Workforce visibility is more than a gateway to a strong contingent workforce program — it is a tool to guide leadership decisions, help managers operate efficiently and build employee engagement. And it is not a one-time effort but a journey that requires planning, adaptability, patience and partnerships.

This article is based on a panel session titled, “Total Workforce Visibility — Why Organizations Deem It Critical to Their Success,” at SIA’s CWS Symposium Live event, held last month in Phoenix. In the session, Erika Novak, head of client services at Utmost, was joined by Divya Sridhar, director of shared services technology at healthcare organization ChristianaCare, to discuss ChristianaCare’s experience in pursuing workforce visibility. ChristianaCare began the journey with Workday in the core HCM space and payroll and over the years built and expanded to various modules within Workday. Its most recent augmentation is a collaboration with Utmost for the contingent workforce population and its management.

Who Benefits?

Unifying workforce platforms into just one that all stakeholders can utilize creates a more seamless experience for the organization’s contingents, employees, hiring managers and leadership. Talent can access all their information in one place, while leadership gains visibility into their talent pipelines and current teams as well as upcoming talent needs and demand.

From a hiring manager’s perspective, benefits include a more robust tool and an easier process to fill talent requisitions, regardless of whom they’re filling it with. The simpler it is for a manager to follow a process to make the right decision, the more likely it is they will do so. This is especially important for new managers, who must already contend with learning a vast amount of new documentation and procedures.

“All I know is, as a manager, I need a nurse practitioner,” says Divya Sridhar, director of shared services technology at healthcare organization ChristianaCare. “Does it matter if I go one way or the other? And how many buttons do I have to push and how many documents do I have to read to make sure that I’m picking the right pot?”

A few first steps to ensure that you are on the right track.

Involve all stakeholders. It’s very important to bring all your stakeholders along for the push toward total talent visibility, Sridhar says. “At the end of the day, if you want something to be successful, you have to walk with everybody.” It’s very difficult to deliver a product and expect everyone to jump on board if they haven’t been a part of the process.

Develop a game plan. And before putting anything into play, get a vision and plan a strategy.

“As simple as it sounds, a roadmap would do you a lot of good,” says Sridhar. “Define where you want to go — and it’s not where you want to go right now, it’s where you want to be four years down the lane, five years down the lane so that your trajectory can be based on that destination.” And don’t be afraid to change your vision or strategy as you move forward in your plans. Change is inevitable, so accommodate and morph as you progress.

Set expectations. Set very realistic expectations for your total workforce visibility project and ensure all stakeholders are on board with those expectations. Identify a group of highly affected users and bring them along from the beginning. That way, if something needs tweaking, there is an opportunity to adjust early in the process and avoid major revamps with an end product or process.

One step at a time. And don’t try to move the mountain in a day, Sridhar advises. It’s not going to happen.

“It’s a journey, right? It’s very important to identify that it’s truly a journey and keep at it,” Sridhar say. “It could be different. The journey that we started last September, we’re in a very different space now. We’ll be in a very different space a year or two down the lane, but it’s recognizing and changing and adapting.” 

In addition to CWS Symposium Live, CWS Symposium On-Line takes place Oct. 20 and 21; it is an online event delivering content from the CWS Symposium Live, including the session discussed in this article, and more.

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