People analytics is listed as one of the top 10 areas for HR teams to focus on in 2017, according to a recent survey by Deloitte. Driving this trend is the emergence of cloud-based programs that record real-time behavioral data from employees. The growing availability of people analytics challenges HR professionals to capture, interpret and leverage the data to impact factors such as talent acquisition, employee engagement and employee performance.
Luckily, these challenges are also major opportunities for forward-thinking HR teams and business leaders. Here are a few ways people analytics can be used to drive employee recruitment, engagement, retention and performance:
HR teams that pull data from internal employee surveys gain critical insight into which benefits are most valued and most used. Research shows that 79% of job seekers value more robust benefits to flat-out pay increases. Keeping track of which benefits are making the most impact to current employees shapes how HR teams build and market unique value propositions outside of traditional monetary compensation. In such a competitive job market, a unique employee perk or benefit can make all the difference in converting potential candidates. HR teams that focus on analyzing current data to drive how they market nontraditional compensation have a much better chance at staying relevant and recruiting top talent.
Engagement and Retention
After hiring an employee, it is important to keep them engaged. Deloitte reports that 91% of workers stay in a job less than 3 years. By recording employee data and analyzing trends in the workplace, HR teams gain a better understanding of the overall employee experience. Figuring out which elements are most positiveand which are not gives critical insight that informs winning retention strategies. Analyzing the hard data on the overall employee experience mitigates the guesswork of what’s driving engagement and retention. Alternatively, seeing where employees are satisfied, and taking steps to align core policies and programs with employee interests and motivators will help employees feel their input is valued, which directly boosts retention.
People analytics can also be impactful in monitoring employee performance. A study shows that top performers can deliver 400% more productivity than the average performer. Having ground-level data will highlight and profile top-performing employees so they can be properly recognized. Additionally, people analytics has the potential to identify under-performing managers or departments, so HR can create interventions, move team members around accordingly, or provide training as needed. The ability to record and analyze real-time information about employee performance optimizes productivity and proactively recognizes potential issues with under-performing teams or managers.
As access to people analytics increases, so can the impact of the HR department. Having data that can be used to inform decision-making and investments equips HR to have a greater role in driving business goals. This requires a proactive mindset from HR leaders – companies that seek out ways to capture people analytics and leverage it in their day-to-day tasks gain an edge over those that use the data as a reactive measure of addressing elements like engagement and retention.
For more insight on how HR can address workforce issues in a proactive manner, check out our blog, “Thinking Forward about Total Compensation.”