Getting to Workforce Planning 2.0 with Social Network Analysis (Updated 4/12/12)

WSR_Dec11Jan12(4/12/12 Update:  You can now download the full article from the bottom of this post)

Subscribers to IHRIM’s Workforce Solutions Review will find the December 2011/January 2012 issue dedicated to Strategic Workforce Planning.  Be sure to check out this article on leveraging insights derived from social network analysis (SNA) to get more from your workforce planning initiatives.  An excerpt from this article is included here.

“With the increased adoption in social networking technologies comes a concomitant increase in the amount and types of data available on individuals and teams. This includes information such as how they work and collaborate, the type and quality of information that is shared, the effectiveness of their communications or the degree to which they are perceived as leaders or followers, and much more. The emergence of these new data components – essentially the collection of the social components of an individual’s profile – should raise some important questions for HR leadership with regard to your workforce planning and intelligence strategies.

  • Are you prepared to leverage this new information and incorporate it into your planning strategies?
  • Can you have an effective workforce planning strategy without an understanding
    of the connectedness and engagement of your people?
  • Can you identify and plan for the future leaders of your organization if your focus incorporates only the formal, and not the social aspects (such as degree of real influence) of your current and future workforce?

Existing approaches to workforce planning are at a 1.0 level in a world of 2.0 processes.

Workforce planning (WFP) 2.0 would entail the incorporation of a much broader view of individuals and their networks, and as a result would require the incorporation of social network analysis (SNA) to provide the necessary insights to inform workforce planning decisions.

Incorporating the information gleaned from SNA into all  aspects of talent management processes enables HR to bolster the success of its workforce planning initiatives. A few examples include the following:

  • Use SNA to help you identify early flight risks.
    Who’s disconnected in the networking paradigm? Whose level of engagement within the network (posting, sharing feedback, etc.) has dramatically dropped from previous periods? These potential flight risks can affect assumptions in your workforce planning scenarios.
  • Bring new life to your 9-box analysis.
    Comparing performance to potential, or performance to compensation, are common practices amongst most human capital management (HCM) software solutions today. When you can look at engagement quotient, network collaboration scores and other SNA measures against performance, and use this as inputs into future potential, you have a much richer picture of the future potential of individuals and teams.
  • Ensure effective onboarding.
    The outcomes of your workforce planning scenarios will often involve the recruitment of new staff and transfers within the organization. Accelerate the success of your staff in their new roles through social collaboration, mentors,
    communities of practice and other initiatives that link people to expertise and knowledge. Use SNA to monitor and measure their activity and make course corrections as indicated by the analysis.
  • Improve retention strategies.
    Make sure that you consider the connectedness of individuals in your retention/workforce planning strategies. Think twice before downsizing so as not to decimate your best-connected networks!

Beyond Connectivity Analysis
Network connections are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to SNA. Evolve your SNA strategy by augmenting it with additional evaluation criteria for a more holistic view of the enterprise and, hence, better decision-making. For example…”


You can download the full article here:  Getting to Workforce Planning 2.0 with Social Network Analysis


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