Tired of Hearing about Position Management? Here's All You Really Need to Know


Do you feel like Position Management has been done to death and you know all you need to know about the subject?

If you’re rolling your eyes and muttering “Not again” to yourself, hold up. This is not yet another lecture about why it makes sense to separate employee and position data in human capital management systems. Instead, what really matters is how position management can help your organization navigate the choppy waters of the post-COVID-19, dynamic business environment.

Whether you’re looking to improve your workforce management, achieve greater flexibility and scale in your business, or are just eager for a way to deal with constant change more easily and faster, keep reading to discover all you really need to know.

Position Management 101: A primer on how it works

Managing your organization’s human resources contingent can feel like herding cats. 

The minute you get one department fully stabilized with all the right people in place, you have turnover in another department. And no sooner is your six-month hiring plan confirmed than an unexpected need arises and your organizational chart changes shape yet again.

Many people management systems are employee-based, meaning that information about a particular job or role is directly tied to the person currently occupying it. But when the employee changes roles or leaves the organization, all that data disappears with them, leaving a hole in your organizational chart.

Position management-based human capital management (HCM) systems segregate positions from people holding them, meaning that rather than all data articulating around individual employees and the positions they hold are stored separately and then linked together as needed. Information about a particular job or role remains in your system, completely intact and persistent so your organizational chart doesn’t collapse every time an employee resigns and you delete or deactivate his or her record. 

Because you’ve built an internal architecture that persists over time regardless of staff changes, you get to retain the critical data associated with open—and in fact all—positions. Effectively you now have a real-time, parallel view of the people and positions that make up your organization.

These real-time, accurate perspectives confer a host of benefits on your team, including:

Enhanced workforce planning

In general, HR teams use manually generated reports to track unfilled and occupied positions. This is busy work which simply balloons during periods when employee turnover is at high levels. Sound familiar?

With position management capabilities, it takes just a few moments to locate up-to-the-minute status reports — and not only on the current situation. Execs and team leaders have a birds’ eye view of the number of positions open at any one time, access to past records to see what the organization looked like in the past, and even preview future staffing needs based on projections and scenarios to adapt your hiring and recruiting plans as the needs of your business evolve.

Increases agility and scalability 

Adapting to constantly changing needs can’t be achieved when team members – execs, line of business leaders, and HR — are bogged down in time-consuming and error-prone manual tasks that absorb their focus and take time and energy away from activities that fuel and sustain business growth. 

One of the many ways position management helps businesses gain much-needed agility and scale efficiencies is by intelligently re-routing workflows and automating data updates. For example, if a manager leaves your organization, position management-based systems his reports won’t be orphaned; they’ll simply be connected by a dotted line to the former manager’s superior without manual intervention or assigning them to an interim manager who’ll also be replaced in the coming weeks or months.

Automating the process significantly reduces the amount of wasted time HR or department head would have to spend reformulating the org chart, while still providing much-needed visibility into the state and status of the remaining team.

Similarly, position management also impacts scalability by accelerating new hire onboarding. Position or job-specific permissions and process rules remain in the “position” layer of the architecture so that new hires automatically inherit advanced configurations such as:

  • Benefits eligibility

  • Paid time off accrual rates

  • Job cost coding

  • Funding source

  • Timesheet displays

  • Security access

Otherwise, this information would need to be captured, entered, and eventually updated manually per employee. 

Improve navigation of rapid changes and unprecedented challenges

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations were required to flex and evolve as reductions in force or temporary furloughs necessitated downsizing to critical positions and reallocating resources to new responsibilities. However, their lack of a centralized database and reliance on underpowered technologies or old-school manual processes often left them floundering and making strategic decisions from incomplete information.  

Position management in the time of the Great Resignation

This subject is so topical and so important that we’ve dedicated an entire post to it. Read the post here. 

Whenever and however it becomes necessary to move people in, out, or around an organization, business leaders must have reliable access to a current and accurate organizational chart for an on-demand look at which positions are currently filled, where there are openings, and where realignment may be required. 

Eliminating wasted time from having to re-enter and manually recreate workforce plans and the org chart dramatically shortens decision-making timelines, helping your team more effectively navigate times of uncertainty. Using persistent data and a dynamic organizational structure gives your team more easily accessible, accurate, and actionable information to quickly make more informed decisions and keep your business ahead of the trends. 

SyncHR is purpose-built to enable organizations to better manage complex organizational changes by supporting workforce planning, talent management, and alignment of people management across teams. 

Download our “Position of Power” white paper for a more in-depth look at how position management can give your team a competitive edge. Or, contact one of our experts today for a free consultation.

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