Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your workforce can help you make better staffing decisions. Workforce analytics helps by collecting employee data and converting it into actionable insights for efficient workforce planning.
For more information, check out this article on workforce planning.
Regardless, how do you conduct a practical workforce analysis? Which factors should you look at? In this guide, we explain the importance, key measurements, and best practices for workforce analysis.
What is workforce analysis?
Workforce analysis refers to gathering and analyzing internal and external data to assess your workforce’s skills, expertise, strength, and weaknesses. On a construction site, this helps evaluate the labor force, estimate project timelines, identify skills gaps, and devise relevant strategies to address them.
So why is workforce analysis important? The workforce is the backbone of a construction site. Knowing what it can and cannot do is essential for managers to make data-driven and intelligent decisions. Workforce analysis allows project managers to gain deep insight into employee-related details, such as engagement, productivity, and performance.
It further helps in the following:
- Identifying employee inefficiencies
- Overcoming staffing problems
- Addressing skills gaps
- Monitoring employee engagement
- Prioritizing recruitment
- Reducing employee absenteeism and turnover
- Controlling employee costs
- Curating efficiency workflows
- Enhancing training and boarding
Key Measurements in workforce analysis
Workforce analytics involve any parameter that can give construction managers insight into their workforce’s performance. The three standard measurements are:
In this parameter, the managers measure factors like:
- Training time
- Employee work hours
- Employee expertise
- Skill level
Productivity is more of an individual metric that can be culminated to give the construction managers an idea of the collective team productivity. For instance, construction managers can measure the individual skill levels of each employee and then create a record of all onsite skills and identify if more recruitments or training programs are required.
Gallup’s State of the Global Workforce 2022 report shows that only 21% of employees are engaged in their work. That’s concerning since a low engagement rate translates to poor retention and high turnover.
American employers spend a whopping $2.9 million daily finding replacement workings; a fraction is spent in the construction industry. Workforce analysis tracks engagement metrics, such as:
- Attrition rates
- Professional milestones
- Retention rates
- Work-life balance
- Employee satisfaction
It also looks for factors like the relationship between employees and managers, job satisfaction, and employee feedback. All these variables help managers devise plans to keep employees engaged on the construction site.
For example, if employee feedback shows that the workforce is not engaged due to poor communication, you can work on improving the chain of command and communication channels.
When analyzing your workforce, measuring how well the organization adapts to dynamic market conditions is imperative. To understand the workforce’s adaptability, you can measure organizational heterarchy, work styles, and similar metrics.
How to conduct workforce analysis? Step-by-step process
Here’s a step-by-step guide to conducting a workforce analysis.
Step 1: Determine a challenge or question
Start by identifying the questions you want an answer to. For example, is our construction site equipped to finish the first phase of the project in three months?
When you know your question or challenge, you can determine which data you will need to come to an answer.
Step 2: Collect relevant data
Now, collect data that helps answer the question you selected. In our example, you’ll need information about the following:
- Employee skills
- Employee workloads
- Employee engagement
- Employee availability
You can gather this data through surveys, interviews, and other sources.
Step 3: Choose the analysis method
Now, choose an analysis method to evaluate the collected data. Here are some standard techniques.
Trend analysis compares data over a set period to identify trends. For example, you can monitor employee data from the previous year, quarter, or project. If employee productivity has remained consistent during this time, you will likely finish the project’s first stage in due time.
But if you experienced a skills gap last year, the same will repeat this year too. Use this data to learn where the skills gaps are and recruit the right people to fill them.
In this analysis, you’ll use machine learning, algorithms, and historical data to predict an outcome’s likelihood. For instance, you can use industry data to see if other teams of your size have been able to finish the task in three months.
Correlation analysis studies the relationship between two variables. In this case, you can compare the employees’ skill levels with their workloads or engagement rates.
A high correlation suggests that the employees are working at their maximum capacity. You can then use this data to redistribute their workload or recruit more people if necessary.
Step 4: Present the results
Present your results to relevant stakeholders and analyze the findings. You can use the dashboard of construction management software for visualizations. Analyze whether you have the number of workers and required skills to complete the task in time.
Step 5: Determine actions to take
The final step is to determine your actions based on these results. If the data shows that you have the workers, but they’re not engaged, you might need to initiate better communication or mentor programs.
Likewise, if you do not have enough workers, you need to recruit more. If there’s a skills gap, initiate a training program.
Best practices for workforce analysis
Here are some tips to get the most out of workforce analysis.
Use the right tools
Use relevant workforce analysis software with features like data visualization, machine learning, and analytics.
Collect accurate data
Do not work with outdated or incorrect data, as it will result in inaccurate insights. Use data from credible sources, such as government websites, HR records, performance revelations, and employee surveys. The data must be relevant to your questions and be up-to-date.
Analyze the data holistically
Instead of looking at each piece of data in isolation, analyze it through the lens of HR analytics. It will help you streamline people management and deliver better results.
Use data visualization
Employee data can be complex and all over the place, especially if you have a large workforce. Use graphs and other visual aids to present this data in an easy-to-understand manner. Doing so will help you explain everything to stakeholders better and draw patterns from the data that might not be easily visible in raw data.
Effective workforce analysis requires accurate data collection and careful planning. Follow the practices and procedures in this guide to learn more about your employees’ productivity, skills, engagement, and adaptability.