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  • Writer's pictureThinkSight

Improve Employee Engagement and Performance with People Analytics

Updated: Jun 20, 2023

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People data is business data

People datais more than a mere collection of information about employees, compensation, attrition rates, or employee demographics. It provides critical information to leaders across a company: retention numbers, employee learning, costs associated with staffing changes, burnout trends and risks, employee satisfaction and engagement, and skill gaps. It can help employers determine salary scales based on local geography and help hiring managers choose candidates from potential talent pools by focusing on those who bring the best background and experience for a role.

Previously, people data was buried in spreadsheets and quarterly reports — but not anymore. Over the last several years, HR leaders have become far more adept at analyzing and sharing people data with organizational leadership to improve the employee experience and to recruit, retain, and develop in-house talent. Today’s employees have higher expectations than ever before, and using people data allows hiring teams to utilize a more informed approach to meeting those expectations. Senior and middle managers use people analytics to predict and understand current trends in their industries, informing their decisions and choices in both hiring and improving staffing.

Is it worthwhile? HR leaders believe so. According to Harvard Business Review research, 54% of advanced users of people analytics reported positive business outcomes and nearly 75% examined data to analyze the workforce proactively. And people data is no longer limited to use in the C-suite: 50% of advanced users count managers and supervisors as consumers of this data, compared with just 28% of organizations new to using people data on a regular basis.

Leveraging data to reimagine the employee experience

The employee experience is crucial to engagement, retention, and a healthy company culture. To succeed in a competitive market, businesses need to effectively manage their most valuable asset: their people. Consider the benefits realized by large-scale businesses and organizations that leverage data:

  1. Data-driven decision-making. People analytics relies on systematic collection and analysis of data to inform HR and talent management decision-making. This allows for more informed, evidence-based decisions, rather than relying on emotional responses and connections or traditional HR practices that may not be supported by data.

  2. Employee-centric approach. When your organization uses people analytics, employees become the center of HR and talent management decision-making. Companies can utilize the data they have gained on employee attitudes, experiences, and performance to better understand what drives their engagement and retention numbers and to design HR strategies more aligned with their employees’ needs and preferences.

  3. Improved employee engagement and retention. Using data helps identify and address factors contributing to employee turnover, improving retention of top talent. Studies show companies that use people analytics to improve HR and talent management strategies had significantly lower levels of employee turnover.

  4. Redesigned employee experience. People analytics such as sentiment data, referring to how employees feel, helps provide leaders a fuller picture of what employees are experiencing in their roles. With this deeper understanding, management can focus on improving employees’ working conditions.

Ingredients for success

To implement your people analytics strategy, you’ll first want to examine the following components:

  • Leadership buy-in. For decades, leaders have relied on gut feelings and past experiences to make decisions about how they manage their workforce, but today’s successful employers use factual evidence to drive decision-making. A people analytics strategy brings to bear tangible results. It’s imperative to inform leaders about the benefits of people analytics — particularly, its value in better understanding their people and driving improved business outcomes.

  • Higher-quality data. Compared to traditionally trustworthy financial and customer data, people data has historically been of lower quality. Businesses need reliable, quality data to inform organizational decision-making. It’s important, then, to identify the right types and sources of people data and to regularly assess whether your data-based decisions were effective by tracking KPI and employee reactions.

  • Data experts. Implementing a people analytics strategy can be complicated, especially for HR professionals with no experience in statistics or in data collection and interpretation. Thus, it’s vital to have a team within your organization of people experienced in these matters. Data experts help leaders accurately interpret data and connect it seamlessly to business problems and opportunities.

How can your company benefit from using people analytics? Contact ThinkSight for more information.



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