Dave’s response: ‘Hmmmmmn… yeah, that’s one topic.’
(We’ll just call that one Plan B.)
So we pared it down to one aspect of high performing organizations, something that all HPOs have: good workforce intelligence, not to be confused with an intelligent workforce.
It sometimes amazes me how little workforce information you can get out of most HR systems. No one expects an HR system to provide the answer to life, the universe and everything, but an accurate global headcount report seems like something you could reasonably expect to get.
Imagine your CEO calls your right now and asks for input to decide between two potential locations for a new service center. You’d probably want to compare workforce information in each location, including labor costs, hiring sources, time to fill job requisitions, quality of new hires, etc. Can you?
What about other information that might be useful to running a business, such as:
• What are the most critical jobs in our organization?
• What are the most critical skills by job in our organization?
• Where do we have skills gaps or pending skills gaps?
• Before we bring in a consultant, is there an internal person who can do this?
• Before we lay someone off, do they have skills we need elsewhere?
• Is it more cost effective to hire, contract or train someone for this role?
• How does the work quality of contingent v. employees compare?
• Do part-time employees really produce less than full-time employees?
• In which locations are we finding it hard to find people with the skills we need?
• Who’s working on what and what does it cost?
• Which managers have unusually high turnover?
• Where do we have flight risks?
I could go on - there’s all kinds of useful information hidden away coyly in your HR systems today, as well as all kinds of useful information should be there but isn’t. And Dave and Lyn have their own take on this over at HR Official and The HR Bacon Hut, respectively. But you get the idea.
Here's the worrying thing: HR leaders are starting to be replaced by marketing executives because marketers know how to show the impact of strategy execution on business results.
In marketing, business results drive whether you succeed or fail. Period. Which is why the first thing a marketing person in an HR role would do is get that information, right after hanging the ‘
HR hasn't been held accountable for business performance compared to areas of the organization but that's starting to change as companies realize it's all about people. Everything else is just... stuff. Which means that current, accurate workforce information is pretty important for HR leaders to have.
As an added bonus, good workforce data will help you look attractive, confident and well-dressed like that woman in the picture... no, it's not me, although the resemblance is uncanny.
It's more than just good to know.