Companies have been relying on data for making decisions for years now, but people analytics is a fairly new tactic. If you’re not familiar with the term people analytics, it describes a situation in which you use data to manage people. More specifically, many companies are starting to use people analytics to not only hire new employees, but also put them in the right roles and ensure they’re meeting expectations on a consistent basis. More companies are realizing people analytics enables HR transformation. If you’re curious how statistics can help you make human resources decisions, get some examples in the workplace.
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How People Analytics Enables HR Transformation
In the past, top executives could rely on their gut feelings about everyone from job applicants to existing employees. They could hire and fire based on their intuition. But that was largely out of necessity, because they didn’t have access to large collections of raw numbers to go by when it was time to analyze employees. Now that this technology exists, it makes sense to look into it before making hiring and firing decisions.
Of course, many business owners and decision makers are notoriously slow to adapt to evolving technology. But when it’s clear that technology could save them a lot of money and time, they become a little more enthusiastic about incorporating it into the workplace! And that’s exactly what happened with people analytics. These days, companies look for measurable outcomes, not just gut feelings. They need to be able to justify costs, so the fact that people analytics could provide numerical values to compare—and then save them money—has sped many companies along. People analytics enables HR transformation in a pretty impressive way.
So if you’re trying to find techniques to drive your return on investment regarding people, this technology should intrigue you. And you won’t be alone, as just last year, a study found that 69 percent of companies planned to integrate data to create a database for people analytics. Compare that to 10 to 15 percent in past years, and you’ll see that people analytics is rapidly becoming a big deal in the business world.
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What Technologies Can Enable Your Organization to be Better at People Analytics?
If you’re still getting a feel for people analytics, your main question might be how you can collect the data you need to make HR decisions. Well, new technologies are always popping up on the market, so you should be keeping an eye on the latest options whenever you’re ready to start using people analytics. However, here’s an idea of the top people analytics tools in 2018 if you want to start collecting data on everything from punctuality to performance.
But there are alternative methods for tracking people analytics, as well. For example, you can give surveys to find out how engaged and happy employees are. You can find out how much you’re spending on employees who travel by combing through expense reports. You can even use programs that analyze the “mood” of an email, which work by looking for specific words or phrases that could clue you in to how your employee is doing. And if you want to start using people analytics before you hire anyone, you can use tools that use social media to find people who are likely to look for a new job soon. Consider how much time and effort these technologies would save you, and you can see how people analytics enables HR transformation.
What Sort of Data Should Reside within People Analytics Technologies?
Thanks to the current use of so many computer programs, most HR departments have access to a ton of data about their workforce. They just don’t know what to do with it yet. They might not even be aware of what kind of statistics they’ve collected. Maybe they thought they were just recording time clock information so they could properly pay employees, but it turns out they’ve also been keeping a record of employee habits when it comes to who tends to arrive early and stay late. This could be very helpful in determining who gets a raise or some other recognition, and who needs to step up their game at work.
Basically, you can use data to make a variety of decisions in HR. There are a few types of data you can collect in particular. First, there’s people data, which includes employee engagement, their demographics, and their skills. Next is program data, which might include work attendance, participation in leadership and training opportunities, and project outcomes. Finally, there’s performance data, which should track the employee’s performance ratings and other information you might collect from surveys and software. When you collect the numbers from these three categories, you can see a whole profile on employee productivity, performance, retention, engagement, mood, training effectiveness, and more. You likely already have the data; you just need to turn to people analytics to put it to use!
If you’re interested in seeing how people analytics enables HR transformation for your company, you can start by collecting data. If you don’t already have several ways to do this—such as through everything from payroll programs to employee pulse surveys—it may be time to buy software built for this purpose. Then determine how you want to use it to improve your workforce, at which point you can plug in the data that will help you make some big decisions in HR!
For some guidance on getting started, read: How To Derive Actionable Insights from Your Talent Recruitment Process Data
The original version of this article was first published on Future of Work.
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