforce planning enables smoother transitions during times of leadership change.  

Accurate, objective data about verifiable skills plus performance evaluations can be used to identify top performers and high-potential employees. Using data this way can reduce some of the bias that may otherwise seep into the evaluation process. 

Workforce forecasting can help identify what skills and roles an organization will need in the future. That, in turn, can help identify what kinds of new leadership roles may be needed and what kinds of skills may be needed by an organization’s leaders in the future. 

Succession planning, then, can focus on cultivating the leadership potential of top-performing managers and executives who are well-positioned to lead your organization’s future workforce.  

Training programs and coaching and mentoring opportunities can then be targeted more precisely and effectively, ensuring that the highest-potential individuals receive the development opportunities they need to become future leaders. 

Data-driven succession planning is a powerful tool to help an organization maintain its success in times of organizational transition or disruptive market conditions. 

Embracing data-driven workforce planning 

Modern-day data-driven workforce planning offers real-time insights and a wealth of benefits that can help organizations and their people thrive in a rapidly evolving business landscape.

Pearson's workforce solutions provide forward-looking analytics, forecasting tools, and verified skills data. Allowing workforce planning teams to take a skills-based approach to talent management.  

Don’t rely on outdated methods with unreliable information and guesswork; let us help you optimize your workforce for success. To learn more and see how data-driven workforce planning can benefit your organization speak to our team of experts