Workforce Risk Management Helped our team thrive.

The first time I managed a team over 100 people, I realized just getting to know everyone personally was not enough. To manage well and to build the culture my team and I wanted we needed data!

Fo this reason, the management team and I worked together to start a simple spreadsheet. We asked basic questions about who was on the team, what they were working on, where they worked, and what roles they played.  As we started to build our sheet, we enhanced the questions to include career interests, certifications, and skill levels.

Pretty soon, we had built a mini database.  As a result, we could get key insights on the strengths and risks of our team.  We had, by chance, built a workforce risk management method.  Consequently, in just the first three months we had some key discoveries:

  • 80% of the team supporting a particular area was eligible for retirement within five years.
  • People with the highest skills on emerging tools were contractors, not employees.
  • We had no cross-training strategy.
  • Over 10% of the team had certification in our domain.

Because of our insights, we used the data to build an intentional workforce strategy.  We created opportunities for employees. We reduced the overall risk of not having the right people at the right time in the right place since we knew where we were exposed.  The data helped us get funding for training and helped us find the right vendor partners.  Within a year over 40% of the team was on a path to certification.  Not to mention that our engagement scores jumped considerably.

The result was and continues to be a vehicle for growing talent, creating opportunity, and reducing exposure – what are you doing to manage workforce risk?

The Association for Talent Development has a blog on the organizational value.  It is worth a read.  My managers and I did it to be better leaders, and it worked.