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HR Analytics: No Longer Just a Buzzword

 
March 13, 2017

At a time when the global IT and business process services industry is shifting to a value-based approach, ensuring that the right talent is hired, nurtured, and retained can be a key business enabler. According to the Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2016 report, 60% of the top executives surveyed hold HR accountable for business results. In 2016, 51% of companies correlated business impact to HR programs and 44% used workforce data to predict business performance. Given this trend, its easy to see why 77% of executives now rate HR analytics a key priority.

HR analytics is not about reporting standard personnel management metrics. It helps draw insights, inferences, and trends from historical data to predict future needs and behaviors, thereby ensuring that HR can truly partner with the business to achieve strategic goals. In essence, it acts as the bridge that connects HR to business. Although there is a lot of buzz around HR analytics, deploying it is not a decision that you can make overnight.

Give your business an edge with HR analytics

Take the case of Coca Cola Enterprises (CCE). With complex operations, global footprint, and diverse business units, the company needed a centralized HR reporting and analytics service to improve the business performance. This led to the formation of an HR analytics team serving eight countries. With the teams focus on creating quality data sets and automated reporting processes, CCE has been able to develop real centers of expertise capable of providing high quality HR insights to the management.

Is your organization ready to adopt HR analytics?

Before you decide to deploy an HR analytics solution, you must first ascertain whether your organization is ready to take the leap. You will need a systematic approach to answer the following questions:

1.What is to be measured and what is to be achieved?

To start with, identify what you must measure and what your organization wants to achieve. For example, an organization might want to improve talent acquisition based on employee ROI, while another might focus on employee retention. Based on the concerns that are to be addressed, you must define clear goals right at the outset. More importantly, you must understand that you cannot address all issues simultaneously. Prioritize the issues based on their impact on the overall business.

2.Is the data accurate?

After identifying the area where you would like to apply analytics, you must assess the current HR data for accuracy. Accurate data is the foundation for robust HR analytics. If your HR team is unable to produce accurate metrics for parameters such as head count, attrition, and engagement tenure, taking the next step will be a challenge.

3.Are all HR systems in sync?

In most organizations, different HR data points are maintained on different systems. You must ensure that all these systems are in sync, and seamless data exchange from one system to another is possible. In the case of global organizations, this can be a bigger challenge as HR teams at different locations might be storing data in different formats and on different platforms.

4.Are all the stakeholders aligned?

The involvement of all stakeholders from the HR and business teams, right up front, is critical. Ideally, the team deploying analytics must comprise people with functional knowledge of HR and operations as well as a good grasp of overall organizational goals and analytical capabilities. Most importantly, you must ensure key stakeholder buy-in for the investments in technology and people.

5.How should the findings be represented?

Deploying analytics is just one important part of the initiative. What is equally important is how you represent the findings. This means you must understand who the end users of the findings are, and identify the best possible way to ensure they understand the findings and related implications. Simplification of data reporting is the mantra here.

6.How will change management happen?

If, at the very outset, the problem area is clearly defined, stakeholders are involved, and data accuracy is ensured, then change management becomes relatively easy. By securing the buy-in of all stakeholders right at the beginning, you can ensure that your efforts are targeted at a common goal. Finally, its important to create a detailed communication plan to address all those in the organization who are impacted by the findings.

HR analytics can help you leverage a wealth of employee data to make better decisions about your workforce – from engaging top talent to accurately predicting future staffing needs and improving employee satisfaction. As changing business dynamics force organizations to become more agile and cost effective, analytics helps you align HR metrics with strategic business goals to drive superior value creation.

Is your organization ready to adopt a data-driven approach to build a nimble workforce?

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Arpita Vyas is an HR Consultant with TCS Business Operations unit. Vyas has more than 10 years of experience across the banking and outsourcing industries. She has expertise in transitioning employees and developing employee communication strategies. Vyas has led over 16 complex transitions involving more than 5,000 employees who joined TCS BPS inorganically.