One of the most crucial aspects of managing a business is ensuring that all employees are supported to achieve their full potential. With digital transformation shaking up traditional working models, many organisations are investing heavily in an array of technologies to empower flexible and remote working in an effort to increase productivity.
However, companies that are serious about building a stronger and more dynamic team should start thinking strategically about financial workforce planning for the long term.
Businesses that are fit for the future need to be armed with accurate information for well-informed decision making about the size, scope and future of the workforce. Everyone from the CEO to the HR manager needs to have full visibility into resourcing requirements and skills gaps as well as forecasts into staff costs for existing and new hires into the business.
There are several reasons why this has not yet been achieved. A major factor is that many organisations still rely on spreadsheets to store critical information, despite this method being increasingly recognised as ineffective for precise decision-making.
It is in this scenario that analytics can deliver significant value to the organisation. A recent example is Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, which needed a solution to improve its financial planning process, to save money, time and increase productivity. Before it started working with MHR Analytics, the council was struggling to manage multiple spreadsheet-based budgeting systems, which led to a heavy workload and extra admin.
By replacing its spreadsheet systems with a new MHR Analytics solution, the finance team have freed up an estimated 2,000 days during the budget setting process. On top of this, data can be pulled quickly for management requests and spending commitments can be forecast to enable confident decision-making for resources.
That’s why quality financial workforce planning is so important. It is vital that companies can forecast how changes to budget and headcount will impact the overall productivity of the organisation. Key questions around staff costs, support and training can be visualised and acted upon, giving senior executives and HR professionals the information they need to make the right decisions for the workforce.
High quality management of people will continue to be a key differentiator in an increasingly automated world. It becomes difficult to build a diverse and highly skilled workforce of the future unless you have the right tools in place to properly resource and develop it.
Analytics is the key to building a modern workforce that is properly prepared to deal with economic and technological challenges ahead. The sooner companies wake up to this reality, the sooner they can start taking a lead in an increasingly competitive economy.
Want to know more? Download Mike’s latest e-book, Using workforce planning to your advantage.
Mike Jeffery is head of financial performance management at MHR Analytics. With a background in both accountancy and software, he has over 30 years’ experience in transforming clients’ reporting, planning and consolidation processes.
Over the course of his career, he has worked in both the private and public sector, using a variety of financial Performance management technologies. Most recently, Mike led IBM’s European performance management technical professional team.