The development of your workforce is of the utmost importance, because it is only through things like training and sales coaching that you can get your staff up to the sufficient level of competency to carry out their role effectively. This, in turn, can then lead to overall improvements in terms of business performance.

However, it is equally vital that any time and money is invested in the right areas and that your development strategy is designed to ensure your business’ specific aims, objectives and targets are being met. In this article, we explore how using analytics can help you to ensure this is the case.

Training

Perhaps the most obvious way in which analytics can help with workforce development is by helping you to identify areas of weakness, or areas where improvement is needed, among your teams. This information can then be used to guide and inform your training and coaching programmes, so that issues are addressed.

“Companies are increasingly tying staffing decisions directly to specific business problems, strategies and goals,” says Michelle V. Rafter, writing for Computerworld. “And to do that, they need data — lots of data.”

Through a combination of individual employee statistics, company performance projections, sales and financial figures, and HR data, it should be possible to identify strong performers and those who need improvement, but more importantly, it should be possible to pinpoint exactly which areas individual employees need to work on. This then makes it much easier to target things like sales coaching towards addresssing specific business issues.

Progression

Ultimately, one of the key reasons for developing your workforce, aside from short-term competency improvements, is for internal recruitment purposes when vacancies open up. For this reason, progression is a major motivating factor for employees and analytics can allow organisations to make more informed choices.

In a study conducted by IBM, businesses were asked to rank a number of challenges based on importance and their own effectiveness at tackling the challenge. It was subsequently found that ‘developing succession plans and career paths’ had the biggest gap between importance and effectiveness, highlighting the extent of the problem.

The use of analytics in this area, however, can allow you to pick out top performers in your organisation and put them on the right path to progress their career. Moreover, detailed performance analytics can help you to better match employees with potential future job roles, based on the person specification for each role and the individual strengths and weaknesses of your staff members.

Compensation

In addition to helping managers to identify areas of weakness within their workforce, analytics can play a role in ensuring that staff are appropriately compensated or recognised for their efforts. This may take the form of performance bonuses, pay rises, or general praise, all of which can play a role in helping to develop staff.

Wherever possible, wages should be based on productivity and the importance of the role to your organisation. Some companies find that they get a boost in terms of motivation to improve by factoring in a commission component to their employees salary, and this commission should be allocated based on the analysis of key metrics.

“Choosing to base a portion of an employee’s salary on performance is paramount to getting employees invested in the company’s mission,” says Vanessa Merit Nornberg article for Inc.com. “Employees need to be able to feel on a continual basis that their efforts are being noticed and appreciated.”

Conclusion

Effective workforce development is vital for any business, because it allows employees to reach full competency and peak productivity, while also maximising staff retention. However, in the modern world, decisions in this area should align with key business goals, which is why the use of analytics is so important.

Miller Heiman Group’s 2017 Sales Enablement Summit, scheduled for 4th October 2017, will cover various employee development topics in much greater detail, with the help of expert speakers. For more information about the event and to register your attendance, please click here.

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