Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Going from "I Think" to "I KNOW" with HR Analytics

For the last few days, I have been co-facilitating a workshop with Scott Mondore, PhD and Shane Douthitt, PhD called "Becoming an Effective HR Business Partner Using Metrics."  We had some very smart HR professionals in the room.

As I sit here listening to the last day, it dawned on me that really where HR wants to be is in a position to say I KNOW what drives XYZ, rather than I THINK this is what drives XYZ.  Where XYZ can be employee engagement or regrettable turnover or sales, or profit.

Can you imagine as an HR professional going to line management and saying any of the following:

1) I analyzed your engagement, performance and turnover data and I have identified a group of employees that are at risk for leaving the organization.  And oh, by the way, here are the 3 reasons why they are at risk and here is a game plan to correct those issues.

2) I analyzed your problem with shrinkage in your stores and I know the top 3 employee drivers that impact shrink.  If you do these 3 things it will reduce shrink by X%.

3) I analyzed your competency data and found out that these 3 competencies are driving productivity in your group.  I also looked at the scores of those competencies for your people and 30% of them have a skills gap in one or more competencies.  Let's work on a game plan to close these gaps.

So after the manager picked himself up off the floor, you will be an HR Rockstar in his/her mind.

I know you are asking yourself how can I be an HR Rockstar?

It's all in the metrics and analytics.  You can't hardly get away from the "big data" discussion unless you go to a different planet.  HR has been discussing metrics for years and years...just ask Dr. Jac Fitz-Enz.  It's really time to move away from data/metrics and talk about analytics.  Analytics get you to the "I KNOW" and the "OMG, I DIDN'T KNOW THAT."

What I know for a fact is:

1) You don't have to be a statistician/PhD to get to the analytics listed above in 1-3.  Yes, statistics are used, but if you/your HR department doesn't have that skill, you can find that skill set either internally in the organization or externally with consultants and/or stat students.
2) You DO have to be curious, understand the business you support, and have data accessibility.
3) An analytical/technical focus is a plus!
4) You need the basic data like turnover, performance data, competency scores, training data which is usually tracked in many organizations.

The demand for people analytics is going up on a daily basis.  Now, more than ever CEO's are making decisions based on data.  The time is now...go and be curious.  Find a business problem and solve it with data you already have.

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