remote workforce
Productivity Improvement | 09.11.2020

From Employees to the C-Suite: How Workforce Analytics Can Optimize Enterprises

Several months into 2020’s grand experiment with large numbers of employees working from home, a common refrain can now be heard: If only remote work didn’t seem so – well – remote.

Employees at all levels in the enterprise list the same concerns: Communication, connection, productivity and burnout. While the human touch is an important part of addressing these issues, rounding out the complete picture requires something else entirely: Hard data.

To learn more about how employing a workforce analytics tool benefits all your employees, we talked to Sapience’s SVP of Strategic Accounts Joe Morgan. He provided the following insights into the benefits of objective data for workers at all three levels: employees, direct managers and top-level executives.

Answers for Your Employees

As their workforces have moved home, many companies have reported difficulties in establishing and maintaining benchmarks. From their remote perspective, employees often report they lack clear understanding of their managers’ expectations for effort and output. Workplace analytics tools ensure that objective goals and measurements are easily available to all employees in a constructive, transparent fashion.

Enterprise-wide data also helps individuals and teams understand how their effort impacts the whole organization and validates their outcomes compared to other teams and other individuals in the same position.

Finally, workforce analytics tools acquaint each employee with their daily work activities and work patterns. In the case of Sapience Vue, these personalized reports are based on actual effort, not on employees’ self-reporting.

Sapience’s workforce analytics tool collects data passively. Therefore, employees often learn that how they spend the day is actually very different from the way they perceive they spent it,” Joe said. “It provides real clarity around what it takes to get their job done. It helps in uncovering a variety of issues that might be preventing employees from doing their jobs effectively. It’s completely objective feedback using real data.”

Like other Sapience employees, Joe uses Vue daily to monitor his own work effort and output.

“I watch my own metrics to see how I spend my days, and it helps me avoid distractions like checking my email every few minutes,” he said. “I’ve learned that if I put aside a period of time daily to focus on core work without interruption, it’s easier to give my full attention to other issues that come up throughout the day.”

Context for Your Managers

Direct management can perhaps gain the most from regular use of workforce analytics – mainly because managers can use the data in so many ways. Here are some of the most salient.

Productivity management

Looking at individual and team data trends within the context of the type of work being performed helps provide insight into the naturally cyclic highs and lows of output. This helps shed light on the root causes of lower productivity and removes the guesswork for managers.

“Context is hugely important. Our experience has been that effective managers can look at their team’s data, quickly see what isn’t right, and hone in on issues that need to be addressed, whether it’s related to process, quality or workload.” Joe said. “They understand how their teams deliver and can use these key metrics to optimize performance.”

Work alignment

Managers can also use the metrics from workforce analytics to monitor workloads. When metrics change, managers can initiate conversations with employees to uncover any potential problems and to determine what processes have changed. Workforce analytics can then help redirect the work to other teams as necessary, as well as indicating possibilities for cross-training and other opportunities.

Burnout prevention

When observing data trends over time, managers can spot potential issues that could lead to lower-quality work and even burnout. This supports retention by alerting managers about changes in the behavior of top performers.

“When identifying burnout, there are two extremes we commonly see. The typical scenario is a significant spike in hours worked week over week for a team or an individual. These increases in hours worked over the normal workday or week are not sustainable, and can lead to additional issues, including increased errors and decreased quality. The other extreme is where top performers’ effort suddenly drops off, indicating disengagement and potentially becoming a flight risk” Joe noted. “In either case, you have the data to support a candid conversation that can uncover truly important issues. It’s an enormous benefit.”

Insights for Your Executives

Your senior management team can use the enterprise-wide data supplied by workforce analytics to gain the insights that support goal-setting and strategic planning. Joe highlighted the recent experience of a client who used Sapience to make decisions in support of their international merger. This client used Sapience as the cornerstone to understanding and consolidating teams and processes as they combined global workforces. Sapience’s enterprise-wide reporting was a critical component to the right sizing process.

In other cases, enterprises are using Sapience with their contingent workforce to enhance their outsourcing governance process. This has helped justify additional spend and has helped establish expectations versus reality around work output in both hourly and fixed price vendor agreements.

Context. Insights. Action.

These are just a few of the ways objective data supplied by Sapience Vue can help bring your remote workforce closer to home, no matter where they are. Throughout your enterprise, Vue connects effort to people, processes and technology. Customizable reporting tracks activity details such as core time, focus time, meeting time, and more. Senior management can get cross-functional views of effort; managers can determine true capacity and output, and employees can get honest, actionable insights into their own work habits. From an operational standpoint, Vue is SaaS-based, lightweight, quick to deploy and scales up with little effort.

To learn how your enterprise can get these same multi-tiered benefits of using Sapience Vue, contact us today.