Blog Business Agility How to Get to Know Your Workforce

How to Get to Know Your Workforce

Know Your Workforce

Business leaders have navigated shifting expectations and continued uncertainty, certain business pressures have been made clear and the learnings from this period will have a lasting impact on the workforce and corporations of the future.

Flexibility, speed, and organizational readiness will be critical for success as businesses become increasingly accustomed to a state of constant transformation.

But it turns out that most companies don’t know their workforces very well. They simply lack visibility into the knowledge, skills, experiences, and aspirations of their employees — and into how those capabilities and ambitions align with their most important objectives. As a result, businesses are struggling to reallocate resources and ensure that the right people are matched with the right work at the right time.

As companies settle into the ‘new normal’, most will be looking to strengthen their organizational resilience through technology and operating models that give them increased workforce visibility and enable more dynamic resource deployment.

Know Your Workforce: Adaptive Resource Allocation

Responding effectively to changes in the market is a major concern at every level of large organizations — from business leaders, who are responsible for setting strategy and organizing execution efforts, to individual contributors at the execution level, for whom changes in the market could radically alter their ability to deliver.

Many of our customers have told us that some divisions or business units are soaring in post-pandemic market conditions, while others are facing significant headwinds. This imbalance creates stress for many large organizations, as high-performing parts of the business must produce beyond capacity while anemic parts of the business may have extra capacity due to slowed demand and little likelihood of executing their pre-pandemic plans.

Research supports that companies that are better at reallocating talent to rebalance in such scenarios significantly outperform their competitors; however, talent mobility remains cumbersome within most large companies despite the widespread adoption of workforce management and project planning tools. As companies pivot their strategies to adapt to changing market conditions, it’s logical that they must likewise adjust their resource allocation and reexamine how they are deploying the capabilities within the workforce.

In Gartner’s 2020 Hype Cycle for the Digital Workplace, which cites Catalant as a sample vendor, Helen Poitevin writes:

Large enterprises needing to pivot quickly and push innovation to the edges may be encumbered by heavy management and control structures. However, internal talent marketplaces have the potential to change that. They establish trust through feedback mechanisms. They allow for worker-led innovation and help workers take full control of their careers. They enable much better and more granular tracking of the skills, competencies, knowledge, and interest of individual workers. This, in turn, will give enterprises a much better view of their workforce and improve workforce planning. Internal talent marketplaces will help bring about leaner, more agile, and more adaptable organizations.

It is widely agreed upon that strategy-execution efforts are stymied by organizational rigidity and ineffective resource allocation. Yet, gathering resources to execute plans remains one of the biggest challenges to strategy execution for large organizations today. Proprietary survey data from 451 Research (part of S&P Global Market Intelligence) supports not only that skills shortages are throttling execution, but also that the top methods to improve talent access include more proactive candidate recruitment and better identification of internal candidates.