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A systems view of staffing

The people working in an organisation are critical to its success. For many organisations a major cost is that imposed by the constant need to replace staff. Inspired by www.wearedna.co.uk approach to the whole life view of staffing, I investigate the value of improved retention to an organisation.

Key to this work is the observation that staff in post learn how to operate more effectively within any system. Indeed there is a considerable body of work on learning at work, and a more limited amount on the impact of that learning on shift organisation.
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The staff model

Our model is simple and illustrative - using a logistic model of learning. The key elements on the staff side are:
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The demand model

We model a varying demand as follows:

It would be possibly to model seasonality in demand (day of the week, time of year), but that is beyond the scope of this presentation and it adds complexity for very little gain in understanding.
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Results

We present results for two different service organisations, one of which has a better retention period than the other. For each member of staff we record their takings, and overall we estimate the takings (green line) for the service organisation and the amount of extra takings (red line) they could have achieved with extra capacity. In order to demonstrate the impact of new hires, the points at which replacement/hiring is undertaken are marked with a vertical blue line on the overall summary graphs.
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After 200 Days

After 320 Days


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After 500 Days

After 1010 Days


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Conclusions

The change in staff retention has had the inevitable impact on the number of hires undertaken, a there is a clear gain in the reduction of costs for hires.

However, possibly more interesting within the model is the potential scale of losses caused by having unskilled staff who cannot meet the service demands on the system. In a wider systems models of the customers we should expect these losses to play out in the form off:

This model analyses the impact of improved retention, but equally it is possible to attack the training rate, initial competence levels, and shift organisation within the framework, but these have been omitted in the interest of brevity. For the live model see:

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