October 13, 2021

How Workforce Analytics Deliver Data to Improve Efficiency

Workforce data delivers the insights you need to make better decisions about your labor force. It can help you understand labor costs, identify trends in productivity and pinpoint adjustments that will improve efficiency.

Simply having data doesn’t tell you how to improve workforce efficiency, especially if the data is stored in a spreadsheet or a legacy system. By using workforce management technology to harness the power of workforce data, you can optimize the efficiency of your workforce, your employee schedules and your budget.

Ways to Approach Workforce Efficiency Data

Today’s workforce management technology offers a wealth of data analysis tools, helping you measure employee time and productivity on the job. However, before you dig into the data and look for trends and insights, it’s critical to understand the two ways to look at workforce efficiency data: the data you input and the data the system outputs.

Automated workforce management technology tracks people data and delivers outputs through dashboards and reporting. For example, your time and attendance solution can use labor tracking and job costing data to deliver insights that enable you to understand labor costs, both in the aggregate and by project.

You can also obtain workforce efficiency insights by inputting data into your workforce management system. For example, with TCP’s Humanity Demand-Driven Scheduling solution, once you enter historical workforce data into the solution, the tool analyzes the data and provides efficient schedule recommendations.

Using a combination workforce data inputs and outputs, you can get access to insights that improve budgeting and workforce planning decisions in real time.

Ways to Use Data to Improve Workforce Efficiency

Because workforce analytics can cover nearly every aspect of the employee experience, it’s not always clear how to use the data to improve efficiency in your workplace. In fact, in a recent Deloitte study, only 26 percent of surveyed HR and IT executives said they used workforce technology and analytics effectively.

Finding a path to greater efficiency requires understanding the many capabilities of today’s workforce management solutions. Time and attendance technology can not only make it easier to track employee time, but also use data to identify trends in how employees work and what they accomplish in a workday.

The following are a few examples of the actions you can take to improve efficiency with workforce analytics:

Determine how long it takes to complete specific tasks and projects.
On any given shift, workers are assigned a variety of tasks. Everyone may be busy, and all the equipment may be running, but you still might not have visibility into the productivity of each person and piece of equipment. A labor tracking solution delivers that clarity. Labor tracking uses job codes to distinguish different types of labor so you can monitor how much time employees spend on specific roles or tasks.

A labor tracking tool can deliver insights that help you understand the following:

  • Differences in employee productivity: You can see if one worker completes a task in five hours, but another completes it in four. From there, you can investigate what could be causing the disparity, whether it’s related to the employee, the equipment, or the work process.
  • Productivity that falls below expectations: For example, if it takes three days to complete a job when you planned for two, you can look at the variables impacting efficiency and search for the root cause.
  • Equipment maintenance readiness: You can use labor tracking to measure the number of hours a machine has been in use and when it may be ready for maintenance. In some cases, this helps you ensure safety compliance in the workplace.
  • Issues in employee scheduling: Labor tracking helps prevent worker fatigue and burnout by monitoring how many consecutive hours or days each employee works.

Calculate the labor costs associated with specific projects.
Workforce analytics can measure how much time employees dedicate to specific projects so you can align actual labor costs to your budget. Job costing ties employee hours to projects or clients, giving you greater detail than labor tracking. By using cost codes to track the work linked to a specific job or client, you can see how your workforce is tracking against budget.

Job costing can be particularly helpful in situations in which you bill clients for direct labor expenses. The additional level of detail provided by job costing ensures you bill clients accurately. When workers clock in using a specific cost code, you know exactly how many hours those workers dedicate to the corresponding project. And when the time comes to bid on a similar project, you’ll already have a good idea of the anticipated labor costs.

Use time tracking data to build better schedules.
Your labor needs aren’t the same day in and day out. Therefore, you need work schedules that can handle the staffing peaks and lulls that occur throughout the year. Whether you need retail schedules that adjust according to holiday shopping seasons or healthcare schedules that flex according to patient demand, you can use a workforce management solution to create schedules that meet demands.

Data-driven scheduling lets you input past employee shift data to build better schedules. For example, if you run an emergency department and need to build employee schedules knowing the department typically has more patients around the holidays, a solution like TCP’s Humanity Demand-Driven Scheduling is game changing. It can analyze staff member availability, patient levels and other data inputs to create a custom schedule that works for your facility.

Use Data Insights to Manage Your Workforce More Effectively

Workforce analytics can provide deeper insights into your workforce. When you access tools that help you understand employee time and how it drives labor costs, you can make better decisions about staffing, employee scheduling and project assignments. To learn more about how you can improve workforce efficiency, read our labor tracking and job costing e-book.