Exploiting workforce analytics to re-engineer the health service.

Liaison Workforce

David Jones-Stanley
Workforce Improvement & Sustainability Consultant

Current challenges in the healthcare environment are well documented and range from an ageing population presenting increasingly complex healthcare needs through to shortages in the availability of healthcare workers to deliver the care required. The vital role HR professionals play is pivotal in how these challenges will be met across the NHS.  

As we continue through 2019 we’re starting to turn our focus to the decade ahead.  We’re looking at: delivering the NHS Long Term Plan; designing a robust workforce plan that will meet the needs of a new tech-savvy multi-generational workforce; managing the changing demands for flexible working and supporting overall staff wellbeing.  Concurrently, NHS HR professionals are cultivating a stronger, more diverse culture across the health service against a backdrop of increased financial pressures, rising levels of worker burnout and stress and escalating staff shortages, estimated at c250,000 by 2030 ¹.

With today’s advancements in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, HR Professionals should be better equipped than ever before to utilise the vast amounts of data available to make workforce planning and workforce optimisation more streamlined.  However, recent reports from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development² ³ suggest that many HR Professionals struggle to access meaningful information, with 39% stating they have no access to ‘people data’ and 49% citing ‘intuition’ as a main source of evidence in decision making.

At Liaison Workforce we understand these data access challenges.  We know that NHS organisations need information solutions and data services that are designed to support decision making – bringing together data from multiple workforce systems and breaking down the barriers of data silos.

We also understand that the journey to achieving this is hindered with issues of data quality, analytical ability and time-consuming information gathering exercises.  This leaves very little scope for HR professionals to focus on how the information can support the organisations’ workforce strategy.

Using leading edge HR analytics software combined with our expert staff, Liaison Workforce supports the NHS in changing the shape of its workforce by using such data driven insights.  Intelligently combining data from the whole of workforce (including substantive and temporary workers) we mine from Electronic Staff Record (ESR), temporary worker solutions, erostering, and finance to automatically unlock important insights and inform users in straightforward, clear sentences. NHS organisations gain accessible and understandable HR analytics to support evidence-based decisions affecting workforce efficiency and effectiveness.

The system is delivered ‘fully loaded’ with data from the organisation featuring reports and dashboards that analyse key areas of focus for the organisation.  On-going resource requirements are minimal as existing data and information generated through day to day operational solutions are utilised to “sweat the data asset”, rather than creating new resource heavy processes. Liaison Workforce’s ‘mission control’ style of analytical reporting is structured so it can be understood by busy, non-technical staff. 

The potential benefits from this whole of workforce view include reducing voluntary turnover of staff through identifying hidden hotspots of past, current and future turnover as well as reducing absenteeism through the early identification of absence patterns and absence influencers, including management practices, training levels and rostering optimisation.  We’re working with HR teams to spot these early signs so that proactive interventions can be deployed and measured over time. The success lies in the smart use of our HR analytics – and HR professionals are now equipped to re-engineer the health service to deliver the NHS workforce of the future.

¹ https://www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/news-item/staffing-shortfall-of-almost-250-000-by-2030-is-major-risk-to-nhs-long-term-plan-experts-warn

² https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/people-profession-uk-ireland-report_tcm18-50165.pdf

³ https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/people-analytics-report_tcm18-43755.pdf

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