Growing your company’s profits can look a lot different than the traditional chants of 'Sell sell sell'! Sometimes the most important way to increase profits is by finding inefficiencies in your systems. Whether we like to think of it that way or not, human resources has systems just like every other team, and finding the inefficiencies in your workforce onboarding, training, and succession planning can mean the difference between running lean and spending (wasting) thousands every year on hiring and attrition.
Both established corporations and small businesses just figuring things out have plenty of room to look within the workforce data they collect every day with their HR software to understand trends in their hiring, employee engagement, and workforce disruptions. Once you’ve pulled the right data, your team can start thinking about how to correct the trends before they turn into a company-wide movement. By using a learning management system, you can both collect engagement data on current employees and use training and education to correct some negative company trends.
Try these five ways to use workforce analytics in conjunction with your LMS to grow your profits.
1. Early training to plan for workforce disruptions
Workforce disruptions like retirements, extended leaves, and firings can cause thousands in missed work and lost profits. Smart organizations understand that workforce disruptions will happen, and plan for the inevitable.
Use workforce analytics reports to determine the probability of each of these workforce disruptions within your teams, and then start cross-training likely candidates for coverage. In the case of planned disruptions like maternity leave or retirement, use the employee as a resource to build process and training documentation to load into your LMS before they leave. In most cases, the exiting employee will be willing to share their expertise and processes with a co-worker, especially if they’ve built programs they’d like to see continue after they’re gone.
2. Early training for high-potential employees
You see them everywhere: high-potential employees that just might make tomorrow’s company leader. These employees show peer leadership and technical knowledge, and they scramble to learn more every day. But high-potential employees may be hiding where you’re not looking. By using workforce analytics to identify future leaders and high-potential employees, you can start training these employees to keep them engaged and remind them that you’re invested in their continued employment.
A Forbes article from 2015 suggests that only 1 in 10 employees already possess the management skills they need to truly be successful. Early intervention with your LMS can keep these employees more engaged and less likely to jump ship. By cross-training employees on other parts of the business they’re interested in, providing leadership training for those interested in moving to management, and continuous education through LMS courses, organisations can build upon the potential they already have in their workforce.
3. Using training as re-engagement for at-risk employees
So you’ve pulled a list of your at-risk employees based on absenteeism, productivity, and career pathing, and you’ve found more flight risks than make you comfortable. The next step is to start having honest discussions with these employees. Is there a personal or family issue that’s causing absenteeism? Does the employee feel they’re in the right job, and is there a job they would rather be doing? Where does the employee see themselves in the next couple of years? Once you understand the reason for the employee’s disengagement, you can begin to re-engage - if you’ve caught it early enough.
Often, HR departments don’t offer cross-training and further education because they fear the employee will take the new information and leave. But for high-risk employees, there’s a chance you’ll lose your investment anyway if you do nothing. To understand the full scope of your risk, use workforce analytics tools to define your current investment in the employee and their lifetime earning potential (with and without further training). Compare these investments to the cost of sourcing, hiring and training a new employee.
4. Lower onboarding times and time to competence
Onboarding trainings are probably your most important training modules, but they can also be some of the most inefficient. Hours are lost in ineffective job shadowing and online training because employees are disengaged or unsure of what subjects should be covered in what order. By using systemised training methods, learning workflows, and blended learning solutions, organisations can speed up initial onboarding and increase time to productivity.
Use your workforce analytics to identify the jobs with the highest turnover or new additions and those positions that have a long lag-time before reaching optimum productivity levels. These numbers will help your HR and management teams identify the most pertinent training to automate or improve. Once you’ve identified the training to improve, use your employees as resources to understand which parts of the job can be taught through LMS, which should remain as one-on-one training, and which training can exist as a blended learning mix of online and in-person.
5. Success of learning vs gamification vs gamified learning
Modern learning management systems don’t just guide employees through online trainings; they also give your HR and management teams valuable information about how engaged your learners are. These metrics can be combined with your gamification software metrics to better understand your total engagement metrics across the organisation. Some important LMS metrics to track are time on software, screen time, engaged time and your basic testing and performance metrics.
If you use gamified learning, or use gamification software in conjunction with your LMS, you’ve got even more potential for understanding the effectiveness of your learning and training systems.
Growing your profits often means finding the inefficient or disengaged employees you’ve already invested in, and then figuring out how to keep that investment working for you instead of someone else.
This is a guest post by Tamara Scott, Research and Content Manager for TechnologyAdvice.com. She writes about the intersection of technology, business, and education from Nashville, TN.