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People analytics at work: Achieving objectives and realizing outcomes, part 3

analyticsThis week we continue our look at our simplified framework for people analytics. Over the past two weeks we’ve shown how HR, by situating analytics in the context of business objectives and outcomes, can evolve from a tactical and reactive function to a strategic and proactive partner for the business (see part 1 here and part 2 here). Aligning HR efforts with business outcomes means that every activity can be focused towards business success.

This week we look at the outcomes end of the process:

There are two key parts to this: taking action and evaluating/optimizing.

Take action:

  • Armed with the analytics and insights relevant to your business objectives, you and your HR team are now equipped with the knowledge to take action and drive towards improving business performance.
  • This is where real business problems get solved, where you act on your new found data and insight.
  • In the case of turnover, depending on where the data points, this could mean updating or changing a recruitment process, investing in recruitment sources differently, reviewing learning and development opportunities, taking on employer brand, building support mechanisms for new employees, or more.
  • It’s at this stage where you can say with confidence “this is what’s happening, here are the reasons why, this is why it’s important to understand this issue, here’s what we’re going to do about it, and here is our expected outcome.” That’s a whole lot of business value and a great springboard for dialogue and decision making.

Evaluate, rinse and repeat:

  • Evaluating the action taken
  • Making any necessary changes
  • Celebrating your successes (yay!)
  • and Carrying on towards your next workforce analytics initiatives on areas of priorities according to your business needs.

By being diligent at the outset of your journey into workforce analytics and identifying 1 or 2 key objectives, you can start tackling these areas headon and in the most efficient and effective ways.

Let’s revisit our turnover example from earlier. If, through segmentation, you can pinpoint that turnover is a particular problem among three specific groups of employees and you know that the negative impact to the business is higher in one area than in the others, you know where to place your initial focus on driving improvements. Being able to sharpen your focus on the specific areas that matter most should have significantly more business value than trying to solve an overall turnover problem of 12%.

From here, you have the evidence you need to tell the story of what’s happening, the insight to chart the way forward, and the ability to act with confidence, speed and dexterity towards solving real and relevant business problems. And you can take all that learning and apply it to the next analytics focus.

Committing to your analytics journey can be overwhelming. As you get started with your objectives and priorities, you may realize you need help pulling together the data. Don’t worry, that’s a common situation. It’s important to find an analytics partner who will work with you to make the data connections that matter, and evolve as your business needs change. The biggest value comes in working closely with your partner to continuously build insight and understanding that is business and outcomes focused.

If you’re interested to know more, ask yourself these 7 questions and find out if you are indeed ready to partner with a workforce analytics pureplay.

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PeopleInsight

Workforce Analytics at PeopleInsight
John Pensom is CEO of PeopleInsight with 20 years’ experience in the "people" business and gained deep knowledge in how technology, information and analytics drives business and culture change. PeopleInsight is a Canadian company delivering cloud-based workforce and business analytics; it connects and unlocks traditionally disparate HR, talent, engagement, business results and external market data to deliver rich insight through analytics in clear, visually appealing and actionable ways. Read more
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