Banish fear, gain foresight this Friday 13th

From crossing your fingers to not stepping on cracks, we all have our good luck rituals – but knocking on wood might not be enough this week, as we see the only Friday the 13th of 2016.

An ominous prospect for the superstitious among us, many will avoid air travel, driving and job interviews for fear of tempting fate. But is there any truth in the idea that the day brings bad luck, or is it just myth?

Unfortunately for business leaders, there does seem to be reason for some concern, with fear of Friday 13th estimated to cost the American economy around a billion dollars every year due to absenteeism, reduced commerce and lower levels of productivity.

If old wives’ tales are to be believed, there’s little we can do to escape the curse of the unlucky day – but with modern HR technology, we might just be able to ease its negative effects. In recent years, prescriptive analytics have become an increasingly important part of business practice, and by utilising the data we have at our disposal, it may be possible to make bad luck a thing of the past.

With the rise of workforce analytics, business leaders are now able to gain a comprehensive, holistic view of their organizations and to make more informed decisions – not just for the short term, but far into the future. As important as knowing where skills gaps and problems exist within a business is knowing where they might arise in years to come, and having the capability to prepare for them before they have an adverse effect on the organization.

Knowing how many people you can expect to leave your company this year, and predicting how many of them will be key team members is becoming a crucial asset for modern businesses, and can have far reaching implications. No longer limited to the HR function, access to this kind of people data is fundamental to boosting productivity across the company, reducing turnover and lowering costs.

‘Flying on instruments’ with analytics takes the mystery out of people management, and the fear out of the future – especially as workforce analytics are expected to grow rapidly, and dominate the market over the next five years. Being able to gauge who future highest and lowest performers might be and where skills gaps may arise also allows for proper succession management, giving managers the opportunity to create tailored employee learning development programs that will make the most of existing talent and new hires alike.

While workforce analytics can’t tell you how the fates will behave, they can give you a pretty good idea of how your people will. Gaining visibility and foresight on the performance of your business are vital to maintain a competitive advantage in the modern marketplace, and could help you banish bad luck forever.

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