How People Analytics Informs HR Strategy

People Analytics

Let’s face it- technology has our brains inundated with unprecedented amounts of information. As a result, we’ve developed countless platforms and pieces of technology infrastructure that keep us organized, efficient, and profitable. The advent of technology in the business world combined with its future potential makes this an exciting time for us all. Technology can rapidly access troves of data in seconds, enabling us to make decisions that are much more informed than those of yesteryear. However, we should think of these technological capabilities as tools to help us make more informed decisions, not as mechanisms to make decisions for us. Although this advice can be applied in several domains, it’s no more relevant than in the world of people analytics.

So what is “People analytics”?

People analytics, in layman’s terms, refers to the analytical method used to make decisions about human resources and human capital in an organization. People analytics informs HR strategy, hiring/downsizing efforts, and selecting the right candidates (to name a few). Fortunately, we’ve developed technological platforms that can assess and analyze certain variables to “predict” an employee’s success in his/her role. This can be done through simple correlation tables, more complex regression models, or even through advanced predictive modeling. Regardless of the method of analysis, organizations want to know they’re hiring the right person for the right role. They also want to know how to keep these people while understanding what contributes to longer tenure, or on the flip side – higher turnover.

Organizations that use people analytics to inform hiring decisions have the ability to remove objective bias. McKinsey Quarterly’s article brilliantly sums this up with, “The important advantage of the new analytics techniques…is that they are predictive, rather than reactive, and they provide more objective information than the more qualitative findings of a one-on-one discussion.” When combining skilled HR hiring professionals with the proper analytics platform, organizations can reduce bias, increase accuracy in job placement, reduce the risk inherent to hiring new people, and decrease retention expenses in the long run (as evidenced by the aforementioned article’s examples). Although people analytics is helpful to the hiring process, the data can tell you more than just the best candidate for a job.

When organizations apply people analytics to their existing workforce, they gain insight into motivates them, what leaders should continue doing, and how they might improve. For example, Fecheyr-Lippens, Schaninger, and Tanner used people analytics in a study to understand employee retention. Their data indicated that “a lack of mentoring and coaching and of ‘affiliation’ with people who have similar interests” were leading drivers of those considered a “flight risk”. Additionally, the researchers point out how predictive analytics within the realm of human resources helped organizations understand what their employees value while reducing the costs associated with turnover.

Although people analytics and predictive modeling have become more advanced, we must remember the human element in all HR decisions. Our technological capabilities should do nothing more than provide decision-makers with the most accurate and relevant data possible so they can make an informed decision. There are several risks associated with “over-datafication” when people rely too much on data and technology, but that’s a topic for another day…

Stop Guessing: How to Measure the Impact of Transformational Change

measure transformational change

Are Your Transformational Change Projects Successful?

Nod your head if you have ever heard, seen or (heaven forbid), quoted this statistic: “70% of change efforts fail.”

You nodded, right? Let’s face it; the 70% failure statistic is dramatic. It builds the case for hiring experienced change practitioners. It cautions implementers to learn about change management practices and integrate them into their tactical tasks.

Unfortunately, it’s a made-up number. Back in the 90s, Michael Hammer speculated about the success rate of re-engineering projects and since then, authors and speakers have cited 70% as the failure rate for all types of change programs. Several change practitioners have dug into the change archives and vigorously refuted it. (See here, here and here.) Yet, it persists.

Even if no one had refuted the number, I stopped believing it years ago. As a measurement practitioner, I have found that:

  • Few organizations are disciplined or adept at identifying measures of success at the outset of their projects;
  • The data to measure success is often difficult to collect;
  • The evidence of success can rarely be attributed solely to the change effort;
  • Leaders move the finish line or unexpected circumstances cause it to move;
  • The initial sponsor leaves and her replacement does not revisit the measures.

Given all this evidence against it, how can anyone state with such certainty that 70% of change projects fail?

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Knowledge Management: Did You Know?

knowledge management benefits

It’s funny how things go in cycles. What was critically important to us last year may not be a concern to us today. And things we used to take for granted, we now cannot fathom living without.

Think about the Internet. Most of us weren’t even aware of it until the mid 90’s, but where would we be today without it? Although I type here from the comfort of my office chair, my office is at home and I rarely need to venture into NYC thanks to technology. My office material comes from Amazon.com and my calls are handled over a VOIP platform. All driven by the web.

Knowledge management is a similar area you’ve probably never paid attention to. Maybe you haven’t heard about it yet, but knowledge management is already affecting how you live and work.

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Our 7 Best Organizational Culture Articles of 2016

7 best organizational culture articles 2016

Since day one, my goal as marketing manager at gothamCulture has been to promote our team’s in-depth knowledge and understanding of workplace culture.

We have a diverse group of folks here, with over sixty years combined experience in culture change, leadership development, and strategic planning for both private and public organizations of all sizes. We understand that while most people know what organizational culture is, not everyone is an expert on the subject, and we take great pride in our relatable approach to helping leaders learn to navigate today’s ever-changing business landscape.

I strive to make this blog a hub of valuable information that reflects this relatable expertise, and over the past year, we’ve written some great articles that do just that.

Here, I’ve collected our seven most popular articles about organizational culture change for 2016. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

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Responsible Data Consumption: How to Know Enough Not to Be Dangerous

Responsible Data Consumption: How to Know Enough Not to Be Dangerous

No matter where you sit in your organization, you can’t escape the push to use data to inform your next steps and strategy, nor should you. The amount of data available at your fingertips may vary, but I’d bet dollars to donuts that you have enough to help you improve decision-making, both for yourself and your organization.

“But I’m not a trained researcher, or a data scientist, or a….” I hear you begin to clamber.

Luckily, you don’t need letters after your name to be a smart consumer of data and findings. You only need patience and confidence as you thoughtfully consider the information in front of you. Remember that while you may not be a statistical wizard, you do bring your own flavor of insight and expertise to the table.

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How Artificial Intelligence is Redefining the Future of Work

How Artificial Intelligence is Redefining the Future of Work

In a world where the term “big data” is being thrown around like the next coming, many business leaders still struggle to understand how more information is going to help them make better decisions that drive their businesses forward.

But the real challenge goes well beyond merely accessing more data. The key is accessing data in the right way, at the right time, and in the right format to generate beneficial insights.

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How to Overcome the Biggest Barriers to a Lean Office

lean office

Lean methodology is a common sense approach to increasing customer satisfaction, decreasing costs and improving the quality of products and services, concurrently. In order to accomplish this, organizations must create full transparency and be clear about what metrics matter to their overall performance. This sounds so easy and straightforward, so why aren’t we all doing it?

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Culture and Engagement Apps: How to Find the Best Fit For Your Organization

Culture and Engagement Apps: How to Find the Best Fit For Your Organization

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you’ve probably noticed there are no shortage of applications out there offering relief from your people-related woes. These apps offer everything from employee engagement to company culture, to stakeholder communications and pulse surveying and peer feedback in order to solve a wide breadth of people-related challenges in your organization.

But, where to start? If you are a business leader who has taken on the task of trying to identify the right tools for your organization, you no doubt came to the realization that there are an endless number of app companies that want to pitch you.

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People Analytics: Why Methodology Matters More than Data

People Analytics: Why Methodology Matters More than Data

There is a lot of talk lately about data, especially big data, and how it can be used to help organizations learn more about the people connected to them: employees and customers. The term data science gets tossed around casually, now that we have the tools and computing power to trivially handle these massive, often unstructured, data sets.

Luckily, in addition to the recent influx of interest, there are many established experts in this space who are helping to guide the conversation about how people data should, and should not be used, both from an ethical and practical standpoint.

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Digital Communication in the Workplace is No Longer Optional

Digital Communication in the Workplace is No Longer Optional

In case you missed the memo (or the text, IM, emoji, slack, chat, ping, post, email or like), digital communication is a big deal, and it’s not going away. Digital has permeated our lives. And as newer generations continue to enter the workforce, these methods of communication are embedding themselves in the very fabric of our work experience.

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