Six things you never knew about your employees but should

Grainne Shaughnessy
Last updated on 3rd September 2020
3 min read

Understanding your people, and what makes them happy and gets them productive in the workplace isn’t a nice to have – it’s business critical.

In fact, a staggering 78% of employees we asked said a positive work experience would have a huge impact on their productivity levels. Yet, worryingly, only half of employees said they have never been asked what would improve their workplace experiences.

Clear data can arm HR leaders with the facts about what really makes their people tick. It also enables HR and People teams to share insights with the C-suite, helping them to make informed decisions about the direction of the business.

However, data can seem like bottomless pit, so how can you get to a place where you know your people better than you ever have before? Enter: People analytics.

Here’s six things People analytics can help you glean about your workforce.

1. Do you know who your best performers are?

Look at the performance of your employees and whether this correlates with your company’s turnover to find out who the highest performers in your organization are.

Data can help you look at different segments and groups of talent – gender, demographic, skill level, functions – and work out who are continually achieving top results.

From there, you can try to work out whether your best people are experiencing your organization in a different way to those in different segments, and apply that knowledge across the business to generate improved results.

2. Do you know the time and cost involved in hiring new recruits?

Understanding HR processes and activities can help you to generate a stronger workforce.

Analytics allows you to look at how metrics vary for candidates from different recruiters, for instance, and how that produces variance in terms of time to hire, cost and quality of talent.

Applying this across the HR and People function will help determine how best to grow and develop your workforce after hire, and identify opportunities in the talent supply chain.

3. Do you know which employees are admired most by their peers?

Everyone likes to hear a ‘well done’ when they’ve done a good job, so why not track who is saying it, to who and why?

With engagement figures at a critically low ebb, determining which workers are most engaged and most productive is key.

Productivity can be hard to measure, so using social peer-to-peer recognition to assess who is generating value can provide actionable insight.

4. Do you know whose skills will be most in demand over the next two years?

Sometimes businesses need to look back to look forward.

Analytics can allow you to do just that to work out what your business requirements will be in years to come.

Looking at descriptive analytics, to see how things have changed can help businesses predict how things will change in future. A good exercise is to develop different scenarios and work out what activities might be needed to fill future skills gaps.

5. Do you know that the person sitting opposite you in the cafeteria could be your next CEO?

It’s all well and good understanding your employees as a whole, and in segments, but what about as individuals in their own right?

Predictive analytics can facilitate more effective succession planning and identify candidates for future leadership roles. What qualities did your current leaders demonstrate when they were operating at junior levels? And how will this change for your business in the future?

Only once you’ve identified the people who are demonstrating these same characteristics, can you ensure they are appropriately developed and rewarded.

6. Do you know where your workforce gaps are? (and how to fill them in order to meet your strategic goals?)

Business objectives will vary from sector to sector, and organization to organization.

Your HR team should adapt to your changing business strategy, so figure out what works for you and what aspect of the workforce you need to focus on.

Looking at what your key business priorities are for the future will result in different strategic focus for your HR activity.

With analytics becoming ever more central to good workforce management, it’s time to assess whether you and your team are confident using data, and whether you have the right balance of skills to be able to make the most of evidence-based HR.

Ultimately, harnessing analytics for HR requires a balance of data, technology, flexible mind-set and forward planning. But the biggest secret to success? Just giving it a go!

Ready to start your own People analytics journey? Download our eBook on People analytics – ‘The 5 vital steps to greater workforce visibility’.

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