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Measuring performance with workforce analytics

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Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs 

Workforce analytics is earning its place in Human Resources departments but it can be a chore to determine how it fits into yours. The concept can be used in so many areas, from recruiting to hiring to learning and development and development. It cuts down on the guess work in many cases, helping to identify trends and have a good idea of what an outcome will be before its even reached, so it’s no surprise that it’s now reaching into employee performance evaluations.

Standardizing the process

One of the most difficult things to achieve with company-wide employee performance evaluation is standardization. Some companies struggle to standardize their employee evaluation method, while some struggle with training managers to evaluate evenly across the board, despite their personal management style or feelings about employees. One of the main benefits of utilizing workforce analytics to evaluate employees is that you’ll be comparing certain aspects of their work to that of others. It much less biased and subjective, so there’s less of a margin for error when it comes to giving a fair evaluation.

Establishing your analytics

For some businesses, you can access statistics for workers in your industry to get a baseline for evaluation. This is especially helpful when it’s all about the numbers, such as sales, a call center or retail environment. Regardless of industry, you likely have an idea of what your baseline will be but be careful not to use your assumptions as a benchmark since workforce analytics is based on real statistics, not just goals or guesses. To establish your beginning analytics, determine what factors you’ll base your evaluations on then use those to guide a kick-starter evaluation. Depending on the type of work you’re evaluating, you may use averages (call time, amount sold, number of claims processed, etc.), a quiz to test knowledge, a standard evaluation form for supervisors (or peers) to fill out or another method. Once you’ve gathered the numbers, it’s time to compile them and establish criteria, such as below average, average and above average. 

Using analytics

Now that you’ve established the initial analytics for your workforce, it’s important to be consistent in how and when you evaluate in the future. This is the most important aspect to using workforce analytics to evaluate employee performance. Additionally, workforce analytics are not a set-it-and-forget-it option. Your workforce, their duties and factors affecting their work are constantly changing, so be sure to evaluate your criteria and averages annually.

Another important thing to remember is that although workforce analytics can automate much of the evaluation process, it doesn’t cover all of it. Employees will still need assistance in troubleshooting why they don’t meet expectations and identifying areas of possible improvement even when they do meet expectations. There are also some factors that are much more difficult to compare with workforce analytics, such as ability to work with a team and leadership skills. When analytics are used along with traditional evaluation, your organization will save time and your employees will receive much fairer evaluations. 

Does your company utilize workforce analytics to evaluate employees? Tell us what you do and don’t like about the method in the comments section below. 

Want to learn more about using compensation analytics with your workforce? Watch this recorded PayScale webinar: Compensation Analytics: The ROI of Turnover.

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