Incentra Insights

Brace Yourself HR - Workforce Analytics just Got Bigger!

Posted by David Chittock on Aug 25, 2014 3:16:25 PM

Not Your Father’s Analytics

Workforce analytics used to be the domain of green shaded analysts and financial gurus.  These individuals supplied HR managers with data to help them make informed employee-related decisions.  Well, those days are gone forever.  The arrival of Big Data fueled by social media has forever changed HR’s world. And HR managers are scrambling to catch up.

Getting Data in Real Time

A new generation of workforce analytics has evolved. New analytics tools and capabilities are appearing in the marketplace that enable companies to use real time technologies to gain deep insights into customer, employee, and performance data that help them make more intelligent and incisive decisions. 

Social, Mobile, Visual and Actionable

 According to SAP, there are five main characteristics of the new analytics:

  • Data is collected socially. Companies are sourcing data from a myriad of social media interactions of customers, prospects, and employees/.

  • Data is analyzed socially. Companies are sharing data across the organization to be analyzed in collaborate efforts to leverage the collective intelligence of the enterprise...

  • Data and tools become mobile. The proliferation of mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets equipped with powerful apps and data collection devices are dramatically expanding access to data across companies.

  • Data is more visual. New apps can illustrate data through graphs, visuals, and interactive simulations resulting in better collaboration and innovative thinking.

  • Data is more current and actionable. Data can be collected, analyzed and distributed faster than ever before making it more accurate, complete and timely for decision making and predictive modeling. 

What Does This Mean for You?

So what does this mean for you as an HR manager? You will need to develop multi-disciplinary skills including business strategy, consulting skills, data visualization, data management, statistics, and executive presence.  You’ll need to combine “data” and “business,” and be able translate a “finding” into a program or solution that drives business change.  Finally, you may have to alter your belief systems if new science presents evidence that is contrary to what worked in the past.

What Will You be Able to Do?

SAP has identified the following capabilities HR can achieve with new workforce analytic tools:

  • HR can measure employee sentiment, employer brand, and employee risk and knowledge management in real-time and analyze the data by location, gender, job role, or whatever other subgroup is relevant.

  • HR can assess employee sentiment and satisfaction by observing such language clues as “happy” and “frustrated” to evaluate overall morale as well as evaluating employee preferences.

  • HR will have better organized and robust performance metrics to help identify top performers for promotions and reveal employees with opportunity/vulnerability areas so that they can receive training.

  • HR’s use of enhanced workforce analytics can also measure and allow plnning for items such as compliance and diversity.
  • HR can staff projects more effectively and identify high potential employees more quickly with advanced workforce analyti

A World of New Opportunities

Armed with actionable analytics, HR managers have immense opportunities to use talent data in recruiting, reducing workforce costs, maximizing training and onbarding, rewarding performance and executing business strategy.  These data-driven insights can also be used to predict turnover, minimize new hire failure rates, and manage persistent poor performers.

It’s All about Employee Engagement

Being part of an executive team that is making faster, smarter decisions is what will enable HR to develop and execute the people strategies that will competitively differentiate their company in the marketplace.  Without question, the most critical aspect of HR’s role is to effectively recognize and reward employee behavior in ways that maximize motivation and employee engagement.  Workforce analytics can dramatically improve employee engagement. The key is to find a partner who can provide you the analytical tools to make this happen. No worries, we’ve got this!


Categories: Employee Recognition