In the era of big data, people analytics has become a growing factor in organizational decisions made by human resources and executive leadership. How have some organizations used this information? What has been the impact of people analytics? Also, while all organizations are trying to develop best practices with COVID-19’s influence on the workplace, how can people analytics factor into critical decision-making? We discuss this and more in today’s Astronology®.
How HR Can Leverage People Analytics
People analytics (also known as HR or talent analytics) refers to the gathering and assessing of the people processes, functions, challenges, and opportunities at work, in the hopes of improving these systems and achieving sustainable success. People analytics is becoming a prominent feature in decision-making. A 2017 Deloitte Human Capital Trends study reported that 71% of companies saw people analytics as a high priority. Ultimately, businesses should have the goal of improving decision-making through application and interpretation of such data.
People analytics has the potential to help organizations identify key issues and effectively address those issues, resulting in conserving funds. For instance, IBM has been able to use people analytics to understand its retention challenges. Using people analytics, IBM’s “Proactive Retention” program can predict which employees are likely to leave and pinpoint the best way to retain employees. It has helped the company save more than $270 million dollars since its inception.
Some HR experts have used people analytics to increase both employee engagement and work performance. Specifically, COVID-19’s global impact has disrupted and changed daily processes for everyone, especially in the workplace. In these challenging times, many are looking to people analytics to help them navigate the storm. But how?
Using People Analytics During Times of Organizational Change
Undeniably, this year has had us all facing changes. A major change for organizations involved the physical workspace. While many previously enjoyed sharing open office spaces and meeting in person, COVID-19 all but eliminated these day-to-day activities. Most organizations had to quickly adapt to a digital workspace. We all became familiar with various digital resources such as video conferencing and instant message services and increased our communication to keep our employees grounded. As weeks turned into months, we all learned to adjust to a majority remote work life. Some organizations have even found benefits in their new work environments and, as a result, are adjusting policies. As the very nature of people analytics is studying processes, functions, challenges, and opportunities for growth, the changing environment of COVID-19 has become a prime area for data collection, analysis, and improvement.
For instance, some organizations are using people analytics to address business adaptations surrounding COVID-19 and planning for possible future issues. Some questions being examined include the following:
- What percent of our workforce can be switched to work remotely if needed?
- What percent has already shifted to working remotely due to COVID-19? What is the trend as we ramp this ability?
- What percent of our workforce is currently not working due to COVID-19?
- How are infection rates trending in the countries / states / provinces where we have employees?
- What is the trend in our employee infection rates and how do they compare to the relevant country / state / province?
- What is the risk level of our workforce in each area, based on age distribution and other relevant factors?
- Do we have any locations that are significantly impacted by COVID-related absences?
- What is the average duration of employees being unavailable due to COVID-19 illness or other reasons?
- What percent of our infected workforce has recovered and returned to work?
- What percent of our temporarily remote workforce has returned to working on location?
- What is our current productive capacity percentage?
- For how long are impacted employees nonproductive?
- How much productive capacity have we lost?
Tracking data such as this opens conversations for leadership to plan and address cost saving measures in productivity and workspaces, and to create procedures if an outbreak occurs on the worksite.
While we all continue to balance our new work environments and build policies for possible future challenges, using people analytics helps organizations make tailored decisions that will give maximum positive impacts. Does your organization apply some form of people analytics? Are you using some of this information in connection with recent adjustments to the workplace? Share your thoughts in our comment section below!