5 Ways to Use Workforce Analytics for Strategic Healthcare HR
As HR departments seek ways to be more strategic, they’re looking at workforce analytics. A report by Deloitte says less than a quarter of companies felt ready or somewhat ready to use analytics in 2015; in 2016, 32 percent of companies did. By some accounts, healthcare organizations are lagging on this trend, but the advantages they could gain through people analytics are numerous.
Using analytics will become increasingly important as healthcare organizations evolve. “Healthcare companies face dramatic changes in their marketplace, from the restructuring of healthcare services to be preventative to the need to attract scarce medical talent,” says Jean Martin, Talent Solutions Architect at CEB, now part of Gartner. “Without HR analytics, healthcare companies will lack the ability to compete for or drive the performance of the talent they need.”
Here are five ways healthcare organizations can use workforce analytics for strategic HR.
1. Improving Recruitment
Assessing and selecting candidates to interview is one of the most important ways workforce analytics can improve HR strategy, experts say. “By gathering data from your top-performing employees, you can better understand what qualities to look for in candidates in order to hire employees that are more likely to excel in their role,” says Evan Harris, Co-Founder and CEO of SD Equity Partners.
Other tactics include assessing employment value proposition to attract the talent an organization needs most, Martin says. As healthcare organizations fight to recruit nurses and tech talent, measuring how employees and candidates view the value of the jobs you offer will help you tailor your message and employer brand more accurately.
2. Increasing Retention
Turnover in healthcare is a challenge, especially among direct caregivers such as nurses, says Sy Islam, Assistant Professor at Farmingdale State College and a Human Capital Consultant at Talent Metrics. By using workforce analytics, you can determine why employees are leaving, he says. This is especially important if your organization isn’t replacing people quickly enough, he says.
“Data affects all of these decisions, and evidence-based human resources management that leverages people analytics is much more effective than traditional approaches to HR,” he says. “If you don't have data on why nurses are leaving then you can't determine the best solution.”
3. Boosting Engagement
How much effort do your employees put into doing their jobs? How do they feel about working there, and how likely are they to stay? Workforce analytics can help you get the answers to these questions, as well as provide insights into what you can do to improve your odds.
“Data allows you to measure engagement and address employee concerns to improve engagement,” Islam says. This is especially helpful at large organizations and those with multiple locations, providing a snapshot into what employees think about their work and their managers to C-level executives. “Data can help engagement, recruiting and retention by allowing HR and senior leaders to be informed of what happens in the organization.”
4. Assessing Future Leaders
As healthcare organizations face increased retirements by baby boomers in the coming years, workforce analytics can help to identify and train people to take their places. Assessments of current leaders can help determine requirements for success for different positions, and assessments of future leaders can identify areas where they need work.
Cleveland Clinic is a good example of this practice in action, Islam says. The organization used data-based approaches to identify and develop leaders. “Without solid performance data, it's difficult to manage employees' performance in organizations,” he says. “There needs to be a mix of objective and subjective criteria used in evaluating employees, especially in a hospital setting where such data is readily available.”
5. Building Better Teams
Healthcare teams must be able to collaborate to make patient care a priority. Understanding each employee’s strengths and opportunities through workplace analytics can help managers and leaders build better teams throughout the organization, and help them work better with each other.
“Without awareness, team members have a tendency to work from their preferred process,” says Karen Gordon, CEO of 5 Dynamics, a team collaboration tool. “The conflicts that team members experience when working together, those differences that most people write off as ‘personality,’ are most often driven by their unique process preferences. By appreciating how we all bring diverse value to the team, we can optimize team success and satisfaction.”