People analytics - the new buzzword phrase on the HR block - is a relatively new concept, yet many companies don’t understand what it is or how to implement it. Ideal.com describes people analytics as the use of data to understand, improve and optimise the people side of business - linking existing people data to business data. The idea is not to simply create the traditional HR report, but rather to use this data in a clever way that will align with the goals of the business, such as increasing turnover and lowering costs.
Ideal.com believes there are three main data driven areas that could be used for people analytics:
- People data, for example skills, engagement and demographics
- Program data, for example attendance, taking part in training, development and leadership programs, and the results of important projects and assignments
The Benefits of People Analytics
Experts from the Forbes Human Resources Council believe that there are a number of benefits to HR departments introducing people analytics:
Tracking Employee Engagement
This can be as simple as a weekly check in with employees, who then rate their weekly experiences. Management can then start a conversation with employees about the results of their rates, and address any low ratings and work on solving problems before they get bigger and possibly result in resignations.
Impact of Learning & Upskilling Needs
It is important to understand how useful training programs are and in the past this was difficult to measure, however today’s technology allows HR managers to gather data and see how learning has impacted on business results. People analytics have the power to identify how an employee is performing, aiding the culture of both the team and the organisation, and identifying any gaps that could negatively impact performance. People analytics also goes a long way into identifying how roles may change and develop over time, ensuring that employees are trained as they go along in order to be prepared for these advances.
Choosing the Best Way Forward
Analysing concrete data allows HR managers to be reactive to the business needs and implement changes in an agile way, moving employees where they need to be and allowing some flexibility into managing important projects that could affect the organisational health of the business.
Preventing Workplace Offences and Identifying Red Flags
Employee data could go a long way into anticipating and preventing issues that could impact negatively on the workforce, such as sexual harassment, diversity and inclusion. Data could include what issues are coming up, how many cases are occurring and any trends that may be present, allowing for plans to be put in place to prevent future occurrences. Collecting data on a regular basis will also show unexpected discrepancies, helping HR teams to identify and assist any employees who may be struggling or having a negative impact on the team.
Deciding on the Right Employee Benefits
Second only to payroll, employee benefits are a big expense on a company. With this in mind it is integral that a company puts this spend in the right place to improve and maintain employee experience. Analysing how employees perceive and use their benefits will give insight into what employees really want, not only adding to a positive recruitment process but also to staff retention.
Improving Process Efficiency and Building Performance
Using real-time data allows organisations to analyse information in order to find out where processes may be lacking and make provisions for improvement. This allows for a company to run efficiently at all levels, right from the recruitment process through to the ongoing daily processes and future projects. An efficiently run company adds to better workplace experience, and understanding this data helps to solve smaller problems or change behaviours, adding to effective and improved performance.
Implementing People Analytics
Human Resource experts My HR Future offer a number of important factors in implementing People Analytics:
Work Towards Solving Business Problems
At the end of the day, data should be there to help businesses add value and make smart decisions. For this reason methods to track the data and analytics of your employees should stay up to date with how the business operates in order for managers to change what is important as and when it is needed, often requiring a learning curve, being able to find and solve problems, make mistakes, find and test evidence, before ultimately achieving the end result.
Create a Culture Driven by Data
Traditionally the function of HR was to work on a best practice basis, however people analytics works on collecting and analysing data. My HR Future further explains that this can be achieved by measuring the existing culture (beliefs, assumptions and values), proving the value of HR analytics, tailoring communications according to the areas you are working with, normalising data interactions, creating positive role models who understand the need for a data driven culture, and being patient in understanding that this shift in culture will take time.
Due to the data-driven nature of people analytics, it is integral that all employees feel that any information or data that they share is protected. Critical to this is creating policies, reviewing protocols and new technologies, keeping employees up to date on what you are doing to protect their data, as well as understanding and adhering to any data protection laws in your region.
Use Existing Resources to the Maximum
Your company consists of a number of teams throughout the business, and it is important to use every resource to your advantage. Your IT department for example is particularly useful in helping you build the correct platforms and models to house your employee datafoundation. Other departments may already have analytic platforms in place that you could leverage off. Make sure you are on the lookout for existing opportunities.
Seek Guidance from Outside
Consider using Partner Networks to expand your HR resources to understand how others are using people analytics and how it can benefit your own HR department. It is always useful to gain new perspectives and support from business partners who may have already overcome challenges you are currently facing, as well as to bounce ideas off one another.
People Analytics is a valuable new introduction to the HR field to understand the people in your organisation, what makes them tick, and how to keep them motivated.
Creating a culture of data driven information with concrete evidence can go a long way to understanding your staff and what adds value to them, and in turn how they add value to your business, ultimately improving your bottom line. For more ways to engage with you employees, with us today.