Are Employees Benefiting from People Analytics?


People analytics can do more than optimize how resources are used at your company. Learn five ways to garner the full benefits of people analytics by focusing on employee needs and fostering a data-driven culture.

Organizations are leveraging people analytics in a bid to optimize HR and drive business outcomes. But what is its impact on employees? Is it benefiting your employees directly, or is it just turning into a cost center driven by hype?

What are the real benefits of people analytics on your people apart from its role in your digital transformation journey? To be truly effective, people analytics should help to realign employee performance with the key performance indicators (KPIs) of your business by offering direct benefits to your employees – such as enabling their career development.

Let’s explore five ways to make this happen.

Learn More: Is People Analytics the Future of HR Analytics? Q&A with Ankur Modi of StatusTodayOpens a new window

5 Ways to Maximize the Benefits of People Analytics

Most companies are yet to achieve the level of maturity they expected for their analytics function. While McKinsey predictsOpens a new window that effective use of people analytics can improve recruitment efficiency by 80% and reduce attrition Opens a new window by 50%, the 2019 Deloitte Human Capital Trends Opens a new window report revealed that only 26% of 10,000+ respondents in the global survey were using HR technology and HR analyticsOpens a new window effectively for these purposes. In addition, only 6% were confident about the effectiveness of their HR technology.

This is a disappointing percentage, given the strong case for people analyticsOpens a new window made by organizations such as Deloitte and McKinsey and thought leaders such as Josh Bersin in recent years.

One of the reasons for this lack of faith in people analytics may be the fact that it does not benefit employees directly. Data used just to measure metrics without resulting in actionable points is not beneficial for any organization.

This means to see real benefits, organizations may need to pivot to the employee-centric application of people analytics. Here are five ways to do this:

1. Extract real-world business problems from your employees

Data and analytics serve little purpose if they aren’t linked to a real-world business goal.

If you want your employees to benefit from people analytics, the first step is to find out their problem areas. For example, are they struggling to keep up with learning programs? You can identify this by measuring the course completion rates, dropout rates, and improvements in performance after completing a specific course.

You can also poll your employees to gain qualitative feedback on the learning programs you have offered to them and then run this data through a people analytics solution to identify key action points.

2. Ensure that data-driven culture is in place, from the top ranks to the grassroots

For people analytics to be beneficial to both HR and employees, a data-driven culture is essential. This starts with a data-driven mindset right at the top – your C-level executives, middle management, and team leaders should be trained to base their decisions on data.

This doesn’t mean that there is no room for creativity. Your employees will receive the direct impact of technology when the culture of your organization is analytics oriented. Make sure that strategic decisions are supported by analytics insights and transparently communicated across the entire workforce.

This also requires that your employees be data literate up to a certain level so that they can absorb the impact of what the data tells them and learn how to leverage it for their benefit.

Learn More: People Analytics – Building a Data-driven HR FunctionOpens a new window

3. Democratize data access across all employee groups

The benefits of people analytics will remain isolated if employees cannot easily access data.

Going back to the examples we shared in point 1, employees need insights on their learning progress in comparison to that of other employees. They don’t need to know how they compare to an individual employee. They just need to know how they compare with the rest of their team.  

For this, you need easy-to-access dashboards that translate complex people analytics into human-readable insights. A solution to look would be DasherooOpens a new window , an affordable dashboard building tool that comes with easy shareability. This would help your employees make smarter learning decisions or at least initiate a conversation with their managers about their learning path.

4. Create a centralized people analytics function

This is the next step to ensuring that the benefits of people analytics last the test of time. A centralized function can organize all the key metrics of your company needed to measure and deliver custom-built dashboards. These metrics must be persona-based and accessible to employees so that each of them can address their business problems using data. A centralized function will also help in data and analytics governance for long-term sustainability.

Remember that this centralized team can cater to both employees and HR/people managers. A solution to look at is CollibraOpens a new window , designed to simplify enterprise data.

5. Use internal marketing to communicate the impact of people analytics

People analytics typically aids HR in achieving its goals for employee management and business success. But it can also help employees in remarkable ways – to go back to our earlier examples, learning analytics could help tailor the learning path to an employee’s individual pace, helping them to absorb the content more easily. When you apply these analytics and see the workforce benefit from their learning paths is when you will know that your people analytics process is a success.

You can then use an internal communication tool to get employees to share how they benefited from their learning program. Quick feedback on SlackOpens a new window , for example, can keep you motivated to use and apply analytics in myriad ways so your people can benefit from them.

Learn More: Why People Analytics is Key to Strategic HR Decisions – An Interview with Khiv Singh of Sapience AnalyticsOpens a new window

Make Your People Analytics Strategy People-First

By opening up the benefits of people analytics to your entire workforce, you can ensure that the highest possible number of people gain from the data. This has three clear advantages:

  • Speed up time-to-value from your people analytics function
  • Spread out analytics across the company to crowdsource feedback
  • Garner more ROI from your data through improved employee performance

Given the current state of people analytics maturity at most organizations, it’s clear that a people-first strategy could make a big difference. As you revisit your analytics investments in 2020 – or embark on your people analytics journey for the very first time – factor in its benefits for employees on a micro-level, and not just for your macro business vision.

What, according to you, is the most significant benefit of people analytics? Share your opinion with us on FacebookOpens a new window , LinkedInOpens a new window , or TwitterOpens a new window . We’d love to hear from you!